It’s time to change your policy on remote work

It’s time to change your policy on remote work

What to do if the whole company suddenly has to work remotely?

The recent coronavirus has brought to light the need for a digital workplace strategy and roadmap. It’s time to get serious about the idea of desktop employees working remotely.

Companies have to accelerate a digitization process that would otherwise take months, if not years of preparation. Home offices are the inevitable future of the workplace. If the coronavirus continues to spread, far more companies will have to rely on the concept of remote work as the norm. Be it because parts of their teams are quarantined, or they have had contact with infected people – or because suspected cases have occurred in the company.

What is required for a successful remote office? 

The equipment in the remote office does not differ significantly from that in the regular office. 

  • A desk and a good chair
  • High-speed wireless access
  • A laptop or desktop and an external monitor depending on your business role
  • Headset with a good quality microphone for video and voice calls

It is best to set up a corner in your home where you won’t be disturbed or, better yet, a separate room. Working from the sofa sounds nice at first, but it’s usually not half as comfortable as it looks. These are the basic requirements for a quick at-home setup. If your company and employees are serious about the concept of a digital workplace and remote work, it is best to set up a permanent home office.

Wich remote tools can your company quickly spool up?

A laptop is of little use in the home office if employees cannot use it to access the documents they need to work. The essential requirement is, therefore, a cloud-based platform. If your company has been on a slow digitization journey, you may already be using tools like google drive and Microsoft One Drive.

Digital tools are also required for meetings or project management if each employee is at a different location. Here is a VERY brief list of some of the more popular communications and collaboration tools available.

  • Slack, communication tool for short-form chats
  • Asana or Jira: digitize project planning
  • Trello: replaces to-dos on post-it notes
  • Miro: virtual whiteboard for creative, virtual collaboration
  • Facebook Workplace: intranet, for example for essential announcements
  • Zoom or Hangouts: video conferencing
  • DocuSign: virtual signatures
  • E-Post: saves you having to go to the mailbox

It is tough to implement these platforms in a few days, even weeks. These individual platforms also do not equal a full-fledged digital workplace. “Tools like Asana have a learning curve for implementation, management and team use. Companies that are not yet using any of these programs should at least begin the move to cloud document management with a platform such as Google Drive.

Which employees are best suited for remote work

Most jobs in digital companies only require WiFi, laptop, smartphone and the tools mentioned above. Employee roles such as IT, marketing, customer service, people & culture, supply chain, finance, internationalization and management can work remotely. It is difficult for departments that are still physically bound to files, product manufacturing and retail customers.

How do you know your employees are really work in their home office?

The company must become focused on value delivered that is measurable. In the office, you can’t make sure that everyone is delivering value at all times; “Presence is not the same as performance. “

The formulation of clear goals together with the employees and to motivate them to adhere to them. This simple statement actually requires a clear and well developed holistic plan. Hella creative can help with building a strategy that is actionable and quickly adopted by your workforce.

What else is there to consider? 

Building up and maintaining “team spirit” is a hurdle when everyone is at home. When you work remotely, you tend to only talk to each other professionally when you have a meeting. Remote work means distance on all levels. But closeness is the basis for building trust. Strong connections within the team arise, for example, from the short, private exchange at the coffee machine or during lunch.

There is a misconception that remote working does not allow for the building of culture and company values. If your organization is holding onto the idea that face to face interaction is more valuable than remote, you will have a difficult time building culture. Facebook, Instagram, and Slack have built multi-million dollar applications around the idea of distant relationships. 

Your employees are ready, young and old

Every employee in your workforce has become acclimated to this notion. They engage and exchange on these platforms every day, and much to an employer chagrin, at work. Your workforce is already prepared to join their teams remotely. Embrace it and trust that your workforce has been hired for their skill and discipline.

Culture is much like Brand, it’s not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. Brands do not require people to be physically close for success (unless your product is dependent on physically bring people together). They do need great experiences regardless if they are digital or physical. HR has put considerable energy into the physical experience with fun events and foosball tables. If your organization can build a strategy and plan that align with a road map and a digital platform, your companies digital employee experiences may surpass the physical.

Hella Creative Can Help With That

Companies can find value in a remote workforce

Companies can find value in a remote workforce

What are the advantages of “Remote Work”?

