Jim Steinlage, President & CEO Choice Solutions
A well-designed, well-disciplined digital workplace brings a wealth of benefits, but organizations must do much more than simply invest in the technology of the day. They need to take inventory on the needs of their workers whose most important job is satisfying their customers.
Enabling workers to do their best work does require digital tools and technologies that enhance the employee experience (EX). While many companies are working hard and spending money to keep pace with a rapidly evolving digital transformation, they are often floundering by not being as advanced, strategic, or aligned as they could be regarding EX.
Transforming Workplace Culture
Innovation and business results starts with workplace culture. Creating a strong culture was much easier in the past when employees were concentrated in a central physical location and had their individual departments. Today, teams are dispersed across departments, towns, cities, states, and countries. As a result, organizations are finding it necessary to rethink how they foster culture and team connections.
Work communication is one of the greatest areas where employees say they need better support and tools from leadership. Common complaints include:
- Not receiving replies quickly enough.
- Information not being shared properly throughout the organization.
- A lack of transparency with respect to how decisions are made.
- There are too many communication tools implemented with no singular integration.
Remote access with flexibility and efficiency are essential to satisfying the EX. Organizations must continue to develop new ways to keep workers engaged, particularly when they are not physically present in the workspace.
Collaboration and digital technologies are reshaping where, when, and how work is done. As the who and what of work evolves, so does the workplace. The advent of digital communication has made physical proximity unnecessary for workers to effectively collaborate and has instead created a great opportunity for more distributed teams to successfully work from locations besides the office. It will be essential for organizations to meet the demands of fulfilling the workspace talent shortage in the future.
Organizations can now consider the workplace in ways that not so long ago were unthinkable. Traditional centralized workplaces are now being replaced with new organizational structures that leverage flexibility and virtual interactions.
Digital Transformation has less to do with technological innovation and more to do with how people use that technology. Automation, AI, and robotics are advancing quickly, changing the nature of work and how people perform it. That rapid change also brings uncertainty, and the results are impossible to predict. Making change decisions based on openness and flexibility on what is known, and having the ability to adapt as new technologies emerge is what will determine organizations competitive edge in future of work.
On Track to a Better Way to Work
What the future of work ultimately looks like is by no means a forgone conclusion and organizations will need to continually find ways to use technology to not only drive efficiency, do more with less, reduce cost but to recruit and retain talent by bringing value to EX.
One thing is for sure, it will require collaboration between IT and HR. In many ways the “future” is already here. Real change will likely require making massive leaps rather than incremental steps from where your organization is today. Don’t overlook the value of your workers because they are the driving force behind your success.