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Staying connected with employees and the communities during an unconnected time. Staying connected with employees and the communities during an unconnected time. (Source: Shutterstock)

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgency that is accelerating the digital revolution. Artificial intelligence, cloud-based computing and services, Zoom connections and ever-increasing cybersecurity considerations are infusing business with new organizational opportunities and new employee challenges. This health emergency has forced leaders who were previously resistant to greater use of digital approaches to now trust and embrace them. They must plan to increasingly deploy digital tools to improve the member and employee experience, and to promote organizational efficiency. Many changes will remain long after the pandemic is brought under control.

Yet, in an increasingly digital world, it’s still the human element that matters. How you manage the digital future always comes back to how you care for and about your people. For employees to best contribute, they must feel safe, both physically and economically. When there is less reason to worry, employees free up cognitive energy that can be directed to learn new technical and operational skills and improve existing ones. The concept of a “learning organization,” popularized by Peter Senge, is more relevant now than ever as companies become immersed in today’s digital world. Learning organizations continuously transform themselves, growing and enhancing the capabilities of their people, providing the organization every chance for success. When the workforce is continuously learning, feels safe and knows that management has their backs, they are more engaged, more motivated and more prepared to handle rapid change. Leadership creates change most effectively when people know the company is committed to them, and digital transformation is no exception.

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