Is remote work just a luxury for your employees, or do such workplace models offer real benefits for companies? 

Studies say that your company can see a real advantage from remote work scenarios.

  • “Remote Work” is a real desire for the young, digital generation and a powerful argument in recruiting. In an international study by Buffer & AngelList , it was found that 98% of those surveyed would like to work remotely. The reasons given are more flexibility, no commuting and more time for the family.
  • In an article by Forbes they point out four great reasons why a remote workforce is better for business.
    • Remote workers are more productive
    • You can draw from a larger talent pool
    • You will be able to reduce costs
    • Remote workers are healthier
  • Inc. Magazine makes a great point in defining the difference between remote work and working from home. Essentially Working from home is a break from the office where an employee works removed from the office and their coworkers. Remote work requires different workforce capabilities and well-planned communication, collaboration, and knowledge management technologies. Oh and bandwidth.

What are the challenges of remote work?

Working from anywhere does not guarantee satisfaction for your company and your employees. Remote work brings with it several challenges that you have to deal with:

  • The lack of personal contact, cohesion, collaboration and communication within your company can suffer. This is caused by an insufficient digital workplace plan.
  • A real or perceived two-tier society may arise between the “office” and the “homeworker.” This issue arises when a well-planned Culture of inclusion strategy is not in place and advocated.
  • In a corporate culture that was previously based on the presence and control of employees, the introduction of remote work can cause uncertainty. Leaders must understand that they do not monitor their employee’s activities minute by minute or day by day for that matter. The focus must be placed on your employee’s ability to deliver the value their role requires.
  • Contact Hella Creative Solutions to learn more about the challenges your company may face with remote work digitalization.

How to activate your remote workforce

How do you manage to understand these challenges and take advantage of the opportunities of flexible workplace models?

Define which employee roles are suitable for “remote work.”

Working together with your professional departments, determine which areas of responsibility, teams or positions are suitable for remote work. Make clear, understandable rules. When everyone knows who is entitled to remote work, when and why, envy and competition between employees are avoided.

Basically, areas are suitable in which work results can be measured qualitatively (e.g. project goals) or quantitatively (e.g. accepted calls in a call center), and the work is digitized to a high degree.

With the right frameworks, process and governance, work is possible from almost anywhere for any “desk job”: Even in the HR department.

Determine the framework

Extend your employees’ internal guidelines and employment contracts with the necessary passages. Questions regarding workplace equipment, the cost of office supplies and electricity and insurance must be answered. Software solutions enable employees to easily request their office absences so that superiors and also colleagues know (via the automatic calendar entry). This makes the process transparent and involves all employees.

Also, it is essential to make arrangements for working hours and breaks during remote work and to determine how often or at what times the employees have to be on site. Such regulations provide security for everyone involved because they understand what is expected of them.

Investigate whether target agreements and performance assessments need to be adapted to the new situation. A standardized training plan (onboarding) for new employees is also mandatory for companies that offer location-independent work.

Equip offices and home workplaces adequately

Ergonomic office furniture is required by law. With remote work, it is fundamentally technology and software equipment that decides whether work is fun and enjoyable. Your organization will need the right software tools for communication (e.g. video telephony and chat) and collaboration (e.g. project management solution and knowledge database) before it will see the productivity benefits of remote work unfold.

Changes may also be necessary for your physical workplace. After all, the employees need a place while they are on site. On the other hand, your offices should not be left empty half of the week. An open space office is a modern and workable option. Here the employees present can flexibly choose a place, form teams and quickly get into a conversation.

Train your managers

Leading a team is never easy. If the group is spatially distributed and only meets every now and then, it is a unique challenge. Remote workplaces high demands on a manager’s communication, moderation and motivation skills.

Train your managers for this particular task. Please support them during conflicts in the team . Help you formulate suitable target agreements with employees. Employees who work outside are often at a disadvantage when it comes to transportation. Your successes are seen less. A standardized system for performance assessment helps managers to recognize and promote talent.

Promote personal contact between the teams

Videotelephony and chats are excellent, but they never replace personal connection. The fewer colleagues work in the same office, the more critical individual meetings are. Organize regular team building activities with the specialist departments.

The biggest challenges for employees

According to an international study by Buffer and AngelList, communication, collaboration and loneliness are among the three most significant problems with remote work. It is all the more important for HR and companies to work on (digital) measures that enable smooth collaboration.

