How engaged are your end users? According to a recent Gallup study, not very — and that lack of employee engagement is directly impacting your bottom line. The question then becomes: how do you reverse the trend? Within enterprise collaboration, the degree to which employees are actively engaged impacts the overall success of your platform, and therefore your organization’s ability to innovate across that collaboration platform. Clearly, when individuals are disengaged, they are not actively creating content, sharing ideas, or expanding the collective knowledge of the organization, all of which are fundamentals of a successful collaboration environment. Engaged employees drive business value, which is why employee engagement should be your primary objective.
When we think of employees who are actively engaged, a number of traits may come to mind: integrity, trust, enthusiasm, communication, collaboration, contributing, and productivity, to name a few. Engagement is as much about understanding your own role as it is about understanding the purpose and objectives of the broader organization. People need to feel empowered to get their work done, trusted to accomplish what has been assigned, have necessary feedback mechanisms in place, and a proper support network and training. Highly engaged employees are able to leverage the work and ideas of others, extending and iterating on their own output. An engaged workforce builds upon its own success.
Engagement is not something you can resolve through technology alone. Technology enables, but employee engagement oftentimes requires a cultural change.
Within the SharePoint community, the topics of adoption and engagement have come to the forefront within the past few years as organizations have struggled with overall platform usage. As with most new technologies, when SharePoint is initially deployed, end user adoption (employees who log onto the system) and engagement (employees actually leveraging the capabilities to accomplish business tasks) is very high. However, within a very short span there tends to be a sharp decline.
When there is poor alignment between technology and business, it impacts the clarity employees have around job expectations and perceptions of job performance. A common pattern seen within many poorly planned SharePoint environments is a general lack of understanding of the business use cases against which SharePoint was deployed. In these oft repeated examples, SharePoint planning is based around features of the platform rather than upon end-to-end business scenarios, which may utilize one or more of these features — or require additional development or third-party solutions to enable (the build versus buy problem).
While it is understandable that organizations are wary of spending additional budget on extending SharePoint capability, many of these same organizations fail to understand the costs associated with supporting a platform that does not accurately support the needs of their business. And then they wonder why employees are disengaged.
Engagement begins at the executive and CEO level
What does it take to improve employee engagement? It takes more than a change to wording within your employee satisfaction survey. It requires a cultural change — and changing culture takes a long time. Implementing the right technology can help enable this cultural change, but even more important is how the technology is implemented by management and influencers within your organization. And even more important is an executive team that practices what they preach — standing behind the cultural change, and using the platform themselves.
A company that has embarked on a meaningful path toward improved employee adoption and engagement will need to take a closer look at their systems, and ensure that the cultural, management, and leadership changes are supported by the right tools and capabilities to allow for this increased level of communication, collaboration and contribution.
For organizations using SharePoint, Beezy can have a direct impact on adoption and engagement, with many case studies available that show how using Beezy has dramatically improved license utilization, platform adoption, and service consumption — and we do it with an award-winning user experience that employees love.