Employee Experience — the Heart of the Digital Workplace #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:

The idea of the “customer experience” is a powerful one, and it’s a strategic consideration for most big organizations. As a result, we’ve seen a huge degree of customer-centric digital transformation. Within the enterprise, the concept of the “employee experience” is equally powerful. Going beyond basic usability and UX, it takes a holistic view of how solutions are designed and delivered. This practical session outlines how digital workplace professionals and projects can use the employee experience as a strategic driver for change. Real-world examples of great employee experiences from around the globe are shared.

Speaker: James Robertson (Founder, Step Two)

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2017 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • James Robertson Slides
  • Horrifying Employee Engagement Statistics.
    • In the US, only 32% of employees say they are engaged
    • In the rest of the world, only 13% of employees say they are engaged
  • A digital workplace”. “A digital workplace consists of the set of tools you already have.” The problem is that it isn’t good. What’s a great digital workplace?
    • a holistic set of tools, platforms, and environments that enable work
  • Visa’s Digital Workplace.
    • delivers high functionality and a rich user experience
    • they provide a great mobile experience — they go beyond responsive design to provide a dedicated mobile app.
  • Coles Supermarket Chain in Australia.
    • Their intranet = “My Coles”
    • They wanted to provide high functionality for (previously underserved) employees in the field that is comparable to the functionality previously available only to office-based employees.
    • They provided a mobile app that could be used on personal devices on an opt-in basis. They have high rates of adoption.
  • Swisscom.
    • They provide 3 home pages
      • one is all about news — all the time
      • one is all about tasks — all the time
        • it is tailored to the individual user and their function
        • it includes the one piece of content EVERYONE wants: the cafeteria menu
      • one is “about us”
    • Through this approach, they demonstrate that they are interested in providing the materials that the employees care about most to do their jobs.
  • Telstra.
    • Their goal was to make their intranet so effective that they would be able to reduce the number of support calls
    • Their employees cannot be paid without submitting their time sheets. So they provide a visual display on the HR page of their intranet which shows the individual employee’s current level of time submission
  • What about allowing staff the ability to personalize their intranet pages?  In theory, this is a wonderful approach because it treats employees as engaged adults. However, research shows that only 5-10% of staff ever take advantage of the option and actually customize their pages.
  • A truly delightful employee experience is also effective for the business. The Mando Agency is a professional services firm that cannot bill its clients unless its own staff submits their time sheets. To manage this challenge, Mando installed an internet-operated beer fridge that was programmed to unlock on Fridays, but ONLY once everyone in the firm had submitted their time tickets. The firm provided a dashboard showing everyone how close they were to achieving an unlocked fridge AND which people were blocking progress by their delinquency in submitting their time. This gamification and extreme transparency work. In the five years since they installed the fridge, the employees have failed to open it only once.
  • How to provide a good Employee experience?.
    • Learn about how the employee works and what they need.
    • Have a deliberate digital approach that allows you to do all of the following three things simultaneously, but at different paces:
      • Projects: make sure you have at least one project for every budgetary period in order to make continuous improvements to the digital workplace
      • Strategy: this should enable the “big leap” that takes 3-5 years –it shows the trajectory of the combined effect of these projects
      • Vision: these big ideas about the future
    • Take ownership of your employee experience
      • don’t give this away to vendors, don’t let the vendors dictate what your employee experience should be
      • your needs are different from those of your vendors so if you are going to meet the unique needs of your employees you need to exert some control over the vendor offerings.
    • Establish Governance
      • Step Two provides an Intranet Operating Model
      • Governance is merely a means to an end
    • Take every (small) opportunity to improve your digital workplace and employee experience
      • but beware that every change has an inherent cost — it is disruptive, it asks for different processes or behaviors, etc.
      • Step Two provides a 6×2 methodology to help choose which changes are feasible and worth doing.
  • Dream Big, but iterate often!
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Taking an Agile Approach to the Digital Workplace #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Description:  Organizations are looking beyond a sea of separated systems, with the goal of delivering a seamless digital workplace for staff. This brings together intranets, social and collaboration tools and business systems to provide radically better workforce solutions. While the vision is becoming increasingly clear, the question remains: How to get there from here? Robertson explores how to take an agile approach to delivering the full vision, sharing real-world examples from leaders and innovators.

