How personalized feeds help employees stay productive

Work smarter, not harder.

We’ve all heard the cliché. But how many of us actually make it a point to work smarter? We’re surrounded by an incredible amount of processing power every day, yet many of us still use clunky business systems that are anything but smart.

Take email, for example. Once seen as the biggest breakthrough in business efficiency, it’s now a millstone around many companies’ necks as employees get sucked ever deeper into the mire of intra-office email. Why? Because emails are dumb. Someone hits send, and the message automatically lands in your inbox.

What businesses need is a smart information delivery system that tailors the flow of data so each employee receives only the updates that matter to them. That’s where personalization comes in.

“If we want to reduce the time-consuming task of constantly filtering, checking, and reviewing messages, we need to make notifications personal,” says Quartz. A personalized feed can empower smarter, faster decision-making, allowing users to reclaim their time and work more effectively.

Sapho delivers information to employees through a highly-personalized feed that resembles the Facebook news feed. The feed, available through a modern portal, provides employees with all of the data and tasks that are important to them. To further customize the experience, Sapho offers edge-tuning features which allow employees to easily tailor the information they receive in their feed, ensuring the ultimate personalization.

Does it work? Yes! Studies have found that apps with features like personalized feeds boost productivity by more than 45 percent. But they don’t just help people get more work done. Personalized feeds also help employees work more effectively by eliminating some of their biggest performance barriers, such as:

Hard-to-access data

For today’s businesses, the ability to use data effectively is a key differentiator between succeeding and just getting by. Having the right information available can help employees make better decisions, work more effectively, and add more value to the company.

Yet three in five employees ignore data – often because it’s too difficult to access. More than half have to access data manually – remember what system to access, log in, and find the data – and 43 percent end up logging into multiple systems just to get everything they need. In many cases, data retrieval is a team effort; more than 60 percent of workers need help from others just to access information. 

Nearly a third of employees say a personalized feed would improve how they leverage, access and act on data. With Sapho, employees’ feeds are made up of personalized notifications about system changes or events that matter to them. Whether there’s an expense report awaiting approval, a new hire that needs onboarding, or a large deal has just closed, the relevant information appears in the feeds of those who need to know.

As employees interact with their feed, Sapho uses machine learning to become smarter, anticipating which data they’ll need at which times – for example, sending a sales rep their performance against quota as deals come in. Employees can further personalize their feed by turning notifications on and off or setting custom thresholds for alerts. For example, a sales manager can customize her feed to send a notification only when a new sales opportunity exceeds $100,000. That way, employees can get rid of the noise and prevent important from slipping through the cracks.

Overly complicated processes

How do your employees find out when a task needs completing? How do they go about accomplishing it? Chances are, many of your organization’s most basic tasks involve some combination of checking emails, logging into specialized systems, navigating to the right activity, and even filing time-consuming paperwork.

You can already see how routine tasks like approving expense reports become huge time sinks. Email notifications get missed or end up sitting in someone’s inbox for days—even weeks. More than three in five of employees procrastinate on tasks that require logging into multiple systems and don’t even get me started on the employees that delay a task because they forgot their passwords to a system. The reality is that clunky business processes are creating bottlenecks that clog up productivity.

Personalization is the key to streamlining business processes. Sapho pushes the most important tasks to each person’s custom feed, where the employee can complete it in a single click – without being forced to log into a system of record. If appropriate, the task is then automatically passed to the next person in line with similar simplicity. With each task, the user’s response provides feedback to help Sapho learn what actions should occur in the future and which tasks are most relevant.

Nearly a third of employees would prefer to get a personalized notification whenever a task needs completing, and nearly 3 in 10 companies have successfully used personalized apps to streamline their business processes. One company was able to shave its sales quote approval time down from five hours to just 22 minutes. With a personalized feed, employees are able to finish routine tasks quickly and get on with their day.

Too many distractions

The main problem with most information delivery methods such as email is that employees end up getting pummeled with unimportant messages that interrupt their work and drain their productivity. The average worker gets interrupted at work every 3 minutes – and once they do, it can take up to 23 minutes to refocus their attention. That’s a lot of wasted time.

With a personalized feed, however, employees can easily filter out the notifications they don’t want while homing in on the alerts that matter. For example, they can opt to receive alerts whenever a new deal or contract is signed or when changes are made to an account, but not when a new opportunity is created. By curating their feed to reflect their needs and interests, employees can train Sapho to surface only the most pressing notifications without any unwanted distractions.

Personalized alerts can save companies 240 hours of lost time a year simply by eliminating unnecessary interruptions. Additionally, employees who use personalized apps at work report feeling three times more connected to their workplace – and this boost in engagement makes them 13 percent more productive. 

Let’s face it: Many employees are already working as hard as they can. It’s time we give them the tools they need to work smarter.

Want to learn more about how personalizing enterprise apps can benefit your employees?

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Natalie Lambert

Natalie Lambert is the Vice President of Marketing at Sapho. She joins from Citrix where she held multiple product marketing leadership positions. Before that, Natalie was a principal analyst at Forrester Research where she was the leading expert on end user computing.

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