How to Drive Innovation With the Help of a Digital Workplace

Innovation is the key to economic success. It supports new, exciting ideas and has far-reaching, society-changing results. Innovation is constantly happening, with novel technologies and concepts springing up every year.

innovation in the digital workplace

One such concept that is gaining popularity is the development of the “digital workplace.” The labor market hasn’t seen such a monumental shift in the workplace since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. Let’s delve into the subject and see how organizations can drive innovation to reshape the workplace.

 

What is the digital workplace?

The definition of the workplace has transformed throughout the ages. In agrarian, pre-industrial society, the farm was the most common type of physical workplace. Then in the mid-1700s, this definition changed, and your workplace was likely a factory or other place of business. This remained largely the case until the computer revolution of the 1980s. Work in the Western part of the world shifted from the physical production of goods into a more knowledge-based, consumer economy. This is the genesis of the digital workplace.

Today, modern technology is commonplace within every industry, and the concept of the digital workplace has become more important. The digital workplace has evolved into an all-encompassing term that defines a company’s technological tools and services that it employs for its workers so they can perform essential job functions. Truly innovative digital workplaces have the ability to:

  • Increase productivity by giving employees access to the right collaboration tools and information for the task at hand.
  • Enhance employee experience and engagement throughout the company.
  • Help companies attract and retain the best talent.
  • Support virtualized work environments that are secure and offer superior flexibility to employees.

Besides these main benefits, the right digital workplace can keep your business competitive and profitable in the always-evolving marketplace. One of the most popular ways to enhance an organization’s digital workplace is to implement a fully-featured, modern corporate intranet.

Intranets have been around since the dawn of networking, but they have often been utilitarian and difficult to navigate. Nowadays, there are solutions such as a social collaborative intranet that provides a central hub with an elegant, easy-to-navigate user interface that presents pertinent company information to targeted user groups. This lets employees see what they need without being bombarded with information.

Through the use of social media-inspired tools and seamless integrations with many work communication applications such as G Suite and Office 365, solutions like a social collaborative intranet can upgrade your digital workplace and allow for an enhanced connection amongst your employees.

Why is innovation important?

Innovative ideas solve problems in novel ways. They both drive change and can address the issues caused by it. According to a recent survey, 80% of executives are afraid their business models will be disrupted in the future. If you want your organization to be able to withstand changes to the current business model, innovation is key.

Innovative solutions can also keep you ahead of the curve and help prevent your competitors from outpacing you. This is why the same survey claims 84% of those leaders see innovation as an “essential growth strategy.”

However, only 6% are happy with their innovation performance. As such, while innovation is obviously a crucial consideration, there aren’t many companies that are doing it right. In fact, according to PwC, 72% of executives don’t feel like they are ahead of their competition in regard to innovation. This needs to change if you don’t want to be left behind while others use digital workplaces that offer the strategic advantages listed above.

Steps to support innovation

You can support innovation in your business by adhering to the following framework.

1. Aspire

The first step toward fostering successful innovation is simple: Aspire to be innovative. Motivate your leadership team to support and grow innovative processes. However, don’t just pay lip service to the concept. Get executives on board to provide the resources necessary to stimulate real innovation.

Essentially, you can’t expect innovation to appear out of thin air. It has to be nurtured and cultivated. Employees must feel empowered to drive change. If you want to improve your digital workplace, give your team impassioned reasons as to why it’s so critical.

Innovative ideas in the workplace

2. Observe

Now you need hard data to back up your innovation projects. This means observing the activities of your customers and employees. See where common issues crop up and how they are hurting the company. Perhaps a majority of employees aren’t able to efficiently navigate your current technological systems, causing customer service or administrative problems. If that’s the case, you need to understand exactly what issues you have before you can hope to fix them.

3. Generate

Once you have the full picture as to what and where the trouble spots are, you must then come up with the ideas to address them. Solicit solutions from your IT department and other innovative teams. If a non-technical team has an idea that seems plausible, run it by the IT department to get a more in-depth analysis of its feasibility.

4. Select

You may now have a list of achievable suggestions that is pretty long. Unfortunately, your resources may be limited and consequently, not all of those suggestions are likely to be implemented. If that’s the situation at your company, evaluate which ideas will have the largest positive impact. Additionally, during this screening process, it’s important to follow up with the people who suggested the ideas that did not make the cut and inform them as to your reasons. This keeps employees in the loop and lets them know that they aren’t being ignored.

5. Implement

This is where new ideas are executed and put into operating procedures. It doesn’t have to be rolled out company-wide, especially if the change is large. To start the process, you can do A/B testing or team-specific rollouts to test feedback. You can then tailor the wider rollout with responses to common reactions, allowing for a smoother, less stressful process.

6. Listen

Once an innovation sees widespread adoption, there is likely to be a lot of feedback. Gather it and make changes where applicable. Within your digital workplace, solutions like a social intranet offer various communication channels, such as surveys, to streamline your process and gather these results more efficiently. Additionally, remember that not every little concern will require a measured response, but if you receive the same feedback over and over, you know where your problem areas lie.

 

These steps for implementing innovation can make a disruption to your business model much more manageable. The process itself is aided through the use of a digital workplace that emphasizes communication and collaboration, and is more likely to foster innovation. When ideas and information are free-flowing and easy to access from anywhere, innovation is a natural consequence. Set your organization up to meet the challenges of the future by adopting a robust digital workplace that uses solutions such as a social intranet.

Author

Asya Stamenova
Brand Content Writer

Category

Digital Workplace

Technology & Innovation

Published on

August 4, 2020