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Driving Culture Change in the Digital Fast Lane

Traditionally, the transport industry has provided a cheap and reliable service using established products and performance metrics. However, rising customer expectations have driven the industry, which has been stable for many years, to look at new digital technologies.

Posted 5 April 2019

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The focus is on automation, AI and Robotics because of the exponential amount of information available from autonomous vehicles, drones, tracking of goods (using blockchain) and big data.

The need to upskill your workforce

Recent surveys have shown that, while the transport sector is implementing these digital technologies at pace, the workforce is relatively unprepared.  The 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey, which tracks the top trends shaping the agenda for HR and business leaders, reports that:

42 per cent have implemented robotics, cognitive and AI technologies; but only 16 per cent are ready to manage a workforce where these technologies and people work side by side, despite 88 per cent believing this has become a priority.

From our experience, in 2019 this hasn’t improved. In fact, the divide is greater, due to the speed of adopting digitisation to reduce costs and improve productivity.

The right culture

The digital workforce is new to most leaders within transport organisations and a key challenge is finding and retaining the right people. The above survey has shown that this is one of the top concerns for 87 per cent of UK business leaders.

As well as this, the digital workforce is made up of transient, lone or mobile workers, who are in demand and use systems and data, rather than fleets of vehicles/machines in one place. As such, many leaders say they struggling to create the right organisational culture to keep their workforce engaged.

74 % of UK organisations consider themselves to be weak at advanced digital learning solutions.
59 % struggle at providing mobile learning programmes, which are vital so employees can learn on the job.

Trust is key

When employees are asked what will create the right culture for them, digital or otherwise, all the things boil down to trust. They need to feel trusted to do their job and that they can trust management to act with ‘best interests’.

Increasing reliance on learning technologies

Adopting a learning and knowledge sharing culture will help you generate the trust and loyalty your workforce is looking for. This will also help encourage your people to take advantage of learning opportunities that will help them deal with changes in their role and working practices because of digitisation.

This is something we’re already helping customers with. Indeed, 34 per cent of UK companies are planning on increasing their investment in learning technologies over the next 12 months, with the majority of that investment expected to be targeted at staff career development in some form.

However, training your staff using a digital platform doesn’t just mean offering online courses, it’s about integrating learning into their working day. This includes options for:

  • making bookings and managing their own training;
  • reminders and alerts;
  • searching the available courses;
  • taking assessments;
  • evidencing; and

Ultimately you need to make knowledge sharing available all in the same place as the work orders, rotas, etc.

Going digital

Of course as companies become increasingly digitised, it’s important to consider compliance, security and how you will minimise the risk from cyber-attacks and data theft. These are also things we’ve been advising customers on for some time.

How eCom helps

We have many years’ experience helping organisations with their digital learning journey. So if you want to be in the 16% of companies who say they are ready to deal with digital disruption, we’d love to hear from you.