Speaker: James Robertson, Founder, Step Two

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2015 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Three Key Elements of the Digital Workplace.  The hard part is not defining the digital workplace. The hard part is planning (and taking) the journey from where we are to the digital workplace of the future. To take this journey, we need to address three key elements:
    • Technology
    • Business – how we work in the new way that meshes with and supports the digital workplace
    • Design — use design as the “force multiplier” of the digital workplace
  • Coles Case Study. Coles is a large retailer in Australia that had a significant number of employees who were not connected digitally. They did not set out to deliver an intranet, but they did that. They did not set out to deliver Office 365, but they did that as well. The project was owned by the Staff Engagement team. Although the initiative was entirely voluntary, they achieved 100% adoption within the first month.
    • Their approach: they adopted an agile approach that they called Walk, Run, Jump. This means they had a lot of smaller subordinate work streams
  • Robin Partington Case Study. This is an architectural firm that moved to a digital workplace by aggregating a series of small, well-executed projects. The workforce was highly visual and had great design expertise. So these projects are attractive and well-designed. They built this digital workplace from the beginning of the firm. Each piece was built at the point of need and seamlessly integrated into the pre-existing resources. Best of all, they spent a relatively small amount (100 pounds sterling). [James Robertson put this in context by saying that other organizations spend at least this much on a month or two of SharePoint developers and consultants!]
    • their approach was to deliver small solutions deployed an incremental way
    • the challenge is to keep a firm view on the big picture throughout this iterative process
    • part of keeping the big picture in mind includes careful data architecture that is coherent
  • Telstra Case Study. When they created a new HR intranet presence, their goal was to reduce significantly the number of requests for help with HR information and processes. Part of the secret of their success (i.e., significant reduction in help requests)
  • Technology.
    • Take an agile approach — IT is familiar with this and can be a great partner in your efforts.
    • Use the intranet as the test bed for delivering high-value incremental improvements. In other words, test on staff before you try something new with your customer-facing site.
    • Prophet case study: they are constantly looking at what is in the consumer world and then trying to bring the best of the innovations back into their intranet. For example, they have taken the best of the Pinterest and crafting it to fit the work needs and work flow of the organization.
  • Business.
    • Get out from behind your desk/computer to find out how the organization really works.
    • Use true field research to understand how the business operates and how staff work.
    • Prestige Financial case study: they used SharePoint 2013 search to dramatically improve their business processes.
  • Design.
    • Build a strong internal design capability within the digital workplace team.
    • This means usability and information architecture expertise.
    • Commonwealth Bank case study: they have customer experience teams that have completed redesigned how the bank interacts with its customers. They have changed everything from the layout of physical bank branches to the  client-facing mobile applications. This is the ultimate in customer-centered design. (If stodgy, conservative, risk-averse banks can to it, so can the rest of us.)
  • Lessons Learned.
    • Quick wins are not good enough. Low-hanging fruit are not good enough. Instead, focus on small projects that you can deliver rapidly and iterate PROVIDED that they keep moving you towards your ultimate goal AND generate momentum to carry you towards that ultimate goal.
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Intranet Showcase #KMWorld

James Robertson is Managing Director of Step Two Designs and author of Award Winning Mobile Intranets. The purpose of the Intranet Innovation Awards is to share the best new ideas (so the rest of us can steal them!). The 2012 winners presenting in today’s session are Paige Rhodes, Quality Manager, Weston Solutions; Craig Stoll, IT Senior Project Manager, Weston Solutions; and Dan Lewis, Principal Consultant, Mobility, The Judge Group.

