“Employee engagement” is a term you see a lot these days – generally from anguished managers concerned about their disengaged workforces, or from the ranks of consultants eager to jump in with a quick fix to the problem. You probably won’t hear much about it from employees. They don’t care about “employee engagement.” At all.
What employees do care about: Having a convenient, effective way to get the information they need, make their voices heard, share ideas, and get their work done. The same things they have always cared about, but previously weren’t a problem in the days when everyone worked under the same roof at the same time.
In the era of the mobile, geographically-dispersed, always-on digital workplace, that’s not the case anymore. The essential sense of human connection, whether for practical, operational or personal purposes, is often frayed almost to the point of snapping. In practice, that saps productivity, deflates morale, and robs the organization of momentum as employees operate in isolation, or check out altogether.
It’s not about “engagement.” It’s about access, connection, and empowerment – all essential to a high-functioning workforce – and it’s up to employers to provide the tools and systems that make it possible. In theory, a digital workplace solution, such as an intranet should be a big part of the answer; in practice, though, some very specific capabilities can make a vital difference in the degree to which a company’s workforce embraces and benefits from a digital workplace.
Ease of Use
Nothing will kill a digital experience quicker than a cumbersome user interface and/or poor performance; same for your digital workplace solution. Put simply, nobody’s got time for that: People have work to do, and they want to get the information they need now. Time spent figuring out how to navigate the system or waiting for a search to run is time wasted – and people won’t put up with it. Speed, responsiveness, and ease of use are cornerstones of success.
Advanced Communication Capabilities
Obviously, there’s a lot of difference between talking face to face and exchanging emails. Relying on text only to get messages across has two unfortunate consequences: User boredom and loss of nuance. Multi-media communication, like interpersonal interaction, is highly dynamic; images, audio, and video can convey emotional energy and layers of meaning that static text cannot. The value of all of these increases further when it becomes possible for all users to use these tools, becoming content contributors rather than merely audience members.
The value of a digital workplace solution to its end users increases proportionately to the degree it inter-operates seamlessly with the tools and technologies they already use. Does it work on their personal tablet or smartphone? Does it play nicely with standard office applications and communications systems, such as email programs, calendars, and scheduling tools? If it weaves seamlessly into employees’ daily workflow, it’s more likely to become a central element of their activities.
Most people don’t work well within a vacuum, and most organizations depend on the interdependence of their employees. Collaboration is how work gets done – and your digital workplace should provide a framework for it to happen easily and effectively. The ability to organize workgroups, laterally share information and documents, and work collaboratively on shared projects enables employees to leverage each other’s strengths and accelerate project progress.
Smart Social Integration
Your employees can provide a powerful means of magnifying your company’s message through their personal social media channels. Enabling social sharing in your digital workplace allows your employees to share selected content with their own network and extend your message’s reach.
Smart Teamworking Functionality
Enabling employees to create team groups for dedicated projects, concepts, or initiatives – with appropriate administrative oversight – is a powerful way to unlock individual initiative and foster effective collaboration.
Chances are that your employees already share the common goal of working as productively and efficiently as possible. Given the right consideration and the right functionality, your digital workplace solution can make it happen.
Red Level develops and deploys flexible, customizable, smart digital workplace solutions for companies of all sizes using the award-winning Valo Intranet platform. For more information, request your free demo today!