5 Essential Steps for Your Digital Workplace Strategy
An understanding of the purpose, tools and best practices of the digital workplace is essential to creating an effective digital workplace strategy. It is even more mission-critical to provide the flexibility and mobility to our global employees, as today people work more and more from home, in the field or even on-the-go. After completing the following five steps, you’ll be ready to unleash the power of a digital workplace in your organization and ensure maximum productivity from your employees, no matter where they are.
1. Understand Digital Workplace Strategy
The digital workplace is the sum of all technologies that your employees use for work, from HR and CRM applications to email. Most organizations already use a variety of digital tools to get work done, which makes it easier to develop a more effective digital workplace environment. In fact, developing a concrete digital workplace transformation strategy has helped many organizations to see measurable returns from their efforts to modernize the office.
So, what is a digital workplace strategy? When building a digital workplace strategy you should consider the following four layers: employees, technology, controls and business goals. An effective strategy combines all four of these layers in a way that increases employee productivity, satisfaction, retention and communication.
2. Define Your Vision
Without a clear vision, you might find yourself investing in new technologies and platforms that fail to benefit your organization in the long run. To achieve positive results, your digital workplace vision needs to align with your business goals.
So, how can you define your vision for the digital workplace? First, make sure you have a clear reason for wanting to overhaul your work environment, like increasing employee engagement and productivity. Then work closely with your stakeholders, including managers and directors, to shape a plan and execute it.
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3. Make Your Blueprint
Establishing a blueprint, or road map, for your digital workplace initiative will enable all departments in your organization to work together in a coordinated effort to achieve business goals. Additionally, involving all departments will ensure that all employees have a chance to be a part of the process, which can significantly improve the effectiveness of the initiative.
So, how can you establish a blueprint for your new digital workplace strategy? Ask each department, including research and development, marketing, sales, customer support, manufacturing, HR and IT the following questions:
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4. Build Your Toolbox
A digital workplace toolbox includes all the tools and technologies that employees need to get their jobs done. Remember, though, you can only build an effective toolbox if you’ve already defined your vision of the ideal digital workplace. Otherwise, new tools may only benefit certain departments or groups – or worse, no one at all.
So, what should you include in your digital workplace toolbox? In most organizations, digital tools will fall into eight broad categories, each of which supports business goals in a unique way:
Messaging, which provides rapid communication: email, instant messaging, micro-blogging, mobile messaging.
Productivity, which enables employees to work efficiently: word processors, spreadsheet software, calculators, presentation software.
Collaboration, which enables employees to work together: wikis, web conferencing, communities, team rooms.
Communication, which supports internal publishing and information sharing: blogs, intranet platforms, portals, personalized homepage.
Business applications, which allows employees to access self-service applications online: ERP, CRM, HR systems, expense claims.
Crowdsourcing, which enables the organization to gather employee feedback and ideas: polling, forums, surveys.
Connectivity, which makes it easy to locate experts and co-workers across an organization: employee directory, organization chart.
Mobility, which enables remote work: laptop, smartphone, home office, remote scanners.
5. Implement Best Practices
Before executing any sweeping changes in your organization, you need to resolve any potential governance, risk and compliance issues that may arise with the adoption of new technologies. An ideal governance model will maximize connectivity and collaboration while mitigating risks.
So, how can you implement digital workplace best practices? Make sure you have these four elements in place:
Information monitoring, which allows you to analyze potential risks to your organization’s reputation, productivity or confidential information.
Policy training, which educates employees on how to handle private information and how to avoid damaging your organizational brand.
Orchestrated presence, which provides a unified communication model for an organization and prevents isolated groups from forming.
Crisis management, which allows an organization to respond quickly to a crisis situation.
Once you have those elements established, you’re ready to begin using your new digital workplace.
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