Study Highlights Digital Disconnect Between C-Suite and Employees

New research from PwC shows a major disconnect between C-suite executives and their employers when it comes to digital transformation

Although 90 percent of C-suite executives believe their companies adequately address workers’ needs in terms of introducing new technologies, only 53 percent of staff members share that view. Furthermore, 92 percent of C-suite executives are satisfied with the technology experience for making progress on their most important work, a view only shared by 68 percent of employees.


Part of PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series, the report also showed that 73 percent of respondents claim to know of systems that would help them produce better work. In addition, employees are interested in new technologies; 84 percent claim to do their work because they aim to learn new skills. The typical respondent was willing to spend two days per month upgrading their digital skills, and employees reported being willing to dedicate a median of 15 hours per month. However, companies aren’t doing all they can to foster this growth, as only 50 percent of staff members were satisfied with the resources at their disposal. Forty-six percent of respondents felt their companies don’t value employees with advanced technology skills.

Carrie Duarte, Partner and Workforce of the Future leader at PwC believes technology plays such an important role in the modern workplace that “that you can’t separate it from your people agenda”.

Organizational leaders looking to institute a technology-led transformation or implement new workplace technology need to also now consider what motivates people when it comes to technology at work. It cannot be one or the other.

Between 40 and 45 percent of employees prefer face-to-face meetings for performance reviews and similar tasks, while a majority prefer digital interactions. A majority also prefer digital interaction for tasks such as finding a new job, scheduling time off, and enrolling for benefits. Despite this preference for digital interaction, some respondents report struggling as digital transformation takes place. Forty-six percent of those in a supervisory position claim to feel overwhelmed with technology on the job, and 61 percent of managers believe the technology they use at work forces them to to perform more administrative or transactional work than they’d like. Some also report feeling disconnected on a human level due to technology, as 56 percent of employees feel new technology is eliminating human interaction.


Motivation for learning new technology varies significantly. Thirty-seven percent of respondents believe learning new technologies will help them advance their careers or gain status, including potential promotions or outside recognition. For 34 percent of employees, motivation to learn new technologies is driven by curiosity and the potential for better teamwork and improved efficiency. For 29 percent of employees, motivation comes from a desire for individual achievement within a predictable environment. These employees are less concerned with status and efficiency than their counterparts.

PwC’s report shows cause for concern, as C-suite executives seem to fail to understand the concerns of their employees. However, there is reason for optimism: Employees want to learn, and they’re willing to put in the time and effort to work more efficiently and learn the new technologies that are changing the modern workforce. It’s often stated that a company’s most valuable resource is its employees, and employees are performing a broader range of tasks than ever before. C-suite executives who are able to provide an environment in which employees can learn and grow will be better able to maximize sustained growth and improve their efficiency. Employees are willing to put in the effort if their employers provide the right resources.