The Digital and Social Workplace: Driving a Happy and Engaged Workforce

Virgin Richard BransonSir Richard Branson could not have said it better: ‘Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to’.

Is this true for your business? If the answer is not an unequivocal, no, or if you hesitated in answer this question, then perhaps it’s time you consider a new approach?

The digital age has brought about many challenges for businesses across the board and while many choose to ignore the many rapid changes and continue business as normal, smart businesses have turned to modern technology to drive a social enterprise strategy thereby embracing the social age and are deploying new digital workplace technology that creates a positive climate resulting in driving a great culture in the organisation through enterprise social collaboration and networking.

So, how is this relevant to Branson’s quote above?

It’s quite simple actually –  the social enterprise engages its workforce, gives the workforce a voice, involves them in every aspect of the business, create a platform for them to sharing ideas, opinions and views, and to collaborate on projects, and ultimately drives a communities effort. This ultimately leads to creating a belonging for your staff to the organisation and will result in employee loyalty. Of course, many other factors need to be considered as well but this may be a very good place to start.

Still feel your command and control leadership style works best and we can continue to ignore the many changes that are happening all around your business?
The developments in digital workplace technology have brought about massive benefits for the enterprise which I would like to share. In a follow up post, I will discuss ten of these benefits that will hopefully convince you to explore social enterprise technology a little further. The sooner you embrace this new form of working the better, it will not go away.


Your Intranet: An information dump?

Information DumpI recently attended a course at Warwick Business School where I’ve had the privilege of ‘touring online’ and seeing examples of quite a few intranet solutions of many well known organisations. It was indeed an eye opener. There were fewer great intranets with employee engagement at the core of the solution than there were intranets that appeared to be nothing more than a one-way data repository or information dump than anything else. On some of these ‘tours’ I felt a bit like sitting through an awfully long company policy induction session of a financial services organisation. One of the interesting trends is  ‘The message from our CEO’ that has become very prominent of late, boldly displayed on the main intranet page. But there was something missing. Comment features had been disabled or removed so as to prevent employees from commenting on any posts by the CEO and where this was not the case, I was told, ‘the comments you do see have all been moderated and anything in disagreement with the CEO has been removed’.  Come on now, where is the fun in that? What happened to employee engagement and giving the employee a voice?

The real purpose of your intranet solution ought to be to provide the employee across any function and on any level, with a single one-stop-shop solution that will allow the employee to obtain any information he/she may need, anywhere and at any given point in time, a platform where employees can engage with one another, with management and share ideas and views. It should also be a place where we can collaborate, connect and play an active part in the organisation.

Orgnisations are realising how powerful enterprise networking and collaboration software, systems and tools have become, and many are now integrating these tools in the intranet solution to drive business objectives, provide the employee with a better experience, and a better way of working. Such a fully integrated intranet solution with applications designed around the needs of your employees drives a climate that will stimulate employee involvement and collaboration. If anything, it will drive the desired culture in your organisation.

It would be good to hear your comments. What do you think of your intranet solution?