5 Ways Interactive Technology Can Benefit Your Workplace Culture

Is employee satisfaction at your company dwindling? Perhaps productivity has taken a downward trajectory and showing little sign of recovery? Maybe employee morale is low, and turnover is too high?

Time to hit restart.

If you’re looking for an innovation and productivity boost, the right tools and interactive technologies can provide you with new ways to improve your workplace culture.

Interactive technologies create a two-way stream of information via a dedicated, user-friendly, interface. This direct link between the user and the technology makes for extremely flexible access to business-essential systems across multiple platforms. In turn, this can help you take the steps necessary to develop a more engaging and productive workplace culture.

1. Embrace Collaboration

Working in silos can cause bottlenecks and lead to employee frustration. Helping teams to collaborate more effectively is key to reducing these logjams.

Interactive project management tools provide employees with the information and transparency they need across the workstream to get their work done in a more collaborative and efficient manner. These tools offer visual user-interfaces and interactive tools that teams need to work together across multiple physical locations—helping to foster collaborative decision-making, and giving employees more flexibility and control over how and where their work gets done.

For example, interactive project management solutions put your to-do lists, message boards, schedules, file storage, group chat, and Q&As in one place to streamline collaboration and boost productivity. They also enable you to create client interfaces and reporting mechanisms to bring external stakeholders into the collaboration loop as well.

Project management tools that offer this type of functionality include:

Used in conjunction with interactive displays in meeting rooms, these project management tools can help spark creativity and encourage teamwork.

2. Exercise Flexibility

More people are telecommuting from their home offices or working from the road.

According to SMB Group’s SMB 360: Connecting the Dots Between Business and Technology Study, 37% of SMBs say that 20%or more of the workforce telecommutes at least one day per week, and 28% of SMBs expect the percentage of employees that telecommute to rise.

Furthermore, Trades Union Congress predicts that 50% of the workforce is likely to be working remotely by 2020, concluding that flexible working offers key benefits to companies, including:

  • Improved employee productivity
  • Reduced overhead for business premises
  • Improved loyalty and employee satisfaction
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Better access to global talent

As working outside of the office becomes mainstream, businesses need to equip employees with the right devices and applications so they can stay connected and work productively from any location. Cloud-based, real-time file-sharing and collaboration services help connect remote workers to their office colleagues, making group collaboration from remote locations possible, affordable and more productive.

Some of the most popular cloud-based file-sharing tools include:

Online video and screen sharing meetings are also becoming commonplace, using interactive technologies such as  Zoom and Skype for Business facilitate group meetings in HD.

3. Communicate Frequently

Email may have once felt like the go-to business communication tool, but who hasn’t spent hours searching for a lost email, accidentally sent a business-sensitive message to the entire organization, or lost the thread of communication due to messy email etiquette?

Thankfully, communication has become simpler. While email will always have its place in business processes, the pendulum is shifting to encompass real-time communications platforms.

Apps such as Slack example, offer a familiar, chat room environment—and a whole lot more. Slack creates task-dedicated threads (aka Channels), making it much easier to find that critical message you need than it would be if you had to trawl through multiple threads in your inbox.

Slack also offers file-sharing capabilities to keep the entire communication in one place, native integration with a wide variety of online tools such as Dropbox and Google Docs, and the capability to conduct conference voice calls.

Other tools that offer similar functionality include:

Improving workplace culture and employee engagement takes more than facilitating better team communication. Employees also need regular feedback and updates from the top. Keeping employees updated helps to create a sense of purpose and direction, and these tools give those communications a friendly, informal vibe.

4. Recognize and Reward Progress and Performance

Gamification is a big trend among established tech companies and start-ups and is now making its way into businesses of all shapes and sizes.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, gamification helps companies put elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to work to more effectively engage employees and teams.

Gamification can help increase employee motivation, instill a sense of personal control, and offer cues and feedback to actions and completing tasks—and create a sense of healthy competition.

Popular game devices that can be incorporated into the workplace include leaderboards, badges, levels, challenges, point systems, and scores.

Millennials have grown up in an environment of online gaming, and many companies are introducing the concept to better engage them in the workplace culture.  But, research indicates that up to 90% of employees become more productive when gamification is incorporated into their jobs.

Applications that offer gamification functionality include:

5. Create Logical, Transparent Career Paths

90% of employers claim that new-staff retention is a problem. When you look at the costs of recruiting a new hire, this statistic can be pretty frightening.

And its likely to get worse: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall median salaried job tenure of workers ages 55 to 64 is 10.1 years, more than three times that of workers ages 25 to 34, with a median tenure of 2.8 years.

Studies suggest that the culprit is that employees don’t think they can progress in their careers, or that they lack clarity about what they need to do to climb the ranks.

Transparent and flexible career paths are proven to motivate high performers, and the companies that are retaining the best performers are using integrated recruiting tools that offer employees the first look at internal positions.

Once again, interactive technologies can help. Many human capital management solutions, such as Workday, SuccessFactors and TalentGuard, offer modules that track employee career progress and provide customized trajectories for their potential career paths.

There are also dedicated solutions for this, such as those from:

Providing this type of transparency empowers employees increases can help you beat the odds when it comes to meeting your retention goals.

Perspective

There you have it: five ways that interactive technologies can help improve your dwindling workplace culture.

The best part, of course, is that these solutions are widely available and affordable, so implementing them into your workplace doesn’t mean significant impacts to budgets.

Get with the program and get interactive for improved productivity, motivation, organization, and staff retention.

This post was guest authored by Pippa Edelen, global director of marketing for Avocor. With more than 20 years in the B2B display industry, Pippa has been a part of some of the biggest names in collaboration and commercial displays.

 


 

Source: Laurie McCabe’s Blog

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