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Unfulfilled Promises Of A Digital Workplace

January 27, 2017
Written by Bloomfire Admin

The promise of the digital workplace seemed clear: spend more on technology and your workforce gains productivity. However, over the last 10 years, this relationship has gotten out of whack. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, increased technology spending hasn’t been impacting productivity growth the way it once did. Why? It seems we’ve been neglecting some pretty basic questions each time we add to our tech stack.

Sure, you may have seen some minimal improvements with each change, but are the benefits worth the investment? If customer support staff are no longer using the technology introduced to crowdsource customer questions, the sales team isn’t abreast of the latest features and product updates, and time to market isn’t improving, we might have your answer…

Your organization is relying too much on the technology itself. A successful digital workplace is supported by the right technology, but considers guidance and strategy around the technology just as important to the success of the implementation. Here are three reasons businesses don’t see the benefits of their investment in technology  and some tips to address each one:

1. The Purpose Isn’t Clear to everyone

According to the Altimeter Group, 88% of companies report they’re undergoing a digital transformation, but only 25% have a clear understanding of what that means. Typically,  leadership is informed of updates during the implementation process, but the launch consists of maybe one formal training, focused heavily on the technology, and then team leads take it from there. That’s it. And that doesn’t inspire usage. Does your company as a whole understand the benefits of a digital workplace? Does everyone understand why the change is necessary? Do they understand how the technology picked will contribute to the end goals?

Tips To Fix:

  • Make sure every single employee, from executives to users, understands why this change is necessary, and how it will benefit them specifically.
  • Conduct a re-launch with a select few members of your team. Gain their feedback before and after the re-launch.
  • Work with the marketing team to create materials to generate buzz and plan a fun relaunch! The introduction of new technology isn’t exactly a day at the amusement park… So spice it up!

2. Poor Change Management After The Launch

Maybe the launch was a hit, but engagement began to drop shortly after the launch. Digital transformation isn’t a one-off tactic that is done after employees have access to the technology. It’s a cultural movement and the technology needs to be continuously discussed and reintroduced.

Tips To Fix:

  • Regular meetings and follow up trainings are invaluable.  Employees need be able to continuously ask questions, be reminded of best practices, give feedback, and discuss changes that need to be made.
  • Incorporate the platform into your everyday meetings. If your platform has a Q&A feature, consider having employees post questions prior to a meeting, so they are engaging with the platform on a regular basis.
  • Make sure executives are still advocating for the technology, and using it. Executives should post videos and news, and respond to comments and questions.

3. You Built The Tool Around Old Processes

Another common reason companies don’t see the benefits of their investment is that the technology was set-up based on pre existing, inefficient processes. Companies who see the most benefit from technology, allow it to be a catalyst for change. For example IMB, an early adapter of the digital workplace, advised creating and integrating digital operations as the first step on a strategic path to digital transformation.

Tips To Fix:

  • Let’s take a step back. Think about how the digital work place can change existing processes? What will it enable your business to do? What do you want it to enable them to do? Think about how the technology is supposed to help people work today and in the future.
  • Assess the structural setup of the technology and if it doesn’t match your digital workplace vision, change it (assuming it’s flexible).
  • Regularly review search reports to understand what employees need out of the technology and make sure that what they need is available.

Don’t be discouraged if you see this last step reemerged. One of our clients has been using Bloomfire for almost a year. And they discovered the way they set up categories (a foundational bucketing system in the technology) no longer fit the way users wanted to access information. So we’re working together to plan how we want to change it. Your business will change, the culture will change and processes will change. So it only makes sense you will have to rethink how can you can improve the digital workplace and tweak the technology to assist that strategy. At the end of the day the reason you’re not seeing all the benefits of the digital workplace may be because you don’t have the right technology in place. Or maybe you’re not effectively using the technology you have. The best technology in the world won’t work without proper set-up and maintenance. Follow these tips to ensure your technology serves you well.

Harness The Power Of Knowledge Sharing With Digital Transformation

Companies that grasp what the digital workplace is really all about are willing to change the ways people and applications connect across their organizations. By fostering a digitally driven culture of collaboration, they break down silos, share knowledge more effectively, and compete more successfully.

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