If you ask the CEOs of leading enterprises across the world what would be the one wish they would like to ask Jinie to help them create a larger business impact - The answer would most likely be – Can my teams go beyond the boundaries of locations, levels, functions, and collaborate together to achieve more?
While it might sound dramatic for a CEO to be asking such a thing, but truly, the power of teams working together is immense. And as custodians of enterprise technology, CIOs can play a major role in making this a reality.
But how does one know if their systems are delivering on this promise? Based on our experience of working with leading enterprises across Asia, here are a few important questions to consider:
Do you have everyone on one platform?
A large enterprise typically has numerous work types and work groups who perform the tasks needed to run the organization. The most critical question to answer here is – Do you have a single platform where everyone in the organization is present? In most cases, the answer is no.
For instance, in a retail environment, there is a high probability that your frontline store employees might not be present. In a financial services setup, adoption of the platform amongst the sales force could be the challenge. So, unless your system can bring every single employee on board, you have a long way to go!
Gig ready. Are we?
Yes, you heard it right! If you were thinking that you had years to figure out how to include gig workers into your organization’s information flow - you are wrong. Whether you know it or not, accept it or not, your teams are today exploring, interacting and working with gig workers or freelancers all over the world. And as a savvy CIO this is the right time to invest in a product which can bring the so called “fluid” talent into the enterprise communication space and empower your teams to leverage them in an impactful manner. And who knows, you might become your HR’s superhero as you help them engage the best talent in a better way.
Are people aligned?
While getting everyone on one platform may not be the easiest thing for an organization, the job is still half done unless you are able to align them to the company or team vision, mission and goals. And when you add gig workers also to the mix, the problem is even more complex.
“A large enterprise typically has numerous work types and work groups who perform the tasks needed to run the organization. The most critical question to answer here is – Do you have a single platform where everyone in the organization is present? In most cases, the answer is no.”
But alignment is one of the key ingredients for successful initiatives, and it is also the one that’s often missing. That is the reason why only 10 percent of initiatives are successfully executed. How to address it?
A platform where everyone who is working for an initiative can collaborate anytime, anywhere can be a great help. For many of our customers this problem was solved when we gave them the flexibility to create groups focussing on visions and goals, which ensured people could constantly keep an eye on what they were set to achieve.
Is it really working?
This is the most important question. Because connect is not that difficult to achieve. Conversations or instant communication is possible on multiple platforms – email, WhatsApp, amongst others. But how do you know if it is all chatter or something meaningful?
The answer lies in the “context”. Are the conversations contextual? Do the tasks people undertake help them move in the direction of the group’s vison or goals? Are people collaborating on the right issues? And is there a way the platform can help ensure all the above? These important questions must be answered while choosing an enterprise communication platform. For over 70 percent of strategic initiatives fail when teams are not in sync.
Positive reinforcement for people?
This might sound like something out of a management textbook, but that doesn’t reduce the veracity of this statement. And if your collaboration platform can create avenues to reward and celebrate achievements, it’s a home run. For positive reinforcements often improve the engagement levels amongst teams, and we all know what truly engaged teams can achieve together.
“A unified communication platform that connects the entire organization/team, aligns them to perform better, and helps them manage their work efficiently is the need of the hour. If you have not yet started thinking about it, the bus is just about leaving.”
While a lot of it might sound utopian, it is the way the new world of work would operate. Workplaces are increasingly getting replaced by workspaces, where an employee is not bound to a geography and device. So, how do you have the same level or even increased productivity that you get when all employees come to work?
The answer lies in a connected world, which doesn’t necessarily imply exposing your enterprise to external vulnerabilities. There are mechanisms which can control information flow without impacting engagement or productivity levels.
The future lies in a connected world where establishing systems and platforms, which can encourage meaningful and contextualised connect amongst people - in a secure and non-intrusive environment will be the new normal.
We have seen organizations move from systems of records to systems of engagement in the new digital economy. And now the time has come to move to systems of collaboration and productivity. A unified communication platform that connects the entire organization/team, aligns them to perform better, and helps them manage their work efficiently is the need of the hour. If you have not yet started thinking about it, the bus is just about leaving.
The article is co-authored by Vishal Saha, CTO, PeopleStrong and Harsimran Walia, AVP-Technology, PeopleStrong