Emerging technology trends like AI, VR and Automation are forcing leaders to ask the necessary question of how they are adapting to and taking advantage of an ever-changing evolution of technology amidst new generations entering the workforce.
The round table discussions of executive teams are not about tools, features and value adds. Instead their concerns often center on employee engagement, employee happiness, customer retention, marketplace position, competitive advantages, and shareholder interest. This however, is only scratching the surface. As we look at technology, the same question continues to bubble to the top at the end of any meeting: What is the ROI?
More importantly, what’s the risk of doing nothing?
Strategy. It is such a small word and yet, it can have rippling effects within an organization. Typically, strategies are developed in 3-5-year segments, with quarterly or bi-annual reviews. The corporate strategy sets the stage for where, what, and who an organization is targeting, offering and vertically integrating. If you were to poll your executive or senior management team, I would hope they could answer these simple questions. However, consider the administration, your accounts receivable, the clerks, attendants, foremen or others in the organization – would they have the same confidence in understanding the vision and strategy of your organization?
When we add this lens to Workplace, it’s no longer a tool in your human resource or internal communications tool kit. Workplace is how you engage, align and enable your people to understand, see, hear and feel first-hand the strategy of the organization and its goals. You are making them part of something larger than the role they have been hired to do. Who wouldn’t want to feel that level of engagement at their job?
Imagine the feedback and the positive sentiments, when people on your team who have never before engaged with leadership outside their respective circle are suddenly ‘in the know’. Workplace brings the breadth of your organization’s information, talent, and capabilities or challenges to life. Even more importantly, you are saying to your people ‘You matter’, and, as a leadership team, you are sending the message of real transparency.
In our fast-paced global society where technology is changing by the nanosecond, gazelle organizations are creating safe spaces for employees to share knowledge, resources, customer feedback, problems, and solutions. The creation of these environments are not by accident; it’s intentional and deliberate on the part of leadership.
People are often your single biggest expense and investment. Keeping your investment safe and (let’s be blunt) capitalizing on it through knowledge-sharing has been the secret sauce of many start-ups. You might think: Yes, that’s wonderful, they’re a startup of 20 people, so they have the luxury. However, we call bullsh*t on that statement. We have seen, over and over again, how organizations like Virgin Atlantic, Canadian Tire (PartCon), and Campbell Soup, with decades of experience in the market turn their struggling industries or internal decay of morale 180 degrees with start-up agility by leveraging Workplace. How?
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you will end up somewhere else.”
Yogi Berra’s famous quote resonates with hundreds of organizations who are titanic in size and struggle to be agile, especially when it comes to connection and organizational alignment. When organizations have clear strategies and, more importantly, a mechanism of sharing the strategy, from executive to the newest hired employee, outcomes become more desirable and misalignment less frequent.
When we are presented with new ideas, context is almost always the vital piece to bringing a concept, idea or process full circle. In the absence of context, people will create their own context, which may not align with your vision, strategy or goals. This is where perspective comes in.
Think about your organization and some of the struggles: Head office versus field/plant worker; Sales versus Marketing; Marketing versus Finance; PMO versus Operations; IT versus the business (and the list goes on). Creating a frictionless organization is almost impossible, and it's arguable that some friction is desirable. However, having departments undermining each other due to a simple lack of context is just bad business.
We see this almost every day in large organizations. Adopting Workplace creates context, breaks down blind spots and fosters a space for teams, like engineering and production, sales and manufacturing to collaborate, listen, and work harmoniously towards commonality due to visibility.
We often think of leakage in an organization around AR/AP, late delivery with penalties, that one extra pickle, etc. Where we often don’t look at leakage is with our people: finding great talent is hard, keeping great talent is even harder.
When we ask our people for ideas, feedback or input, we are tapping into a vast pool of knowledge, not only around our business and customers, but also knowledge that is accompanied by experience, cultural influences, education, and more. Imagine - when you stop to ask, listen, and learn and when you are willing to be taught by your people, what innovations, reductions and efficiencies can emerge! Workplace has seen this shift in cultures with organizations like Columbia Sports and Sam’s Club.
How do you affect change in your organization? Is it easy to bring an idea or innovation forward? Are they happening already at the micro level, and if so, how do you scale to the macro level? We’d be geniuses if we had the answer to all these questions, and the reality is, no two organizations are identical. What we have seen, though, is that by giving all of your employees a voice and a place to collaborate, your people will step up and take ownership for ideas and create new innovations.
There is no better driver than passion to light a fire within. Creating an environment where change is embraced, and where not every idea or initiative has to come into one or even many central pipelines, fluid and scalable decision and funding processes can be very advantageous. Often-times, typical business processes can so cumbersome that your company has a graveyard of dead ideas due to a lack of employee enablement and inefficiencies.
Bringing your organization together on Workplace gives you a platform to connect, share knowledge, perspectives, stop the leakage and scale innovations that are led by your people in pursuit of your organizational strategy and goals.
This is the fundamental use case that leadership teams and executives are looking to support. When an organization focuses on strategy and ensuring that every single person understands the what, where and why, the organization will see an exponential increase in overall value. Since we all know, happy employees make for happy customers and happy customers buy more!
Linezero is a team of security-obsessed communication and technology experts. Workplace from Facebook has partnered with us to bring exceptional strategy and service to clients who are looking to build irresistible companies through collaboration and communication, all while having a positive effect on the bottom line.
Want to learn more about Workplace? Or do you already have Workplace and would like to maximize it with other Microsoft tools? Let's connect.