Frost & Sullivan research on digital transformation has identified significant trends in the workplace that are changing the way business gets done. One of the most important is that technology impacts employee behavior in both intended and unintended ways. With the rise in consumerism and crowdsourcing, the increasing use of personal devices in the workplace and the continued growth of social media and other sharing tools in the enterprise, companies must rethink the ways in which they engage with and support their talent base. The solution: activated employees.
What is an activated employee? An activated employee is one that is involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. They feel strongly connected to their organization and its leaders, as well as their colleagues, partners and customers. They love to speak about the company with friends and family—and even strangers—and to share news and updates via social media. They are eager to bring newcomers on board to join the team.
Most importantly, activated employees go above and beyond for their employers. Because they feel so closely connected to the organization and its people, they treat it almost like a family, and will do whatever is necessary to get the job done. Activated employees share information and best practices, and they are willing and able to support colleagues and customers whenever they’re asked to do so. They show initiative, creativity and a sense of collaboration, secure in the knowledge that their efforts will be recognized and rewarded by management. And they have a can-do attitude that ensures every customer experience is exceptional.
An activated workforce delivers measureable benefits. Training and onboarding happens faster, shortening the time-to-value for your investments. Greater employee engagement and productivity lead to higher revenues and stronger margins. Close alignment between employee attitudes and company goals ensures your corporate strategy will be realized. Knowledge and information sharing drive innovation, which will result in employees’ taking personal pride in the work they do. That drives loyalty, which in turn leads to higher retention rates and stronger customer satisfaction scores.
Clearly, activated employees are critical to success in today’s global, virtual and increasingly competitive environment. So how can you activate your workforce? Several steps will get you started:
- Provide easy access to the information, tools and resources your employees need to succeed. Without that, they simply cannot do their jobs.
- Highlight the stories, initiatives and achievements that represent the very best of your company culture. Research shows that a simple “thank you” can be as effective as a financial reward—so make it a practice to laud good people and the work they do.
- Enable employees to share questions, information and best practices with each other and with management. Don’t look for “good soldiers.” Sometimes, the best ideas come from the need to overcome challenges and roadblocks.
- Empower leaders at every level of the organization to regularly solicit feedback and input—and make sure employees know their honesty will not be held against them. Constructive criticism should be used for everyday improvement, not to identify and penalize those who speak out.
- Ensure that employees feel connected to and valued by their leaders through transparency and recognition. This should start at the top: the C-suite needs to know what’s happening on the front lines in order to improve processes and positively impact the bottom line.
- Encourage collaboration. By sharing knowledge and enabling collaboration, companies make it easy for employees to work together to drive creativity and maximize outcomes. Use technology to help your people information and ideas on a daily basis, regardless of where they’re located or what job role they play.
Interested in activating your workforce to maximize the value of your talent? As a next step, we recommend researching potential technology partners like Dynamic Signal that specialize in helping organizations deliver an exceptional employee experience.