Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Manish Dudharejia – Founder & CEO of E2M Solutions. His opinions are his own.
Throughout the course of human history, there has always been a constant goal of those in charge of labor: improve productivity.
Productivity rates are not constant. Unfortunately, rates in the U.S have been on a decline over the past 60 years – with a fair share of ups and downs along the way.
The good news is there is always potential to improve. When facing productivity issues, many businesses try to implement solutions like new employee training programs or re-hauls of internal workings. However, productivity problems are often times the result of much deeper issues within an organization. Let’s discuss some of the big ones and how a reliable digital adoption strategy can be the answer.
Problem: The most important opportunity is already gone
The first few weeks at a new company are the most crucial for an employee. This is the time when they learn the foundational principles of how the company functions, how to properly use the tools in place, and the best practices for being a valued employee. If you are not providing adequate training and onboarding out of the gate, you are essentially setting your entire organization up for poor productivity.
When employees receive proper training and onboarding, it leads to higher employee productivity. Studies have found that companies offering comprehensive training programs experience 218% higher revenue per employee than organizations without formalized training. But, it’s very important to note that employee training is not one-size-fits-all.
Solution: Personalized digital-focused onboarding
An organization is only as good as the tools and processes it has in place. A robust employee training program should be thought of as an individualized digital adoption process for each employee.
One of the biggest advantages of modern training technology is the opportunity for personalization. Everyone learns a little differently, and a smart approach to digital adoption involves an immersive learning experience of how certain tools factor into the big picture.
Effective training is dependent on your ability to provide contextual content that can be accommodated to each employee’s learning style. Moreover, the training tools HR implements should be highly-adaptable to the technology in use and the objectives of the trainee. That said, the program you use for training purposes should involve a process based in learner data collection, interference, and personalization.
The most important mindset both HR departments and employees need to have is that digital adoption, training, and increasing productivity is a never-ending process. Put the employee in the driver’s seat and let them dictate the experience around their own style of learning.
Problem: Best practices are talked about – but never enforced
There are tons of tips and tricks on the internet about boosting productivity in the workplace. In most of the blogs you see online, many are simply promoting company fads from using standing desks to painting the walls a calming color. While these methods may work here and there, productivity ultimately comes down to the practices of communication.
Ineffective communication is the root cause of nearly every productivity problem. Now, communication within an organization is about so much more than day-to-day work banter. It’s about keeping everyone on the same page throughout projects, facilitating the proper exchange of relevant materials, and most importantly, prioritizing every message to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Generally speaking, managers within companies know the importance of establishing a robust communication system. However, implementing them into the day-to-day is much easier said than done. From day one, employees need to be aware of the best company communication processes, and more importantly, they need to be held to a standard of keeping them in place.
Solution: Use digital tools to ensure that best practices are applied
Communication within the workplace is dependent on the tools in place.
Many companies make the mistake of believing they can get buy solely with . While email is obviously important, the issue is that it’s too easy to miss and prioritize messages.
When you have communication coming in from co-workers, clients, partners, and whoever else, it takes time to understand which tasks need to be tended to immediately and how to organize the to-do list – which can compromise productivity.
With this in mind, it’s highly recommended to make use of the plethora of digital tools at your disposal and nail down proper protocol for communication. For instance, it’s recommended to have a designated tool for in-house communication only – such as an instant messaging program like Slack or Skype.
Additionally, you can use certain project management programs to organize tasks between employees, partners, and clients. Platforms like Trello and Basecamp are excellent for this purpose.
Simply talking about the best practices for company productivity is nearly useless. These days, the practices you preach need to be enforced with the right programs and protocols throughout the day-to-day.
Problem: The source of the problem is never addressed
The culture of an organization is perhaps the biggest factor influencing productivity. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what tools you have in place or how good your processes are, if your employees do not have a productive mindset or are closed to the prospect of leveraging innovation, you are stagnant. To reiterate, the continuous goal of an organization should be to improve productivity.
As today’s workforce is so dependent on digital effectiveness, there needs to be a culture in place that is eager, innovation-minded, and always looking for new ways to build upon current workflows.
Solution: Focus on cultural changes with digital adoption
Every day, we see new breakthroughs and updates in the tech world. A forward-looking company culture needs to be in the loop with this innovation and viewing it with a critical eye in terms of applying it.
Fortunately, building a culture around these characteristics is not always as complicated as it might seem. Common practices can start small, like designating 30 or so minutes every morning to read the latest industry blogs and news articles. Additionally, a strong digital culture should encourage collaboration.
For example, marketing and sales can work together to not only ensure that messages to clients and prospects are consistent, but also get to know how the departments work co-dependently. From here, they can discuss how new digital programs or workflows can make all of their lives easier.
A productive, digital culture starts at the top and flows throughout an organization. As an owner or HR manager, it is up to you to inspire others to embrace the rapidly changing digital sphere and turn big ideas into productive realities. At its core, this is the foundation of a high-functioning company culture.
Over to you
Digital adoption is a concept that cannot be ignored in the workplace. Moreover, it is a task that will not go away any time soon. It is the common wish to improve productivity, which in turn, boosts revenue and profits.
No company or organization is without its fair share of problems. For most, a digital adoption plan can be the key to solving even the most deep-seated operational issues, as well as future-proofing the skillsets (and mindsets) of those involved.