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From outputs to outcomes to organizational impact – Measuring the success of your Digital Workplace

“In God we trust, all others must bring data” were the famous words of William Edwards Deming, a well-known American engineer, statistician, and management consultant.

In a former blog post, we discussed the link between commercial profitability and a Digital Workplace in terms of overall employee engagement and enhancing the day-to-day experience of customers and employees.

But is it possible to measure the impact of a Digital Workplace on your organization and what are the statistics that count? While it’s tempting (and easy) to collate data such as ‘clicks’ and ‘likes’ relating to any given story, how meaningful are these numbers?

We would like to outline 6 helpful steps to ensure that you are measuring the real success of your Digital Workplace.

Step 1 – Be clear about what is important to the business

In simple terms, businesses need to communicate with their employees to achieve their business goals. A great place to start, therefore, is by understanding the goals you are trying to influence. These are often articulated in terms of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and often include measures such as:

Step 2 – Start with the end in mind: Agree on the specific pain points that you are trying to influence

Rather than trying to use your Digital Workplace to influence every KPI, be as specific as you can about the problems you are seeking to address. Any business case/presentation/dashboard may want to surface those pain points upfront, building a sense of urgency around addressing the challenge. The more urgent the problem appears, the more eager your audience will be for the solution. Your measurement can then be targeted around those key goals.

Step 3 – Involve employees in creating and contributing content that is related to business KPIs and/or priority areas

Stories, Pages, and Communities that specifically focus on the key business issues are likely to attract maximum interest and contributions, in particular from Senior Executives. Encourage as many people as possible to author/comment on relevant discussions etc. Ensure that there is a key ongoing online focus on your business priorities.

Step 4 – Agree on measures for success against your agreed KPIs

This should be in the form of ‘lead indicators’ assessing whether employees have received, paid attention to or retained specific information. This includes awareness, knowledge, understanding, relevance, retention of information.

It’s also important to take the time to measure business outcomes. What changes to attitudes or behaviors have been achieved? This includes productivity, innovation, feelings of empowerment, collaboration, teamwork, customer focus, cost savings, etc.

Most critical of all is the measure of what impact the Digital Workplace has on the key agreed business KPIs. How has the content and conversations on your digital workplace contributed to the commercial success of the business?

Step 5 – Agree on measurement methods

As Digital Workplace adoption levels increase within an organization, most people get a sense of how it is being used through the volume of contributions as well the ‘emotion’ in the online discussions. Corporate priorities outlined in stories should visibly work their way into team discussions and presentation slides.

But it’s important to combine both quantitative and qualitative measurements to determine the real impact. There is a range of methods that can be used, here are just a few to consider:

  • Total views, comments per topic, unique visitors, views per location, etc. This type of information can be very easily obtained using common data analytics tools such as Power BI and Google Analytics.
  • Regular ‘pulse’ surveys, initially to establish a baseline and then to follow up on any knowledge gaps around current organizational topics and key priorities.
  • Ad-hoc measurement for agreed communication campaigns to include specific questions to test understanding and behavioral outcomes.
  • Focus group activity to understand the impact of the Digital Workplace on key business priorities in different Departments/Office Locations.
  • Employee Engagement surveys. These are usually undertaken across the organization annually or quarterly. It is good practice to include 1 or 2 questions to specifically test the impact of your Digital Workplace on the agreed business pain points that you are specifically seeking to influence (see step 2).

Step 6 – Ensure a continuous improvement loop

Use the data to continuously improve your Digital Workplace. Beezy is always keen to hear feedback in order to improve their product and make it the best in the market so that it can enable your business success.

In many respects, this is what makes Beezy unique. Unlike some of the global tech giants, Beezy is small enough to be proactive in listening and responding to customers in an agile way. Its success will continue to be shaped around our ability to respond to our customers. The personal touch is important to Beezy.

Would you like to learn more about how a Digital Workplace may be able to help you?

Larraine Solomon

Larraine Solomon

Communications and Change Consultant