Featured Product
This Week in Quality Digest Live
Innovation Features
Oihab Allal-Chérif
Boeing faces a perfect storm of risk management, quality control, and customer satisfaction
Taran March @ Quality Digest
Life science and tech companies bump heads to interpret the new map
Jason Davis
Uber, Grab, and Go-Jek embody emerging strategies in international platform competition
Iva Danilovic
Digital transformation elevates traditional field jobs, on-site workers are valued and respected
Marlon Walker
Collaborative robots are already working in close proximity with humans on the shop floor

More Features

Innovation News
How established companies turn the tables on digital disruptors
Building organizational capability and capacity to create outcomes that matter most
System breaks down complex designs into easily modifiable shapes for custom manufacturing and 3D printing
‘What if we could develop electronic systems that we wrap around a bridge or cover the walls of our office?’
How to solve any problem and make the best decisions by shifting creative mindsets
Standards like ISO 10303 and ISO 14306 help to keep planes high in the sky
‘Materials science has never produced anything like this.’
Goal is to improve productivity, reduce unplanned downtime, and accelerate visual learning
‘There is nothing worse than creating a solution and then looking for a problem to solve with it.’

More News

Iva Danilovic

Innovation

Work Quality and Life Quality, Digitalization Lifts Them Both

Digital transformation elevates traditional field jobs, on-site workers are valued and respected

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - 12:03

New software solutions, designed to help companies digitalize their supply chains, are improving methods of carrying out field work. Transparency of productivity is becoming the driving force of quality optimization. By increasing oversight and collaboration, end-to-end digitalization solutions help both managers and workers jointly contribute to the quality of work, and simultaneously to the quality of worker-life.

New studies show that companies that digitalize their business gain a competitive advantage through the vast improvements within worker quality. In its report “Rewriting the rules for the digital age,” Deloitte writes that “for business and HR leaders, the new models are a wake-up call to adapt or risk falling behind in hiring, employee engagement, productivity, and product innovation.”

Successfully redesigning engagement and performance management can be efficiently achieved via high-tech software suites powered by tools such as artificial intelligence and real-time productivity tracking.

These modern solutions help management monitor data and understand trends in workforce productivity. Artificial intelligence automates comprehensive analyses of workforce activity collected by real-time geolocation and productivity tracking. After the analysis, managers are able to execute informed business decisions. Data visibility at all levels further helps stakeholders focus on reducing costs and optimizing work performance.

The increase in the quantity and quality of information gives organizations incredible insight into worker performance. And, judging by the numbers, many companies believe that this type of data is highly important for business functioning. In “Performance management: Playing a winning hand,” the authors write that “the redesign of performance management is picking up speed. 79 percent of executives rate it a high priority, up from 71 percent three years ago, with 38 percent calling it ‘very important.’”

Still, managing work performance from above is just one perspective of worker quality improvement. Top-to-bottom digitalization affects all actors, including on-site workers, who themselves are becoming equipped with technology that helps them improve their quality of life.

In fact, digital transformation is reshaping the entire way of doing field work by enabling quality workers to be easily recognized and rewarded. This creates a sense of personal involvement for on-site workers, a region of the supply chain that historically can feel disconnected. Worker recognition goes hand in hand with performance-correlated salary increases. This improves motivation and engagement.

Research by Gallup, shows that 51 percent of the U.S. workforce is still not engaged. Bringing high-tech solutions to a company can reduce the problem even more, by removing the intermediary actors and unnecessary paperwork, and enabling direct-engagement between workers and employers.

It is important to underline that workers’ motivation and engagement largely depend on the visibility and appreciation of their work. According to a study done by Globoforce, 78 percent of all employees surveyed feel that being recognized motivates them in their job. Additionally, one of the respondents explained that the problem lies in the fact that companies primarily focus on rewarding growth of the business, while not enough focus is placed on rewarding excellence in execution.

This is especially important for independent contractors and field workers who are changing their jobs often. Not only is technology transforming traditional work-on-demand tasks; it is transforming worker’s quality of life.

Author Louis Hyman, a Cornell professor and economic historian, observes that in America, traditional organizations are moving toward more flexible staffing jobs. Although Hyman notes that the business model changed due to events beyond workers’ control. In an interview with Harvard Business Review, Hyman calls it “the best of both worlds: the autonomy and independence of an economy before wage labor, but with individuals possessed of the productive capacity of an industrial economy.”

Justin Duval, CEO of Scopeworker, provider of seamless digital transformations for the world’s most complex services supply chains, has a unique view on how digitization elevates quality of life:

“Digitization of the service supply chain without the end worker in mind will drive limited savings and productivity,” says Duval. “The end worker needs to be engaged like an IoT end node. A digitized end worker is the cornerstone to productivity; a motivated workforce drives quality, cycle time, and safety. resulting in huge productivity gains.”

Field workers, powered by comprehensive digitalization, communicate and solve problems in real time. Recent Deloitte research concludes that “facilitating employees with digital tools to make their work lives easier provides a necessary flexibility for both workers and employees.”

Moreover, a recent survey of more than 300 executives by Forbes Insights found those enterprises that are leading the way in first-line, field-service worker digital empowerment are seeing tangible results in terms of increased revenue, productivity, and customer satisfaction. In “Empowering the Firstline Workforce,” Forbes Insights indicates that organizations that empower their workers reap the benefits: They’re three times more likely to be high-growth companies, 83 percent see higher levels of customer satisfaction, 82 percent see higher levels of job satisfaction among employees, and 64 percent see lower turnover among employees.

In digitally transformed businesses, worker involvement is less diluted because there are open channels to instantaneously solve unexpected discrepancies or discuss clarifications. This saves previously wasted time for both workers and employers, eradicating supply-chain inefficiencies throughout.

Furthermore, digital transformation helps workers benefit from management by exception and informed decision making. High-quality workers become recognized for their work, their significant contributions awarded. This motivates quality of work, and simultaneously ensures that cream-of-the-crop workers receive the jobs and the corresponding salaries they deserve.

It looks simple, but this is what field workers were previously lacking within their day-to-day activities, a direct and visible involvement in their business’s growth. Digital transformation elevates traditional field jobs to a new level of importance, a standard where on-site workers are valued and respected, ultimately uplifting worker quality of life.

Discuss

About The Author

Iva Danilovic’s picture

Iva Danilovic

Iva Danilovic is a writer and researcher in business and technology. Iva has a master’s degree in project management and a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is interested in digitalization and corporate transformation. She has worked as a project coordinator and researcher on international projects with USAID and the EU in the field of local development and employment.