Frequency and effort depending on how many employees work outside and how often. This can range from the weekly status meeting followed by the white sausage breakfast on Monday morning to the annual company event where colleagues from all continents are flown in. Not insignificant detail on the side: The budgets for pizza, beer, DJ and hotel accommodation should be firmly planted!

Hire employees you trust

Even if this point comes last: it is perhaps the most important. Your employees have to deal with the challenges of remote work – high personal responsibility, individual social isolation, a high degree of digitization. You, on the other hand, have to trust your employees to do their best without the boss’s watchful eye.

A lack of trust in employee motivation is one of the main arguments that companies use against remote work. However, if you do not fully trust an employee, whether he is sitting in your office or not, the question may be allowed: Why are you hiring him at all? Contrary to all fears, the average productivity of employees in the home office is increasing, as studies show.

In the selection process, make sure that candidates have the necessary character and skills to be able to work independently and regardless of location. By the way, most of them know whether they are “the type” for the home office or prefer to see their colleagues every day.

After an experiment with 250 employees, half of the subjects decided to go back to their office desk after a few months at home. The direct question in the interview, “Would you like to work remotely and why (not)?” is whether a candidate is suitable for remote work or not.

So it depends on how you do it. Work out an individual strategy and plan that fits your company. Test remote work in one or more model teams, evaluate the results and optimize them. Then roll out the concept for your entire company.

Identity management and getting back to our roots

Identity management and getting back to our roots

Identity management, at times, gets a bad rap. When we consider the act of capturing user information, we sometimes see it as a covert or unethical practice. When we seek to understand a user (employee or customer) behaviour or craft a perception of the user’s character, it is seen as intrusive. This perception of identity and profile data collection may be due to the fact we are seeking to build a “view” of our consumer (employee or customer) by the use of technology. Technology is cold and objective. What if we were to add context to consumer behaviour and profile data. What could we achieve for our consumers, and how could we genuinely craft a more intimate relationship?

Regardless whether you are focusing on employees, customers, partners or recruits, you are targeting consumers. You are seeking to build lasting, meaningful relationships with the consumers of your technology platforms, your product and your services. To better understand why we do what we do as Marketers, Communicators, Developers, Experience designers and Experience Architects, I believe we need to go way, way back to the beginning. Back before, our digital transformations, mobile connectivity and even the TV and the hay days of the broadcast advertiser.

I believe what you will find in the following simple snapshot of the Trousdale’s General Store is what we are all striving for with our digital experiences.

Welcome Back to Ontario Canada in 1836

General dealers were established in the 18th and 19th centuries in many remote populated places where mobility was limited, and a single shop was sufficient to service the entire community. Due to its close connection and confinement to its customers, general dealers often adjusted their sales offerings to the specific preferences of their community.

The oldest continually run general store in Canada is Trousdale’s, located in Sydenham, Ontario, which has been operated by the Trousdale family since 1836.

Sociability has always been a feature, as locals come to chat as well as buy.

  Actors

Mr. Trousdale – Store owner

Ben Brown – Customer

The year is 1937 in Ontario Canada

Ben Brown has been coming to the Trousdale General Store since he was a child. Mr. Trousdale has known Ben since he was a young boy and has seen him grow into an adult with a family of his own. Ben has grown to trust Mr. Trousdale because Ben respects the life Mr. Trousdale has led. Ben knows Mr. T has been through the First World War, where he served as a field medic, he has seen and done many things. He knows when Mr. T was a boy, he helped his father build this store from the foundation up. Ben sees Mr. T as an advisory on all things, from hardware to medicine to life advice.

Mr. T. has built a relationship with Ben, heck he was invited to Ben’s wedding. He knows that Ben runs the fam about 2 miles out of town. He knows that he will soon be building a new barn for the cattle he is fixing to raise. He knows Ben usually has a set of extra hands to help him, but his sin had taken ill with intense flu. Mr. T knows what Ben will need as soon as he walks through the door.

Access and authentication

Mr. T. Knows exactly who Ben Brown is when he walks through the door.

Identity

Mr. T. Knows where Ben lives, How many members are in his family, he knows the condition of their collective health,

Exceptional Service

Mr. T. knows the supplies Ben will require to take the appropriate action in his day and his life.

