Few buzzwords are more ubiquitous these days than “employee engagement” and for good reason. After all, the benefits are hard to ignore:
- Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202 percent.
- Teams with high engagement rates are 21 percent more productive.
- Disengaged employees cost organizations between a whopping $450 and $550 billion annually.
It’s no wonder that companies spend about $270 million per year on employee engagement strategies. When a workforce is engaged, it’s a sign that they feel empowered, committed, and are more productive at work. As a matter of course, most enterprises are now focusing on finding opportunities to leverage technology to create a more digital workplace—and ultimately, improve employee engagement.
With the influx of new technologies available today, employee expectations are adapting and driving change across the enterprise. Today’s workers don’t want task-specific applications anymore—they want the same smart, intuitive experiences they get from their personal technology. In addition, they want easy access to information and expertise no matter where they are working.
An omnichannel approach is all about creating a simple, seamless experience for employees, wherever they are—allowing them to pause an activity and resume it later from any channel without disrupting workflows. When done right, omnichannel experiences can help increase engagement and productivity by delivering the right information, to the right person, at the right time.
Here are three actions you must take to build omnichannel experiences that empower and enable employees to do their best:
1. Integrate all your systems to provide consistency
Enterprise systems often frustrate employees as a result of fragmented user experiences, data silos, and inconsistent processes. As a result, IT teams often struggle to provide a uniform experience across different channels. Invest in technology solutions that allow you to integrate business data, tasks, and information from multiple systems into a single interface so employees always have what they need at their fingertips, anywhere they are.
2. Evaluate business processes to ensure seamless transitions
Employees want to be able to choose when, where, and how they work. So, it's extremely frustrating when it’s difficult to switch between different channels. Try to anticipate steps in a process where employees are most likely to switch devices or change channels to ensure that the same information is still available and won’t require them to login again or redo work.
For example, a service desk team needs to know when a new ticket is submitted from a customer. While a notification to their email is helpful, that same notification sent to a Microsoft Teams channel will enable the team to view the ticket together and discuss who is the best rep for this specific issue. Being able to assign the ticket directly in Teams keeps everyone on the same page and allows the owner to get started immediately.
3. Understand channels and the contexts in which they are used
With so many different devices, applications, and platforms available, enterprises need a way to securely integrate workflows and important data and tasks from business systems and push them to all the various touch points available today. It’s important to understand these different channels and how employees use them. For example:
- Desktop: Large screens are mostly used for more complex processes, content-rich activities, and big projects. Employees often require easy access to their applications without having to switch systems to dig out relevant information.
- Mobile/Tablets: Smaller screens that are better suited for work away from a desk. Employees using mobile devices need quick answers, want push notifications with relevant and immediate updates, and need to complete tasks in just a few clicks.
- Intranet: Many companies use intranets for easy collaboration, document sharing, as well as providing secure access to information and enterprise applications. When designed well, they act as an “information and app hub” that provides employees with the information, news, tasks, and tools they need to succeed.
- Messengers: Employees spend a lot of time in messengers, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, as they collaborate in real time. To better enable collaboration, teams need access to important information that impacts the group without having to log into additional systems.
As the world becomes more connected, the potential touch points that employees have at their disposal are growing and shaping the expectations they have for the workplace applications. An omnichannel approach provides employees with 360-degree engagement with the information, data, and tasks they need to be successful, wherever they are.