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Digital engagement is making team-building across offices a reality

Every job-seeker today looks for a company which is, in some way, acting as a catalyst for digital and workplace transformation

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By Pooja Bajaj Chadha

How often do your co-workers swipe through their phones, are glued to their screens as they binge watch a series or are lost in their world of music on earphones? We are not going digital, we are digital. Everything – and everyone – today is digital. The platform, with its plethora of benefits, is readily accepted by all ages in society today as a stepping stone to the nation’s progress and personal growth.

In the business and corporate world too, the acceptance of technology and increase in the number of digitally-engaged employees are a paradigm shift, which professionals are slowly adjusting to. Every job-seeker today looks for a company which is, in some way, acting as a catalyst for digital and workplace transformation. People choose their ideal workplace based on how the human resources, their digital curve, nature of performance goals, opportunities for digital growth, workplace facilities and organisational values shape the culture of the company.

Reshaping workplaces – What does technology have to do with it?
HR today is a combination of regular HR practices and technology. This is a result of engagement experiments over the years to improve engagement, as the State of the Global Workplace report by Gallup states how only 15 per cent of employees worldwide are really involved in their work. An engaged and enthused environment in an organisation leads to higher productivity levels, gives it a creative boost, retains the best talent while ensuring wellness, good health and much more.

Transformation is powerfully assisted by the right employee engagement tools and knowledge – especially from a digital perspective. The minds of a majority of working professionals are more susceptible to digital initiatives at work. A quick game of Pacman or Bingo, flipping pages of a magazine-designed newsletter or speeding through the corridors during a Selfie Contest – and other digitally stimulating activities are sure to catch some eyeballs in office!

We need to buckle up and integrate technology into employee engagement to keep up with today’s briskly-changing digital workplace. For example, in hiring processes or monitoring performance and assessment to ensure accurate and consistent decision making. Similarly, onboarding experiences and feedback mechanisms have evolved with the use of chatbots, HR analytics, digital training and effective engagement of an employee with his/her work environment are the areas where technology and digital are increasingly becoming part of overall HR ecosystem. The insights and analytics from these tools help identify the hidden pockets of disengagement to be filled in order to engage the workforce better.

Accelerating team-building at work with technology
Engaged employees are the glue that hold together the employee’s goals and the strategic objectives of the business. This means the organisation’s goals are well-aligned with the employee’s goals and there should be a constant flow of information on how this alignment helps the company grow while at the same time motivating and integrating them. One of the biggest reasons for this all-encompassing change is digital transformation – it’s time to relook at learning and team-building in the workplace.

According to the 2018 Workplace Learning Report, a majority of organisations depend on digital and online learning solutions to meet the demands and needs of their employees. These solutions not only deliver content, but also measure learning success and employees are more engaged, as per the report, when they are accountable and can measure their success. For example – a game titled E-Fifa during the football season, to motivate employees to take up an e-learning course from the company portal.

The upside of taking team-building to the digital era is that the experience brings employees placed all around the country or world, fostering their spirit of working in a team – for example, the Diwali themed Card-a-thon (format of the popular game UNO) where teams of 2,3 and 4 compete to win the game. Another good example of a digital platform where teams come together is the clever introduction of a radio channel which brings in the enthusiasm and energy into the work environment. Gamification and virtual team bonding activities help in building the trust and bonds among professional across ages and levels, to feel more connected and create a sense of togetherness.

The human element of digital engagement: Engaged employees
Employee experience completes the employee engagement strategy. While it is in part a technological challenge, it is also a very human challenge. Digital transformation can take your organisation to the next level, but it is vital to involve your staff from the outset and you will have a far greater chance of reaping the rewards.

Benefits in the corporate world:

  • Engaging your staff digitally allows for the flexibility of time and place, as it is all online and employees are given the freedom to choose to participate, whenever wherever they want to
  • Reaching country-wide or across continents with less costs involved and a greater turnover received from the digital engagement activity
  • Reinforce messaging more than once, as compared to a one-time on-ground experience, to help your employees resonate with your intended thought for a longer period of time.

Given the availability of tools to gather insights on employee experiences, companies must focus on creating seamless employee journeys. They must consider every facet of their relationship with the workforce, and collect feedback on each one of them while aligning with global best practices. Keeping employees happy is a journey. It is not a series of one-time activities.

The secret recipe to engaged workplaces: The perfect blend of online and offline
The perfect combination which proves to be the most effective tool for engaging workplaces is a blend of on-ground and digital activities- how in cases where geography is an issue for colleagues at different offices to meet, engaging virtually is a good alternative.

To engage your workplace using this secret weapon, here are two primary vectors to consider –

  • Culture – Encourage people to say, “Hey, maybe we’re not doing things the best way possible. I should care about that. I should care about employee engagement.” A company’s culture and the services provided to its employees lay the foundation for acceptance of newer, digital initiatives.
  • Physical environment – Employees notice a customer’s building just as much as they notice their own like, “Is there a digital sign-in? Do they have Wi-Fi and how time-consuming is it to get access? Is the cafeteria digitally managed? How up-to-date are their devices & laptops?” There are so many things you can fix on the physical level to at least start making a visible commitment to a digital workplace.

Companies are slowly starting to realise that the secret to driving digital transformation is to create a digital workplace. If you have a digital workplace, you’re going to attract, empower, and retain the type of employees that will actually drive a digital transformation.

(The author is the Founder & CEO, ExtraMile)

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1 Comment
  1. Aishwarya J says

    These days chatbots specifically built for HR for excellent conversational experiences. It can perform functions to onboard employees, for hiring purpose, employee reviews and many more. Chatbots are so promising because they’re built to learn and improve. Over time, conversational apps are primed to get smarter and build better user experiences.

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