In today’s dynamic environment, digital literacy and a mindset focused on collaboration, transparency and self-organized learning are crucial. If applied correctly, digital tools can improve efficiency, productivity and innovation. But it isn’t enough just to provide tools and training. The most difficult and most important step is to change familiar patterns and ways of thinking. Employees need to break out of their comfort zone, share successes and failures transparently, try out new approaches, network across regions and departments, take the initiative and be empowered to do all this through an appropriate environment.
The vision of our digital workplace is to enable everyone within Umicore to collaborate from anywhere in the world.
Our colleagues will share their experiences and knowledge through a worldwide network and learning will become part of our daily routine. Everyone will feel empowered to work in an increasingly complex and fast-changing world.
In 2019, an interdisciplinary team started to turn this vision into reality, taking an important step forward in Umicore’s digital journey. In December 2019, the Digital Workplace project was launched globally with the slogan “Stay up to date. Let’s upgrade”. All communication, from news articles to training materials, was provided in 8 languages, so that over 90% of Umicore employees were addressed in their native tongue. Time-critical activities, such as webinars, were provided at different times to cover all time zones.
The project approach was also unique by delivering digital content on a personal level. So that employees can find experts in their “normal” working environment who are familiar with both the specific local procedures and the new tools, we created an ambassador community of “digital heroes”. Various local live events led by digital heroes help inform colleagues all over the world. For top management, we initiated a reverse mentoring program to allow learning in a confidential and customized setting.
Another special feature was the feedback-based structure of the project: both in terms of technology and content, the digital workplace and the associated communication and training materials were tested by digital heroes before the project launch. The communication and training materials were adapted and optimized before the launch, based on their experience.