Digital Workplace Insights

6 Effective Ways to Maximise Growth in the Digital Workplace

As a result of rapid advances in communication and collaboration software, the digital workplace has become a fast-moving landscape, leaving employers questioning how to best leverage tools to optimize growth.

As new technologies boost productivity by allowing people to collaborate more effectively, competition has also risen across all primary industries. World famous marketer Seth Godin said, “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”

For a business to thrive, it’s more important than ever before to cut through the noise in order to grow. Leveraging digital workplace tools requires continually optimizing tactics to maximize productivity and growth.

Here are 6 ways organizations can maximize growth in the digital workplace:

Happy Employees Contribute More to Growth

Organizations are increasingly realizing that investing in employee satisfaction is critical to success. A recent State of the American Workplace report performed by Gallup estimates that ‘disinterest and discontent in the workplace’ (e.g. unhappy employees) costs the U.S. an estimated $450-550 billion per year. Data is proving that happy employees are more productive, leading companies to seek out meaningful ways to improve employee satisfaction.

Topping the list of what most employees request for workplace satisfaction are positive reinforcement, a culture of transparency, and flexibility in how and where they work. Thanks to the many tools available in today’s digital workplace, employers are able to answer to these requests. As an example, the Intranet has become indispensable for many organizations as it’s the most effective way to allow for open, secure communication between all departments and levels of the organization. Employees are able to receive instant feedback from colleagues and executives alike. Additionally, a mobile-first Intranet is a powerful tool allowing complete flexibility in how and where employees work.

Track ROI of Digital Workplace Tools

Organizations who are hoping to achieve and maintain a competitive edge must be able to provide employees with innovative tools to help them do their jobs more efficiently. New tools, platforms and apps are being brought to market every day, and it’s tricky to determine which of those will help foster growth and productivity in a particular workforce. It’s important for companies to determine a set of metrics for each tool so they are able to effectively track ROI. Additionally, they must also be able to link each tool to show how it does or does not contribute to business growth.

Many companies get caught in the weeds when tracking metrics, and forget to tie everything to the overall picture. Each digital workplace platform needs its own set of metrics tied to overall company growth. If a company suffers from poor communication for example, putting a social Intranet into place and calling it a day isn’t enough. Companies adopting a social Intranet will likely track interdepartmental communication as a key metric to indicate success with the new system, but they should consider taking it a step further. Increased communication is great, but more importantly, did it result in business growth? And if it did, consider what else can be done to further optimize the system.

For a business to thrive, it’s more important than ever before to cut through the noise in order to grow. Leveraging digital workplace tools requires continually optimizing tactics to maximize productivity and growth.

Connect Everyone to the Why

Simon Sinek gave a famous TED Talk called “Start with Why,” in which he explains that the most successful companies showing annual growth are those that most effectively communicate their ‘why’ - the purpose for why they exist. Customers don’t come because of what you do and how you do it. They come because of why you do it. Now more than ever, consumers want authenticity. They want to buy from companies that show a sincere interest in improving the lives of the people they are selling to. A workplace focused on the ‘why’ as their motivation translates more authentically to customers.

Digital workplace tools are helping companies find innovative ways to communicate their ‘why’ to employees. Whether it’s providing an inspiring weekly video from the CEO via the company’s Intranet, or encouraging employees to post topics discussing their work and how it relates to the company mission. Keeping everyone connected to the ‘why’ will keep creativity and growth flowing around the enterprise.

Encourage High Risk Projects

In the always-connected digital workplace, employees can collaborate and build upon ideas in dynamic ways. Fear hinders innovation and growth, and more and more companies are seeking ways to encourage employees to take risks. Microsoft is known for encouraging risky projects, and has a policy of rewarding smart risks, even if they are not successful. As long as those risks create insights that help to move the business forward, then the company considers it time well spent.

The safe ecosystem provided by digital workplace tools like an Intranet provides employees with a protected place to test new ideas without fear of failure or wide reaching repercussions. Forums and Wiki’s, for example, promote open and collaborative discussion, giving employees a space to discuss and brainstorm ideas, creating a path toward production or a repository for ideas that aren’t quite feasible yet.

Focus on Relationship Building Outside of the Workplace

Internal company relationships are important. However, true growth requires employees to look outward as well. The relationships your employees are building outside of work could prove to be just as important as those being created within the company.

The digital workplace offers several ways to help employees build relationships with consumers, influencers and mentors. Social media is a powerful digital workplace tool that can be specifically leveraged for growth. Encourage employees to create work-specific social media personas to build company awareness among consumers and to develop relationships with industry-related influencers. Another relationship builder are online mastermind groups and webinars as ways to expand on skill sets, and allow for exploration in other areas of interest that could have a positive effect on business growth.

The Intelligent Workplace

Employees spend a lot of time searching for information. Google found that today’s average knowledge worker spends the equivalent of one full day per week searching for and gathering information. Employees need to be empowered with ways to find information more easily.

Intelligent search is becoming a powerful tool in the digital workplace, with capabilities expected to rapidly grow in the coming years. It is an AI-powered assistant helping employees to easily search through multiple areas of information while they work, finding the content they need or suggesting content that can help them. This relatively new technology promises to transform how people interact with information and digital assets, promoting growth as a result of becoming more efficient with how information is used.

Grow Forth and Prosper

The many tools, systems and philosophies that are part of the digital workplace can be overwhelming, but the possibilities they offer are incredibly exciting. The most successful companies will be those who innovate upon what’s available, creating a culture of growth that achieves the desired outcome and outperforms all the rest.

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