Friday, September 19, 2014

Some insights from the Digital Workplace Survey 2014 - 2

As mentioned in my previous post I wanted to write some more about Jane McConnell’s research report about ‘the digital workplace’. I can’t and won’t discuss the whole report. I thought I’d highlight some parts of the report and hopefully this will get you to buy and read the report yourself. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you to.

Adoption and challenges
I searched the report for ways in which organizations promote internal social networking and support adoption. What I found was that most just let it grow (‘viral adoption’), promote it with official communication, and make sure senior management is involved and gives a good example. I think it would be great if more is shared about how organization support adoption of internal social networking (and digital workplaces). My experience is that many organizations have a hard time growing internal networking and workplaces.

This also relates to the interesting chapter about ‘The new workplace. Challenges and concerns…’, especially the part about the “toughest challenges”. It would have been great if some practitioners or the survey results would have shown how companies are addressing these challenges. It is good to see the list of ways organizations are tackling the challenges, like internal communication campaign, behavior change, etc. But what does this look like in practice, how are these companies doing this and does this really help overcome the challenges?

Business scenario’s
Jane defines four interesting and valid business scenario’s for the digital workplace. For instance, supporting customer facing employees, employee learning and development and organization flexibility. I like how Jane underlines the necessity of a business focus of the digital workplace. In my experience this is often the reason why intranets or digital workplaces hardly have value for employees and the organization. Governance is a big issue with many intranets and digital workplace. Not thinking about the reason/goal of why the organization needs a digital workplace is just as big of a problem.

For this reason I wonder if the business scenario’s in the report should be even more business focused. For instance: how does the digital workplace helps sales employees to do their work? Or: how does the digital workplace help employees develop new products and services? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with this topic. I’m planning to share mine in the near future.

On Monday, I'll publish my final post about the Digital Workplace report.

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