By Stephanie Vozza
Innovation and employee engagement stem from effective collaboration and an empowered workforce. As more companies have adopted a hybrid work plan, strategies for getting everyone on the same page have also changed.
Here are five rules an organization can adopt to support a thriving distributed workforce.
1. Give IT A Seat At The Table
While the pandemic accelerated digital transformations, it’s time to fine-tune those new systems. A study by 451 Research found that 53% of IT decision makers believe their systems are only somewhat equipped to handle the requirements of post-Covid policies.
Empower your tech teams to build the right digital solutions by giving them a seat at the table. IT will need to acquire and implement the right tools, including those for collaboration, workflow, content storage and sharing, project and work management and business process management.
IT decision makers hold critical information that can help drive an organization forward by designing an effective method that empowers employees to do their best work at scale.
2. Empower Employees
Hierarchies and micromanagement can become obstacles for the workforce. Instead, encouraging employees to make more autonomous decisions can provide flexibility and instill confidence, driving better results. Research shows that when employees feel empowered at work, their performance improves, they have a greater sense of commitment to the organization and they report higher job satisfaction.
One way organizations can empower employees is to provide them with intuitive tools for designing solutions that solve business problems. So instead of workers reaching out to IT for help, for example, no-code platforms and templates can help execute campaigns, projects and business processes, enhancing productivity.
3. Align The Entire Enterprise
A distributed workforce runs the risk of duplicating efforts, veering off brand or missing opportunities. In fact, 68% of employees face distractions from too many methods of communication, including voice, video, messaging and email. And when departments are left to choose their own tools, the result is disaggregated data or time-consuming task switching.
Instead, ensure alignment by using a cloud-based central platform across the enterprise. A centralized solution brings teams together and provides visibility around corporate goals. Leaders can easily connect the work that employees do every day to long-term strategies and corporate goals. Having this single source of truth also enhances engagement and accountability by providing transparency around workflows. The technology should also be intuitive so that it encourages organizationwide adoption.
4. Face Change By Embracing Agility
The pandemic was the ultimate test in agility. Seemingly overnight, companies needed to change their products and services to meet customers’ new needs. They also had to help their teams adapt to new working conditions. The lesson learned? Adaptable processes that can rise to meet evolving priorities need to become the standard operating procedure.
According to one report, agility is driven by three indicators:
- Relentless improvement with a culture of learning
- A focus on funding business outcomes instead of specific products or services
- The adoption of flexible work processes that create value streams
Agile teams need digital tools that support cross-functional collaboration and allow employees to build and easily adapt to new ways of working quickly. Teams also need access to real-time data that can facilitate better decision making. And digital tools should include process automation that pushes project updates across an entire portfolio to speed up requests and workflows.
5. Maintain Security And IT Governance Compliance
Nearly half of IT decision makers report their most significant concern going forward is security threats.
Organizations must ensure compliance with security standards and IT governance with clear mandates that come from the top and address risk management, regulatory compliance and information protection.
To achieve that, leaders should choose tools built with strict security requirements and protocols. When choosing platforms, look for systems that keep data secure with encryption, provide control over access with user authentication and offer ways to safely share information inside and outside the organization.
To keep employees engaged and productive in the new world of work, organizations need to prioritize the digital tools that support them. While leading a distributed workforce can be more challenging, putting everyone on the same page can help teams work together toward shared goals.