The following is a guest post by Cameron Nouri, Director of Growth at Pingboard.
In almost every facet of life, digital technology influences the way people work and interact with each other and the world. Likewise, in the workplace, digital tools are shaping the way individuals collaborate, share ideas, and perform everyday tasks.
In a global survey of business leaders, respondents attributed a 67 percent increase in productivity and a 53 percent increase in employee engagement to digital workplace tools. As employees increasingly work in remote locations or on flexible schedules, and as organizations become more complex, matrixed, and global, the workplace will increasingly rely on the digital tools and solutions that bring people together and keep them productive and engaged.
Igloo is helping companies move beyond a traditional intranet to a digital destination that brings people and resources together to overcome critical challenges—and cultivate a strong corporate culture. Here are 4 lessons for building a successful digital workplace that enhances the work lives of employees:
Internal Social Networks Drive Employee Productivity and Engagement
Social media is a favorite tool for most Americans, with 70 percent using it. In the digital workplace, internal social networks provide a valuable outlet for employees and teams to connect with each other and build relationships. In fact, Igloo’s 2018 State of Social Media in the Workplace survey found, more than two-thirds of employees said they’re connected with coworkers on social media.
Workplace social networks also provide opportunities for employees to identify and solve problems and share ideas, which can improve productivity. For example, one study found that 72 percent of organizations use internal social technology, and by encouraging greater use among employees, organizations can increase employee productivity by 20–25 percent.
Social networks in the workplace give employees a creative outlet for sharing their work experiences, help build a sense of community, and increase engagement. As an example, one company uses social media to encourage employees to tell its brand story and attract job candidates.
A Digital Workplace Helps Teams Collaborate
Research has shown that when collaboration exists throughout the organization, there are positive benefits for employee engagement and company profitability. A digital workplace helps employees collaborate, strengthen teams, and improve information sharing. Such tools are particularly helpful for teams with remote workers who need an alternative to face-to-face meetings.
Millennials—projected to be the largest generation in the workforce by 2025—are already more inclined to use digital tools to collaborate. According to one study, 73 percent of millennials cite the value of virtual sharing tools in helping them collaborate more with remote colleagues.
Project management and task functionality, instant messaging, workflow management, file sharing and document management and collaboration can help employees share project updates, brainstorm new business ideas, and provide input on each other’s work, helping to drive improved communication and a culture of collaboration. However, unless these apps (or features) are consolidated into a unified project room that is part of the digital workplace, organizations risk creating data silos and miss opportunities for long-term knowledge management.
Digital Gamification Makes Work Fun and Improves Performance
The use of recognition, rewards, and a bit of healthy competition can uniquely motivate employees. Awards, badges, and point systems—all possible components of gamification in the digital workplace—can inspire employees to perform at a higher level. According to one study, 91 percent of employees reported that using game-based motivation at work improved their work experience, citing improved engagement and productivity as the top benefits.
Gamification enhances the digital workplace in a variety of ways. For example:
- Learning and development: One company used a system of digital badges and status symbols to increase the number of employees using their online training site by 46 percent.
- Rewards: As an example, a points and bonus system can motivate customer service employees to resolve client issues at a faster pace.
- Motivating sales staff: A digital leaderboard that reflects sales volume and rewards top performers encourages healthy competition between salespeople.
- Onboarding and building a sense of community: Organization chart games help employees and new hires remember the names of their coworkers.
Digital Tools Help Improve Efficiency in The Workplace
Like with other aspects of life, digital tools in the workplace can make work more efficient. They help employees find and share information and identify new, faster ways of getting work done. Some examples include:
- AI technology and chatbots that answer questions about workplace policies and show employees where to find the answers to commonly asked questions.
- Live org charts that focus more on the individuals in the org chart than
their place in the hierarchy.
- IoT tools that automatically tell employees how to contact a coworker who’s not at their desk, as well as identifying which employees are out of the office
- BYOD (bring your own device) policies that let employees use their preferred technology at work. One study found that such programs save employees on average 58 minutes a week and translate to a 34 percent increase in productivity.
Many components make for a successful digital workplace – from collaboration tools that bring teams together to gamified technology that motivates and engages employees. It really depends on the specific business challenge you want to tackle as any digital workplace deployment should ideally be purpose-built. With this in mind, employees can leverage their digital workplace to help them be more productive and feel more engaged and motivated at work. When all these digital tools can be conveniently accessed from a single destination that allows employees to innovate and get their jobs done more efficiently, both employees and companies benefit.
Cameron Nouri is the Director of Growth at Pingboard. At Pingboard he focuses on helping organizations transform the way they organize and plan for their most important asset, their people. Learn more about Pingboard solutions at https://pingboard.com