Companies around the globe are accelerating their digital employee engagement and customer relationship management strategies. Solutions like Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint are all taking a front seat in corporations of all sizes. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the role of executives and managers when it comes to adopting digital engagement practices. For an even more detailed explanation, watch the free workshop on The Engaged Digital Leader:

Harvard Business Review reports that 81% of organizations are weak in digital management, digital leadership, or both. More importantly, the 19% with healthy digital management and leadership report revenue growth 10% higher than their peers. 

What’s the difference between organizations with strong digital management and those lacking in digital leadership? The article notes that companies will strong digital executives and managers have: 

  • The presence of a digital coach: They recognize the need for specialized expertise, and create a space for it within their organization.
  • A clear digital vision: They understand success goes far beyond adding software, and does not occur overnight. 
A strong digital leader uses digital investments as leadership tools whereas a weaker leader considers digital tools to be used by employees only. 

5 Practices for Effective Digital Leadership and Engagement

After working with dozens of organizations on digital workplace plans and leadership coaching, I’ve discovered five practices that the most effective digital leaders have adopted. 

1. Listen: Engage the Team

Communication is a two-way street, yet leaders often use digital exclusively as a broadcasting platform. Successful leaders use digital to listen to employees and customers by asking questions, engaging in conversations, celebrating team members, and tapping into digital metrics that guide them to make better business decisions. 

2. Understand: Make Data-Driven Decisions

“Trust your gut” is what got many leaders into their current position. However, what got you where you are is not always what will get you to where you’re going. 

Data is the new gut. Data is what it takes to understand what your employees and customers need. Great digital leaders get to work creating and analyzing data – from sales reps' planned activities, to comments made in a social team, to a map of territorial buying trends – so they can remove obstacles, make better strategic decisions, and prioritize investments. 

3. Connect: Create New Habits

Great leaders have spent a lifetime developing and refining the right habits. Digital leaders recognize that fostering new digital habits will help them to connect with people in broader and deeper ways than in-person habits alone can. Checking on social posts daily, adding an on-line “job well done” to a personal card, writing a weekly blog, recording a monthly all hands digital meeting, and understanding and practicing digital etiquette are a small number of habits that the best leaders follow. Good digital habits and processes transform good leaders into great leaders. 

4. Know: Increase Agility

Big goals are important, but Small Quickly Attainable Goals (SQAGs™) are what drives day-to-day, measurable change. Using digital to set, track and share these goals for themselves and their teams helps leaders to know what is and is not working in order to more rapidly adapt and improve. SQAGs can be measured at least weekly, are 100% within the control of an individual or team and contribute to larger goals (example: digitally recognize at least 2 employees for great work each week is a SQAG, improve employee engagement is not).

Listen, Understand, Connect, Know: LUCK. Great leaders have always been Powered by LUCK™. Digital workplace tools are a powerful new item in the toolbox of timeless principles of leadership and human relationships. 

5. Good LUCK: Know Your Why

The best leaders know that passion, innovation and creativity come from a deep sense of purpose. They don’t view digital as technology focused projects (“we are implementing a CRM”) but as purpose-driven business-focused projects (“we are improving customer engagement”). LUCK is what digital leaders and managers do – Good LUCK is why they do it. 

Like learning anything new, becoming a digital leader may not feel natural or comfortable at first. But as Harvard Business Review has found, the early leaders who have invested in developing a vision and finding the right coach, are reaping measurable results. 

Start Being an Engaged Digital Leader Today

Here are three ways you can explore taking you or your company to the next level of digitally engaged leadership and management:

  1. Download C5 Insight’s Free e-Book: Digital Workplace ROI Metrics.
  2. Contact me, Geoff Ables, to chat about delivering an in-person or virtual Digital Leadership and Management workshop to your team.
  3. Work with our team here at C5 Insight by calling 704-895-2500 to develop a clear digital vision and to provide coaching to your executives and managers.