Digital for all now

#Digitaltransfo: employees are better equipped… but there’s still a long way to go

Econocom 28 Oct 2015

Mobility has come to the corporate world: more and more employees are issued with smartphones or tablets.This in one of the findings of the 2015 survey of digital practices, published by Econocom, SIA Partners and Ifop and based on interviews with 400 decision-makers from 330 large French companies. One of the focuses of the survey was employee experience: here are some of the results.



employees ARE BETTER EquipPED


Mobile equipment has become the norm, at least at the top end of the ladder (87% of managers and 96% of senior managers are equipped) and for sales staff (85%).  Almost one in three companies with over 500 employees have provided all their employees with a mobile device (smartphone or tablet).

In two thirds of companies, this equipment offers access to internal applications or business tools. This, for example, was the case with the French post office which has deployed Facteo smartphones, a “digital Swiss army knife”, to its 85,000 postmen and women. In addition to being a telephone with Internet and intranet access, it also offers users access to the enterprise app store where they can download business applications. Rolling out the device was a huge operation, which raised a number of technical difficulties, both in terms of hardware, such as battery life, and interfacing with the company’s historic applications, but the group believes it’s a real growth opportunity that will enable them to develop new services.

Cosmetic and fragrance retailer l’Occitane , meanwhile, has supplied all its sales staff with tablets as a way to make their job easier and offer customers an enhanced experience thanks to an internally-developed purchasing assistance tool.


At a time when customers’ demand for digital is increasing –by 2017, digital channels will overtake telephone communicationsinteraction with customers is only possible in 56% of companies. It is most widely used in companies with B2B or mixed clientele.





On the whole, the perception of these digital tools is positive: over 60% of respondents said they are handy and easy-to-use whilst 61% believe they are cutting-edge. At Societe Generale, Head of Corporate Resources and Innovation Françoise Mercadal-Delasalles has a very specific aim in mind: provide employees with equipment that will enable them to invent the bank of the future. To do this, Mercadal-Delasalles has stepped up the group’s digital transition, the first phase of which involved giving out tablets to employees and deploying Wi-Fi at most of the branches. But the transformation plan isn’t limited to devices: the bank also uses collaborative tools, MOOCs and an enterprise social network to encourage more open exchanges and sharing. To roll out these various projects, Françoise Mercadal-Delasalles draws inspiration from the ecosystem:


“We must learn from the GAFAs, who have succeeded – in a very intelligent way – in creating interactions with their users on a daily basis, if not more […] We also need to learn from start-ups, who are extremely agile, so that we can maintain a start-up spirit in a company that is 150 years old and has 150,000 employees”.


Meanwhile, CAC 40 drinks giant Pernod Ricard incorporates digital into all its projects, as the group’s CDO Antonia McCahon explained in October:


“Digital is really part of everything we do and has been adopted by all the “traditional” teams. This is really important for us: it helped break down the silos and people were no longer afraid of digital. They used to be a bit wary of all these acronyms and unfamiliar words: they weren’t comfortable with it, it was another world. But once they started working on digital-related projects, and started using mobile devices and the social networks – in other words, once they started experiencing digital – it all got much easier.”


Whilst half of French companies with over 500 employees have set up digital training sessions –for tools, practices and digital-related issues – only 15% to 20% provide it for all their employees. Companies in the banking and insurance sector are the most active: 3/4 of them have implemented training. Again, this is aimed mainly at Senior Management (34%) and sales (29%). Yet Patrick Hoffstetter, CDO of Renault Group, recommends involving the whole company in the digital transformation and making digitalisation a cross-departmental project:


One thing we have noticed, whatever the company or industry sector, is the importance of “change management”: and that means not just the theoretical side but changing everyday habits and making sure that everyone, from C-level to ordinary employees, soaks up the digital culture. It’s not easy because there’s a whole aspect of digital that stresses people, a disruptive element, and the speed at which things go that can be overwhelming.”



AN EMPLOYEE AND CUSTOMER-orientED transformation


Companies often implement the digital transformation of the customer and employee experience together: most claim they focus as much on employees as customers.


>>> Also on our blog: Digital transformation of the customer experience: companies still reluctant <<<


Like the reinvention of the customer experience, digitalisation of the employee experience is essential as it not only helps boosts the company’s operational efficiency but allows it to innovate management methods by breaking down silos, facilitating collaboration and promoting collective intelligence. But the transformation of the employee experience often goes beyond just rolling out new technologies and involves rethinking the company’s processes, skills, culture – even its business model. Building a truly digital culture can enable the company to step up productivity and engage employees more – undeniable benefits that prove the transformation must happen… NOW!


Further reading:

#digitaltransformation: what kind of digital player is your company?

Digital transformation: what governance have companies put in place?

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