Relationship

Together they form a bond that spans time through generations.

Mr. T. Has the same relationship with his employees, supply partners, and other neighbourhood retailers.

The evolutionary Challenge

The year is 2019. Both Mr. T. And Ben are long since gone. The idea of the general store has faded and made way for big-box retail. The employee has multiplied exponentially, and the customer numbers are in the billions. We no longer reach a couple of miles outside of town; we reach globally. The consumer company relationship has experienced the disruption of scale. The broken bond has increased the distance between customer and company living enterprise organizations with little understanding of their employees, let alone their customer. To increase the divide even further add a layer of cold, emotionless technology and the hope of understanding the customer like Mr. T. Seems impossible.

To compensate, we have tried to leverage our technology through CRM, Supply chain for our partners, HRIS for our employees. To service our customers, we have developed beautiful experiences delivered through applications and media across desktop and mobile devices. All our products and services have digitalized.

Present-day 2020

We believe that taking a more empathetic customer-first approach to everything we conceive gets us closer to those strong bonds of Trust, Respect and relationship.

WHAT

Your company has implemented or seeks to achieve a secure IAM (Okta, Ping Identity) Information access management system for employee access. Your organization aims to implement a CIAM (customer information access management system) to reduce friction and create a holistic view of your companies applications.

HOW

Build a team of professionals with capabilities in Technical Architecture, Cyber Security, and Development, to name a few. Leverage the technologies that form your technology stack for IAM success. To drive this forward and into the enterprise, you have faced the challenges posed by change management across executive and through lines of business.

WHY

Decreased friction targeting employee authentication and access. Each employee has one single identity. This unique identity allows the employee to access all applications and services that the employee is permitted and expected to interface. You will increased security, decreased risk, and reduced the level of effort for the IT teams. This reduction effort means the IT team can focus on proactive actions and innovation. We have empowered our workforce to become more efficient. Through efficiency, we increase our competitive advantage.

We collectively know more now about the attributes of our employees than we ever have. The more migrations and integrations that take place across the LOB, the more we will continue to know. We are amassing an incredible amount of data.

Present Day 2020 and Beyond

WHAT

Create a foundation for the collection of your customer identities across all digital products services and marketing, and we hope to exact the same outcomes as with our employee efforts. You will require a Federated Customer Identity Access Management (CIAM) system and service to understand your customer better. It is our inference to create a single view of your customer that will communicate a 360 degree understanding of the person we transact.

HOW

Build a team of professionals with capabilities in Technical Architecture, Cyber Security, and Development, to name a few. We will procure technologies that form our technology stack for CIAM success. The selected Federated Identity Management technologies will need to traverse, ingest protocols from a more diverse and ambiguous list of applications and media. To drive this forward and into your enterprise, you will face more complicated change management challenges than posed by or employee programs.

WHY

In doing so, we will decrease friction concerning customer authentication and access. Each customer will have one single identity. This unique identity allows the employee to access all applications and services that the employee is permitted and expected to interface. We have increased security, decreased risk, and reduced the level of effort for your IT teams. This reduction of energy means the IT team can focus on proactive actions and innovation. We have empowered our workforce to become more efficient. Through this efficiency, we increase our competitive advantage.

Federate Identity Managed Service

Federated Identity Management helps customers reducing passwords, improving customer experience, productivity and security. Businesses benefit through reduced costs associated with password recovery, enhanced security, better data quality and increased customer engagement and revenue.

Federated Identity Management provides the seamless user experience, improves customer engagement and security. Federation also centralizes customer profile data into a Single Customer View for improved customer analytics, segmentation and GDPR compliance.

You will collectively know more about the attributes of our customers than we ever have. The more migrations and integrations that take place across the LOB, the more we will continue to know. We are amassing an incredible amount of data.

Federate Identity Managed Service + Context

Don’t leave any data on the table.

WHAT

“In a time where differentiation, adaptability, and customer focus are essential business values, it doesn’t make sense that the sources for all activities—the identity and contextual profiles of all users and customers—are spread across incompatible and siloed applications.”

Radiant Logic

We have improved the employee and customer experience by reducing friction, increasing security, delivering transparency, and building trust. Your collective digital and physical experiences create an enormous amount of momentum and DATA. What do we do with the data? How can we better serve our customers like MR T.? We need to know the customer. Modernized Identity Management makes way for a deeper understanding, which creates new relationships with the customer that last.

