LaToya V Smith - CEO
Do It Right or Not At All!
Today, an IT platform needs to be robust and provide your organization with solutions rather than additional challenges! And as today’s workforce moves away from the desk in the main office and begins to span multiple cities, states and even countries, unifying your workforce has never been more important.
Do you want happy employees?
An employee’s experience is influenced by their work environment, the tasks they perform and the technology they use, as well as how they perceive their employer’s commitment to their health and well-being. Technology that’s outdated and/or irrelevant diminishes positive employee experience and their perspective about the employer and becomes an obstacle to unifying the workforce. Why? Because employees interpret outdated technology as an employer’s lack of concern for operational efficiency and employee development. Ask yourself this: If given the choice, would you have continued to work for Blackberry or AOL when you could have made the jump to Apple or Google? Of course not!
The word of the day is: Communication!
The key to workforce unification is communication (i.e. the transfer of data)! This includes messaging, access to documentation and sharing information. For every employee, communication is the first, last and most revisited “task” of the day. Think about it, when you unlock your computer, tablet or smartphone, what is the first thing you review? Text messages, emails, documents or feeds; correct? And how often do you check one or more of these items throughout your workday? How many times each hour?
Your IT platform has to ensure seamless, synchronous and reliable communication at every level of your organization. Fluid communication reinforces employee engagement; this is especially true for the millennial generation and this trend will continue for each upcoming generation to enter the workforce.
Introduce > Train > Implement > Review > Repeat
Today’s employee wants quick, effective and simple tools and technology! And when its lacking, that poor performance goes hand-in-hand with knowledge, communication and performance gaps throughout the organization’s workforce. End-user training and/or technical proficiency with organizational technology/platforms is key to ensuring user friendliness; and leadership must ensure this is the case. Failure to provide effective and relevant employee training will most certainly lead to low employee satisfaction and poor employee retention; is it really worth the risk?
Its Mobile or Bust!
Virtually every member of your organization will have a smartphone and/or tablet on hand for the majority of their workday; ensure that your platform will help them to remain engaged with different aspects of the company. Staying abreast of what’s going has become a necessity in today’s social and business environments. Access to email, calendars, HR services, training and company news sites will help to keep employees attuned with what’s going on at the office and throughout the organization.
And before you say, we don’t need a mobile platform, think again! Even if it’s not universal, employees like the convenience of this level of access, functionality and growing features. This is also a growing demand from your customer base. Costumers want to know how they can connect with you, access their account records and important documentation on-demand; and without having to speak to a representative or wait for normal business hours. Customers are also looking for mobile access that provides the same options and capabilities as desktop access.
Is that your final answer?
So, if your go-to approach for your organization’s IT platform is to implement and walk away, you may want to invest in robust marketing and employee recruiting initiatives… you’re going to need it!
But if you’re ready to beef-up your approach and align your business goals with your use of technology platforms, here are a few steps to get you started:
Conduct an IT Audit
Analyze your audit findings and pinpoint the problem areas
Prioritize the problem areas and identify your primary goal(s)
Create a strategy with a timeline and milestones
Identify internal and external KPIs to measure effectiveness and progress
Implement measures to ensure accountability
Implement the systems and assign personnel to support the effort
Review KPIs for effectiveness and progress
Adjust as needed to align goals and repeat the process
As your organization changes and grows, so will your business goals, employee needs and customer demands. This process will help you stay ahead of your technological needs, maintain a pathway for innovation and ensure your organization remains relevant.