Transform Employee Experience by Empowering Workers as Collaborators
A quick Google search depicts employee experience as a predominant corporate priority, yet research shows not enough companies are seriously pursuing it. A 2017 Deloitte study, for example, found that 59% of companies are not ready or only somewhat ready to address the employee experience challenge.
The fact is new preferences, behaviors, and expectations have radically changed how people and companies now work. Consider that three times as many companies offer telework today compared to 1996, or that 55% have increased their use of collaboration apps over the past 12 months. More than 70% of employees now want their employer to provide them with the same level of technology they use in their personal lives (61% of U.S. employees and 81% of millennials feel their work and personal lives are blending more).
Executives risk up to $550 billion in annual profit loss if they fail to keep up with these expectations. It’s a loss so great that global leaders like Amazon are offering less-than-happy workers up to $5k just to quit. Loyalty can no longer be bought with benefits and tenures but must be earned by helping employees work more seamlessly and purposefully. For as tirelessly as companies work to vet the right people, they must now work to innovate and differentiate employee experience. Crucial to this is creating a collaboration environment that flexibly fits how employees work.
Employees Can’t Achieve Greatness If We Don’t Let Them
Research from Gallup shows that 70% of U.S. workers are either not engaged or actively disengaged (intentionally checking out). In other words, only 30% of workers are actually driving U.S. organizations forward. Imagine the astronomical impact of improved engagement across the board: Higher profitability, productivity, and customer engagement. Lower turnover, absenteeism, and human error.
Yet employees can’t improve—let alone innovate or disrupt—if their employers don’t enable them to. As enterprises apply digital transformation strategies to improve customer experience, they must digitally reshape the communication and collaboration processes on which employees rely. This should include, for example, any-device access to ongoing records of team communications, persistence in messaging, and integrated document management and task assignment.
Employers have a responsibility to ensure expectations for employee experience line up with perceived, actual experiences. So, is your organization ready? Ask yourself:
- Do you, or are you working to, provide employees with collaboration tools that are highly relevant to how they work in today’s digital era?
- Have you simplified communications by allowing users to naturally and contextually engage, when and where they need to?
- Do you enable mobile-first collaboration? For example, do you support mobile workers with a customizable dashboard in which meetings, messages, and communications history can be easily accessed?
- How well do you deliver transparent, user-defined experiences that meet exact needs and circumstances?
- Almost half of companies use six or more collaboration apps spread across their enterprise. Do you allow employees to seamlessly collaborate using preferred communication tools, or are they realizing only a subset of benefits from their technologies?
Collaborators versus Workers
Employees yearn to use their ingenuity to arrive at extraordinary customer and business outcomes. To do this, however, they must be empowered as true collaborators capable of innovating and disrupting. Employers have a golden opportunity at their fingertips. They can either fan this flame to accelerate profits, value, and quality of service—or douse it.
So much now hangs in the balance of employee experience. Companies must respond by enabling seamless, intelligent, user-defined collaboration designed to maximize engagement, productivity, and overall results. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, where I’ll explore how three key verticals can specifically improve employee experience with next-gen collaboration.