Why Your Organization Needs Connected Employees and How You Can Enable Them
This post discusses what exactly it means to be a “connected employee” and how your organisation can enable your employees to be more connected.
As a growing business, you have had your share of tough battles and are finally ready to take on more challenges. The biggest assets that you count on are your employees. You want them not just to be talented, motivated and hardworking, but also being available when it counts. You want your employees to have an attitude which is "Let's get this done" instead of "Not My Job".
So, who is a "Connected Employee?"
Connected employees are typically those who live off their mobile devices and for whom data is their lifeblood. They are mostly ‘digital natives’ (those who are not able to recall a childhood without mobile devices) and grew up being extremely adept at getting things done on the go. They belong to the 61% of employees who report working outside the office, at least, part of the time and use more than three devices every day for work activities. For the connected employee, the workplace is not the only place where work can be done. They are equally, if not more comfortable working out of their home, a cafe or even on the go.
Empowering the ‘Connected Employee.
Before the smartphone became ubiquitous, the boundaries between work and home were fairly set. The focus was on work-life balance and setting aside strict limits. Now, with the blurring of boundaries, the workforce is moving toward work-life inclusion. By creating an inclusive culture and adding flexible work options, your organisation is empowering the employees to not only work physically from one location but also the freedom to work from home when needed.
In fact, recent research shows that flexible work programs reduce employee absenteeism significantly. The employee turnover rate for rigid workplaces is almost twice than in an organisation with flexible work schedules. For the connected employee, work is not a place. It is a thing they do, and they do this enthusiastically and confidently when they are empowered.
Tools of the ‘Connected Employee'.
The key to keeping your employees connected is to adapt mobile-friendly and cloud-based tools. Getting work done on the move has never been easier. With a smartphone and data connectivity, your employees can ensure that the client’s or a colleague’s email is answered on priority and keep their projects, ideas, and inspiration handy across all their digital devices.
Your employees will also be working with colleagues, clients and customers on the go. Hence, collaboration tools become one of the most required services that connected employees request for. If you are a small business setup, you have the advantage of being agile and not bound by legacy software or a workforce which is hesitant to change. This can act in your favor and get you started on using the latest technologies that enable collaboration.
Being Productive on the Move
One of the tools that your organisation can use is Slack. It brings all your communication together in one place and has real-time messaging, archiving and search, making it very appealing for modern teams. Other tools such as Trello and Basecamp will help you drop the lengthy email threads, out-of-date spreadsheets, no-longer-so-sticky notes, and clunky software for managing your projects. They let you see everything about your project in a single glance.
There are several tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive and One Drive, which help your employees save files on the cloud, then access them on their phone from anywhere. Everything they keep in these services is synced automatically to all their devices. This also encourages your employees to move towards paperless documentation and record keeping.
You can help your connected employees brainstorm in teams physically or while on the move, make it easy for them to share moments of inspiration, jot down reminders and to-do lists using tools such as Evernote and Wunderlist.
If you are already familiar with Gmail and other Google applications, then you will love the Google Apps for business. Built for businesses and designed for teams, it brings professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more, into one place.
Your organisation is already using a host of tools to empower productivity and get work done. To enable your connected employee, you can ensure that these tools are available to them when they are on the move and accessible anywhere. Giving your employees remote access to the tools that they need will give them wings to do the work they have to.
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