Promoting digital dexterity in an evolving workplace

By Ville Somppi

In brief…

• The transition from WFH to hybrid to return-to-work (and sometimes back to WFH) creates challenges as organizations struggle to attract and retain top talent.
• Organizations focusing on tools that improve data or document management, workflow automation, and content collaboration promote the growth of “digital dexterity.”
• Employees and organizations report that improvements in “digital dexterity” improve retention, employee satisfaction, and productivity.

In an evolving world of work-from-home vs. hybrid vs. return-to-office tensions, experts say promoting “digital dexterity” may be the key to attracting, recruiting, and retaining a more engaged, talented knowledge workforce through the use of digital tools, such as a document management system or collaboration platform.

A recent report published by Gartner suggests organizations that deploy optimized technology experiences—including intelligent information systems—are seeing measurable progress in areas such as employee wellness/happiness, learning/skills growth, retention, team unity, and productive organizational culture.

In short, successful organizations must realize that “personal and business digital acceleration” can help organizations create “a digitally dexterous workforce—one that has the ambition and ability to use technology for better business outcomes—[as] an essential element for driving organizational prosperity moving forward,” the report notes.

What is digital dexterity ?

In a working world where the personal work environment has shifted with changing global disruptions —from office to WFH to hybrid to office again—workers are becoming more stressed as the “how” of working keeps changing like a game of musical chairs. The Gartner report notes:

“Employees have to reconstruct their personal work environment and then synchronize with teammates, who may be assimilating the change at a different rate. When change rates are out of sync, process dependencies are vulnerable, and the employee experience suffers.”

Over the last decade and even before the pandemic, experts began to recognize the concept of “digital employee experience” as technology replaced cubicles and physical conference rooms.

As a result, successful organizations pivoted to provide the right tools for the right jobs for WFH and hybrid employees—tools that address issues such as device management, intranet governance and security, and personal productivity and collaboration.

Digital dexterity, Gartner notes, is built on four pillars: data, process, content, and collaboration. Analysts recommend organizations ramp up investments in digital tools that support these pillars while also ensuring employees understand how to optimize those same tools in their everyday work.

How to promote digital dexterity

According to Gartner, promoting digital dexterity begins with identifying key data skills needed to support the “new normal” of digital workplace experience, followed by diligent upskilling and supported further by promotion of collaborative relationships.
So, what happens when an organization commits to the digital experience-focused pillars of data, process, content, and collaboration? According to Gartner’s survey:

• “80 percent of employees say improving their digital dexterity will positively impact their career advancement.”
• “91 percent of employees say that improving their digital dexterity improves their work effectiveness.”
• “90 percent of employees say that intuitive and effective technology has a positive impact on their overall job satisfaction.”

M-Files: The Path to Digital Dexterity

M-Files offers an innovative way to promote digital dexterity for knowledge workers with an industry-leading, metadata-driven document management platform. By using the power of metadata (which is simply data about other data), M-Files:

• Helps ensure everyone is working on the latest version of a document;
• Empowers workers to collaborate in real-time, ensuring that no work is duplicated;
• Focuses on “what” a file is, rather than “where” it is, creating a more intuitive way to search;
• Increases consistency of work and reduces errors by automating workflows;
• Reduces business risk by ensuring compliance.

To access the full Gartner report, “Transform the Digital Employee Experience with an Evolving Digital Workplace,” click here.

Ville Somppi is the Vice President, Industry Solutions at M-Files. To learn more about Ville’s work, check out this upcoming webinar on how to adapt your content services strategy to remain competitive.