Federated Identity Management does not just provide your customers with a single identifier across all your consumer-facing applications. You also connect to internal-facing applications. If we include applications used for marketing, sales and Human Capitol, we are capturing exponentially more, highly contextual consumer data. When duplications are removed, living a single identifier, we have a robust 306-degree view of your customer.

WHY

Actors

Your Enterprise organization

The Customer – People

The Workforce – People

Partners – People

Device, Technology, Applications – Things

Data – Contextual Identity Intelligence

Value to your Organization

Inform Application Development and Procurement, Inform Product Development, Empower a more agile competitive, innovative Enterprise,

Value to your Customer

Trust, Transparency, Empower, Personalization, Sense of ownership and control, World-class experience, A sense of connection to something greater, Strong, lasting relationship.

With Federated Identity Managed Services, we are taking a DMP that exists for one purpose in one line of business in one application and connecting it to hundreds of DMPS. FID provides a complete view, a clear picture of who that person is. FID provides a contextual understanding of that person. My actions will be different when engaging your customer-facing marketing than when I engage your customer internal activities and employee engagements. All engagements that tie to the single identity help describe who I am. If we group and divide these individual persons into groups and further divided into segments, Your will have the ability to:

  • Better support Business Strategies
  • Enhance customer experience both offline and online through Your media and applications
  • Strengthen Relationships
  • Deliver Personalized Experiences
  • Increase Consumer Satisfaction
  • Extend Lifecycles
  • Generate Competitive Advantage
  • Increase in Revenue
  • Delight the consumer
  • Deliver Personalization
  • Improve Customer Retention
  • Increase Productivity
  • Improve Operational Efficiency
  • Innovate faster
  • Iterate with agility
  • Discover hidden opportunities
  • Target communications
  • Elevate consumer experience and satisfaction
  • Act locally or globally
  • Service consumers across silos
  • Increase upset and Cross-Sell opportunities
  • Build better products
  • Mitigate risk
  • Enforce policy
  • Reduce Support Costs
  • Reduce Employee Attrition
  • Build Brand
  • Build Culture
  • Educate and inform

HOW

We have built a team of professionals with capabilities in Cyber Security, Data Science, Change Management, Business Strategy, Communications, Marketing, UI/UX, Development, Design Thinking, LOB Stakeholders, Executive Sponsors, to name a few. We will procure technologies that allow the team mine data and make it actionable.

  • Provide proactive and reactive services to surface consumer intelligence and support critical business strategy continually.
  • Empower Brand, Marketing, Sales, Human Capital, Business Development, Product Development, Partner programs across all lines of business.
  • Deliver timely consumer intel through an internally accessible web presence.
  • Provide extended benefits and access to data for Business units that partner with the CIIT (Consumer Identity Intelligence Team)

Your company is already tooled to engage your digital workplace

Your company is already tooled to engage your digital workplace

Marketing vs Promoting

What is Marketing?

Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as “the activity, institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value to customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to market with goods for sale. From a sales process engineering perspective, marketing is “a set of processes that are interconnected and interdependent with other functions of a business aimed at achieving customer interest and satisfaction.”

Excerpt: Wikipedia

Marketing focuses on the power of persuasion. Marketing works to prove the value of a product or service to entice a customer to buy. To get a snapshot of all the potential marketing tactics for persuasion, check out this articles by culturebranding.com. Marketing communicates a brand promise to produce individual customer’s alignment to the brand promise. When customers convert to a consumer, it creates brand affinity with the consumer. In digital marketing, the consumer is empowered to share their positive experiences with the companies brand experiences. Through the sharing of their brand experience across their network, the consumer becomes an influencer of further customer conversions. The brand will grow through this process, and profits will increase.

What is Promoting?
pro·mote (prə-mōt′)
tr.v. pro·mot·ed, pro·mot·ing, pro·motes

  1. To raise to a more important or responsible job or rank.
  2. To advance (a student) to the next higher grade.
  3. To contribute to the progress or growth of; further.
  4. To urge the adoption of; advocate: promote a constitutional amendment.
  5. To attempt to sell or popularize by advertising or publicity
  6. To help establish or organize (a new enterprise), as by securing financial backing: promote a business process or unit.

