A few months ago, we surveyed thousands of executives – and spoke to many of them one on one – to get their thoughts on digital transformation for the report “Aligning the Organization for Its Digital Future.” Ninety percent of the people we surveyed say they know their industries will be moderately or greatly disrupted by digital trends. But fewer than half say they’re prepared for this disruption. Why the gap?
One not-so-surprising reason we uncovered in our research: Those companies who say they’re adequately prepared know a few things about managing talent in today’s digital environment that other companies may not.
1. Talent is temporary.
We all know that today’s talent is more apt to move than in the past but it’s even harder for companies in the early stages of digital development to retain talent. And if you’re thinking they’re just millennials with one foot out the door, you’d be mistaken.
We asked respondents, “How long do you plan to stay in your current job given digital trends?” At companies in the early stages of digital development, more than 50 percent of employees who responded say they are planning to leave their organizations in less than three years. More than 20 percent plan to be gone within one year.
The looming exodus isn’t only on the part of millennials or junior-level employees. Approximately 30 percent of senior vice presidents, vice presidents, and director-level leaders surveyed who don’t have adequate access to resources and opportunities in a digital environment are planning to leave their company in less than one year. These professionals are six times more likely to leave their organizations in the next year compared to similar-level professionals who are receiving digital opportunities at their companies.
With potential talent turnover so high, how can companies attract, retain, and develop the talent they need to make digital transformation happen? One option is to invest in your own talent as your company digitally matures, which leads to the second thing that more prepared companies know.
2. Talent needs to be constantly cultivated.
A focus on investing in and nurturing talent development is a key element of the culture at digitally maturing organizations. More than 75 percent of survey respondents from these organizations give their employees resources and opportunities to develop their digital acumen. Only 14 percent of survey respondents from companies in the early stages of digital maturity make this investment.
Cultivating talent doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Sometimes the simplest ideas have a big impact. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is one example. They develop their people by offering a mix of in-person, online, and on-demand digital-skills training. But importantly as CIO Kristin Darby notes, they offer this learning “at-the-elbow,” where it fits into physician schedules. Knowing how busy the physicians are, CTCA provides personal development to their physicians at almost any time of day or night, whenever their busy schedules allow. Simple, but effective.
Having a culture of developing talent is really essential, because the third thing our study revealed, is…
3. There isn’t enough digital talent to go around today.
The shortage of executive and employee talent with the right digital skills is a critical issue for companies. While this might not come as a big surprise, our research showed that respondents from even the most digitally maturing companies say they need significantly new talent.
We found the “talent gap” in early-stage companies may create a significant challenge. These companies may soon find themselves unable to recruit the digital talent they need.
In contrast, digitally maturing companies tend to attract new talent more easily. This ability to more easily recruit combined with a focus on developing their talent puts them in a potentially advantageous position in the race for digital talent. For those of you in the early stages, don’t give up. We found a very distinct pattern that companies were using to ramp up and create a pool of digital talent.
Talent’s not the only thing that sets digitally maturing companies apart. In our next blog, we’ll explore the second thing they know that others don’t: The components that make up a successful digital culture.
Doug Palmer is a principal in the Digital Business and Strategy practice of Deloitte Digital, Deloitte Consulting LLP, where he advises clients on matters related to digital strategy, social business, enterprise collaboration, and the adoption of emerging technologies. His research and thinking on the topics of digital business, social business, and gamification have been cited in leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal, MIT Sloan Management Review, Time magazine, Financial Times, and USA Today.