Four Key Factors to Consider while Designing a Digital Workplace
We have all realized that the industrial world is changing and the strategies that kept the enterprises ahead earlier no longer seem to work. New rules are gradually replacing the old methods of functioning in all the areas of an organization. Structural hierarchies are being replaced with highly transparent networks with agile, and power teams empowered to act on the business priorities. Employees are armored with the flexibility of learning new skills easily on their terms increasing the skill inventory of organizations at a faster pace.
New rules are established in bringing social analytics, networks, and cognitive technology to the advantage of businesses. Not only digital workplaces are created, but digital work forces are emerging to be the compelling forces to change how people relate to each other at work and the way they work. Analytics is used in all areas of business like operations, management, talent acquisition, human resources, finances, and virtually all fields to transform the operational philosophy of enterprises. In all the areas of business the emphasis is on optimizing the output and the organizations those replace traditional hierarchies with more efficient networks and teams are forging ahead in the competition.
Performance management has also evolved from yearly appraisals to continuous feedback and coaching. The challenge of diversity is more efficiently managed as there is more focus on accountability, transparency, and data collection, and collation. The benefits that accrue from this new order is the genesis of a new a breed of leaders who are digitally savvy, equipped to thrive better in a rapidly changing environment.
For designing a digital workplace, there are no hard and fast rules, but there are of course best practices to follow. Every organization is unique with a defined set of requirements and a culture which necessitates its digital needs to be identified. Every digital workplace framework has four operational layers which are discussed in detail below. A broad understanding of these layers would help identify the needs of a digital workplace.
Technology is undeniably the enabler for any digital workplace to transform the existing methods into a new and a better way of doing business. The industry and the business needs will determine the tools and technologies to be deployed to speed up existing processes for a better customer experience and enable knowledge sharing across the organization.
Although the digital tools you deploy should help the employees to do their jobs better, the tools may vary depending on the industry and the job functions. Essentially, the business strategies and the objectives of the digital workplace initiative will determine the tools that you would include in your digital toolbox. Examine each business process minutely and attempt to find out the bottlenecks. Try to find out any missed opportunities between each step. Assess whether the transition from one process to the next is smooth. Ascertain whether the right information is transferred to the next work group. Finding a remedy to these issues would help you identify the tools you require.
These tools should support the day-to-day delivery services your business handles along with improvement in the processes of how you connect, communicate and collaborate. The organizations should implement the digital workplace tools to break the silos which help in building up a holistic digital workplace strategy. This means that a digital workplace strategy should be formulated in advance which helps in streamlining the business processes for a better customer experience. The present capabilities should be assessed to cull out a more effective information dissemination strategy for you to identify the tools that you need the most.
The effectiveness of the use of technology is governed by the underpinnings of the control mechanism. This essentially means that the appropriate management practices support the digital workplace which handles aspects like risks and compliance in different business processes. Apart from building a digital workplace strategy the challenges, the organization may face after the digitization has to be anticipated in advance in the areas like overall governance, risks, and compliance. The best practice is to formulate a governance model which supports connectivity, communication, and collaboration, yet which are compliant and helps in mitigating risk.
The effectiveness of the digital workplace governance lies in managing the components of it well. The real essence of digital workplace lies in translating the business goals through effective digital processes. It means the digital workplace strategy should align with your enterprise’s existing information management infrastructure helping to add value to the current processes. The key stakeholders of every process should be identified to create a sustainable interaction model. The governance model along with the metrics of measurement should be pre-defined. The employees should have the prior training and qualification to harness the power of the digital workplace and use it to their advantage. There should also be enough support mechanism for the efficient functioning of the underlying technology.
Risk mitigation and assessing the need for compliance is another important aspect to be considered. Ascertain the information to be shared and with whom. Apart from technical training, empower the employees with policy training, detailing the type of information they should share or refrain from sharing in a digital workplace. The different channels that disseminate differing sets of information should be organized within the digital workplace. Ascertain the redressal mechanism of any crisis and ensure that in the occurrence of a crisis the required steps are taken quickly maintaining optimum transparency.
The essence of a digital workplace lies in the ability of the employees to collaborate, communicate, and connect with themselves and others for doing their jobs better. The enhanced ability to connect, collaborate and communicate empowers knowledge sharing throughout the organization building more productive work groups.
The fact that any organization’s culture defines how the employees work and behave in their workplace is universal. The culture of the organizations and its interplay with the employees drives organizational success or failure. This inevitably means the culture is the deciding factor in how the employees would leverage the digital workplace to communicate and collaborate among themselves. Thus knowing how the employees prefer to communicate and work with each other is the key to formulate a change management plan that addresses the digital workplace strategy. By fostering a governed cultural change through the technological interventions the connection, communication, and collaboration between employees can improve and steer the organization towards the generation of enhanced business value.
The bottom line is, collaboration among the employees should help them in solving business problems and operate more productively. The sharing of knowledge, data, and information across the organization should enhance the capability of the organization, on the whole, increasing the workers’ ability to work collectively. The communication between parties should ensure that the right information reaches the right audience at the right time delivering enhanced business value with improved customer satisfaction.
Core Business Drivers
The functioning of the digital workplace should enhance the primary business drivers that add value to your business. This would ensure that the direction of the digital workplace is in tandem with the desired goals of your business. The benefits accrued out of the digital transformation should be measurable regarding the value it adds to the business. The digital workplace helps in building communities with a common interest and assists employees to collaborate in ways that drive knowledge management and dissemination of information delivering measurable business value. For any organization to take advantage of these benefits, the digital workplace has to address the existing business challenges in providing value to the business.
To achieve enhanced business value the tools, applications, and technologies should enable employees to identify avenues to cross sell and up-sell. The new processes should help in eliminating idle time and travel time and introduce effective means to meet the objectives virtually. The employees should be supplied with tools and technologies that help to enhance innovation, conduct research and deliver new products and services quickly. The information exchange should enable employees to deliver a better customer experience and help them to serve customers better. Identify tools and technologies that help employees to be more productive and motivated at work enabling them to execute business process more efficiently than before. Strengthen the ways for talent acquisition, development, and retention by improving employee experience through the design of digital workplace strategy and execution.
- Technology is undeniably the enabler for any digital workplace to transform the existing methods into a new and a better way of doing business.
- The digital workplace strategy should be aligned with your enterprise’s existing information management infrastructure helping to add value to the current processes.
- The bottom line is, collaboration among the employees should help them in solving business problems and operate more productively.
- Identify tools and technologies that help employees to be more productive and motivated at work enabling them to execute business process more efficiently than before.