Within a well designed digital workplace, promoting is the act of “Influencing” change. The act of promoting in the context of digital transformation or building a modern workplace works to manage change efficiently. Promoting builds trust creates transparency, inspires advocacy, and empowers your workforce. 

To drive digital transformation, you must influence the creation, distribution, and sharing of knowledge to build a company’s competitive advantage. When you Influence behavioural change, you see improved customer engagement, stronger customer relations, and better products with a higher value. The inspiring of behavioural change will also improve processes that increase productivity. Promoting collaboration empowers employees and groups to excel, advance faster and innovate more often. Successful promoting builds an influential culture. Much like memorable brands are built by strong marketing. Decisive, targeted, purposeful promotions create a healthy culture.

You are already tooled to build your modern workplace if you market to customers.

The following is a less than an exhaustive list of marketing activities your organization or marketing vendor uses to engage your customers.

  • Marketing, UI, and UX are the basis for rich customer experiences.
  • Marketing tactics and strategies are intended to get them there, keep them there, and keep them coming back.
  • Marketing – Persuade and influence vs Promote – Inspire and Influence
  • The brand is the external goal vs the culture is the internal goal
  • Leverage available touchpoints, target employees where they are to provide relevant, timely personalized communications
  • Content that has value to your users is the cornerstone of content marketing. What does content marketing create for external marketing and customer experience?
    • Increase quality awareness of your business
    • Build an engaged audience
      • Their value is in their enthusiasm.
        • Their commenting on your social media posts encourages other people to do so.
        • Their social sharing increases brand awareness, and the chance your business is seen by people like them
        • Their opening of your emails increase your email reputation
    • Get new customers
    • Turn visitors into customers, immediately
    • Retain the customers you already have
  • Target your audience through segmentation to deliver the right message to the right customer group at the right time in the correct location.
  • How you design your information architecture is key to the clarity of your message. Information architecture supports your user’s ability to find 
  • A well-governed marketing team can address the Strategic, Operational, and Tactical activities effectively.
  • Marketing teams employ automation and measurement tools to asses the success and failure of a program or campaign to adjust to market changes and disrupters.

Your company is already tooled to design, build and execute your digital workplace. If your company markets to customers, every strategy, tactic, and most tools for engagement and measurement can be used internally. The narrative and the vernacular may be different, but how you approach the challenge is the same internally as it is externally. Hella creative can help you reduce the noise and create a clear road map for your digital transformation.[/vc_column_text]

The company is the product the employee is the consumer

The company is the product the employee is the consumer

The company is the product, and your employees are the consumer of that product. Before becoming employees, they are prospects. Companies leverage marketing strategies and tactics to acquire the best talent. When a candidate converts to an employee of the companies workforce, they become a consumer of the company’s product. The employee consumes the company’s mission, vision, processes, policies, procedures, and all knowledge of products and services. The employee leverages all they consume to provides value to themselves and the company.

This approach should form the basis, the atomic level, of all the strategies and activities associated with the modern work culture.

Companies are more focused than ever on acquiring and retaining the best talent. It’s a significant budgetary hit when they lose an employee due to lack of interest, discontent or a better offer. The single most effective way of keeping talented employees from jumping ship is an empathetic focus on the employee experience. Companies must take an employee-first approach to digital transformation.

The modern workplace stresses the importance of what the employee can bring to the table in terms of skills, knowledge, capabilities, processes, customers, and revenue for the business. One of the best ways to improve employee experience is to have an empathetic focus on their needs while taking a plunge into digital transformation. Companies must cater to the needs of the people who work to create their products, services, support their brand and develop a culture of respect for their employees.

What is an Employee?

A company does not make valuable products, deliver world-class service, or even provide support; people do. A companies workforce brings vigour, enthusiasm and innovative ideas to a company. People are at the heart of all businesses. The company’s people are the force that defines the success or failure of a business.

Simply put, the employee is the core of any business, and is at the heart of any customer experience. Any employee, whether it be a sales representative or a customer service executive, form the basis of the image of a business. For example, an employee who is rude or harsh will automatically lower consumer experience, and will make people warier of employing the services of the company in the future.