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2012 Conference. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • The New South Wales Department of Education. The innovation in their portal is a beautifully designed “Essentials” bar that the user can personalize by adding other essentials that you like. Further a user can recommend a specific essential to other people in their network. When they do, that essential pops up on the essentials bar of the people in their network. While usually only 5-10% of users personalize their portals, in the NSW Department of Education portal, a huge number of users have personalized their essentials bar.
  • Enter LLC. Enter LLC is a retail company in Russia. They are focused on growing rapidly by helping people have fun. They have done this through gamification. Users can earn points. There are many ways of winning points: you can earn a small number of points by taking action within their Jive environment (e.g., posting, commenting), by recommending somone else for doing something that merits points. You can earn a large number of points by taking action in the physical world, particularly if you do something in a retail store. You can also earn extra points if recognized by a senior manager. The top point earners win significant prizes (e.g., international holidays).
  • Scott Corp. Scott Corp is an Australian company that moves really dangerous substances (e.g., explosives). They have huge reporting obligations to the government. In fact, they used to spend one full week each month gathering and auditing these paper reports. Their new process is that the truck driver completes the same paper report they have always filled out. However, next they photocopy their reports using a multifunction device and use soft buttons on the copier to indicate the severity level. That report is then automatically added to a database in SharePoint, which then triggers some automated work flow appropriate to the severity level. Now, the auditors have reduced the time spent from one week to zero.
  • Judge Consulting Group’s mLink. Judge is a privately owned professional services firm specializing in technology services. Rather than using a traditional CRM, they use a candidate tracking tool (they call EDGE) to keep track of their staff. For each potential staff member, they keep contact details, as many as three resumes, and tools that allow Judge personnel to document interactions with potential hires. Participation is recognized by posting photos of the top users on a leader board. Another functionality they provide is real time information on staff time and attendance. You can also see paystubs. (Pay fluctuates since it is a commission-driven business.) They also included mobile calculators to help personnel determine margins. They deliver this and more functionality via the mobile web and through their own app store.
  • Weston Solutions. Weston Solutions is an integrator providing services in environmental solutions, specialty construction and green development. It is an employee-owned organization with a staff of 1,800 in more than 60 offices worldwide. They have a diverse workforce and client base. They had a collaborative culture, but needed an intranet capable of supporting collaboration. Their intranet is currently ranked #1 in the Worldwide Intranet Challenge. This is an indication of user support of the intranet. LessonTrack is the functionality they are discussing today. It is designed to collect and share lessons learned. The landing page allows users to subscribe to a lessons relating to a specific area of interest. Each lesson has links to the author (included a link via Lync so you can contact them directly), and the ability to add comments to the lesson. The data entry form has only three mandatory fields: The title of the lesson, the lesson itself (three sentences will suffice), and some way to connect the lesson to a project number or opportunity number. The system can then connect that lesson to other metadata automatically. Other fields are key words and a list of contributors. They have built this in SharePoint. Using that common platform, they can tie a lesson to a specific project tracker (which tracks the operational status and financial health of a project). Employees are expected to enter their lessons learned immediately after they learn the lesson. The key to this is that the data entry form can be invoked no matter where you are. In each system there is a button that the user can click to generate a data entry form at the moment they realize they have a lesson to share. Finally, they gathered up all the existing lessons learned and pre-populated the LessonTracker so that users could get value from the minute the tool was launched.

 

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From Intranets to the Digital Workplace #KMWorld

James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two Designs, and author of Award Winning Mobile Intranets.

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2012 Conference. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • How do you “bake” social into the work environment?. ((1) The answer, according to IDEO, is to put people at the center of everything NOT documents. (2) Another method is to switch from an Intranet 1.0 focused on publishing to an Intranet 2.0 focused on collaboration. To do this, you need to understand the purpose for the new approach. Then, deliver the new way of getting things done rather than a particular technology. (3) Deliver information at the point of need no where the user is. Therefore, you need to have flawless, seamless mobile access. (4) Even if you need to use multiple systems to get your work done, consider if all of them can be consolidated behind a single user interface.
  • The Company Policy Problem. Usually organizational policies are distributed by email or are posted to the intranet. The problem is that most people ignore this and never read the policy. A small number may remember that a new policy was circulated and will go back to look for it when they need it. However, most simply don’t. The better approach is to track policy changes and then, when a person takes some action that relates to that policy, the system will alert that person that there has been a policy change that affects that person and the action that person is proposing to take.
  • Start with the User Experience. Tony Byrne (from The Real Story Group) describes this as designing from the glass back. If you start with the experience you want to deliver, you can communicate that experience via story and pictures to everyone who needs to understand and support the project.
  • Tell Your Own Stories. As you are designing, create stories that explain specifically how things will work when the new social system is in place. This is how you help others see the big picture, the grand vision.
  • Simplify. Our job is to connect the dots and blur the lines.
  • Four Critical Questions: (1) Can we make it simpler? (Can we remove something or skip somthing?) (2) Does it make smart use of technology? (3) Does it meet the needs of staff? (You can’t help people you haven’t met.) (4) Is it beautifully designed?

 

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