About an year ago, while interviewing a candidate for a consulting role, the young, smart 20-something asked me, “What kind of devices do you use to get your work done?”. It sparked a thought for a minute that a company’s technology adoption and readiness itself could be a driver of talent attraction. But, then I let it slip away.
The Digital Business Global Executive Study and Research Project, conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, polled over 4800 business executives around the world. It found that the key to digital transformation is a clear digital strategy combined with a culture and leadership poised to drive the transformation. The report and findings are very interesting and one of the key conclusions is:
Our research indicates that digital maturity is important for attracting and retaining talent — nearly 80% of respondents say they want to work for a digitally enabled company or digital leader. However, the majority of respondents across industries, regions and company type (B2B vs B2C) are not satisfied or confident in their organization’s response and ability to capitalize on digital.
They have an interactive charting tool, which I found very useful. So, let’s look at some data and implications. I focused on the Asia Pacific data, which is across industries.
Firstly, I looked at the data by “organization age” or how long the organisation has been around. I focused on the question “I am satisfied in my organization’s response to digital.” Not surprisingly (at least to me), employees at young companies tend to be more satisfied with their digital capabilities. Satisfaction is considerably lower among companies which have been around for 10 or more years. In fact, almost 40% of the respondents from these companies are quite pessimistic. Perhaps, “agility” and “adaptability” are the operative words for these organisations.
Next, I looked at the responses to the question “I am confident in my leaders’ digital understanding”. Again, younger organizations had really high scores and employees at the older, stodgy ones were less positive. Interestingly, for companies which are over 50 years of age, 24% of the respondents are not exactly sure of their leaders’ digital capabilities.
- Companies need to really think hard about their digital strategy. Research has shown that “Digital Skills” will be one of the most sought-out skills in the future. Companies need to build their digital capabilities not only to win the marketplace for customers and talent.
- Depending on the company’s strategy, it may consider including Digital Skills as a core competency across the organisation. It would be important to articulate the importance of Digital, embed it into competency frameworks and by build this competency through L&D programs.
- Leaders need to play a more participative role in Digital and not just leave it to IT & Digital Marketing folks. They need to build executive presence on internal or external digital platforms and shape the conversations with customers and employees.