Your employees build, implement, and use technology, which can be utilized to enhance the productivity of the business and enhance its value. Investing in employees and design thinking methodologies are more profitable, as they increase the productivity of employees. As people engage, learn, train and share experiences, they grow their expertise, thus being in a position where they can create more memorable customer services.

However, an employee is not just someone who helps a company to grow and prosper. In the modern workplace, interacting with an employee is the first step in understanding consumer experience. Investing in one’s employees entails understanding them as customers.

What Is A Customer?

In the world of economics, business is the means to an end, and converting a customer to a consumer is the end goal. Every product that is made for the markets is made for the customer. Through healthy competition, businesses gauge what a customer may want and evolve effective strategies to cater to their demands. The art of marketing has developed to create very efficiently, effective strategies that leverage targeted tactics to achieve measurable and repeatable success. Once a customer accepts a product and purchases it, they are then converted to consumers of the product.

What Is A Consumer?

A customer becomes a consumer once the final act of purchasing a product is complete. If they have a positive experience with the company, they become an advocate for the brand. The “Brand Advocates” are worth every single dollar that is spent investing in the company, as the most crucial way a business grows is by word of mouth. For example, ad campaigns do help in maintaining retention about a brand, but a customer is not likely to buy a product if they remember the name. However, they are more likely to but the product if they know someone who has used it, and has had a positive experience with the company and the product.

With the rise of digital transformation in growing the culture of a business, most of the interactions between the customers and products take place online. Thus, it has become essential to not only focus on the physical workplace, but also on the digital workplace, with equal, or more emphasis. Even though customers may not be aware of who it is behind the screen, they will associate any interaction, whether positive or negative, with the company. Hence, employee experience creates the final and lasting image of a business.

The Power of Marketing

Over the past decade, customer experience has evolved from a “technology first” approach to a “customer first” approach, through innovative design thinking strategies and an empathetic approach towards the needs of the consumer. This empathetic approach towards the customer reinforces the idea that the consumer is always right, and puts technology in the back seat, with a direct focus on human to human interactions.

In this regard, employees and consumers are the same. If all consumers are customers who have accepted a product by purchasing it, then employees become consumers when they embrace the idea of the company. An employee who is yet to be hired can be likened to the prospect of purchase, and once hired, they become a part of the company culture.

Just as a business cannot exist without its consumers, a company cannot survive without its employees.

Your employees are customers when they are not at work. Every customer requires a company that will grant them ease of access, meaningful and helpful content, convenience, collaboration, a streamlined pace of work, and easy communication. All employees require the same thing from their company, albeit in a different context. While consumers are looking for these options in order to help them correctly employ the services of a company, employees require these options in order to have a better work environment, with better communications, and a place where it is easy to work.

Most companies provide on the job training for new recruits, in order to familiarize them with the business and acquaint them with the work culture and ethics prevalent there. If an employee finds that their expectations are not met, or that they do not find the work culture conducive to them, they can easily leave. This causes a huge budgetary hit to the company since the employee has received all the required training, but the former did not receive the needed returns on their investment. Thus, simply training an employee and getting them ready for the job is not the end goal anymore. In the modern age, people are looking for a means to make their jobs seem like not quite a burden as it was once deemed to be. A company has the responsibility to cater to those demands. Otherwise, they may find themselves losing in the bid to keep up with their competitors.

Technology as an enabler of employee experience

In the digital age, customers rely on the speed of technology and advanced devices in order to have a fulfilling brand experience. For example, major delivery service has started using drones to send products to customers, who receive their orders at a faster rate, at a time that is convenient for them. Since businesses can afford to spend millions of dollars to ensure that their consumers remain loyal to them, there is no reason why they cannot spend a small portion of that amount to have the loyalty of their employees as well. Experiences should be created in an equal manner, both internally as well as externally.

The modern workplace must always be planned by keeping the needs of the employees above all else. This is the best way a business can ensure the successful implementation of a digital workplace. Regardless of where the company starts, iterative success will only be guaranteed if all the steps it takes are thoughtful, relevant, measurable and accurate. All the capabilities and tactics which are used to enhance consumer experience can also be used to manage employee experience, without going out of the way or reinventing the wheel.

Catering To Both Consumers and Employees

There are several similarities between a consumer of a business and an employee of the same. These include the following:

Similarities between Brand External and Culture Internal

Brands have a responsibility towards their customers, as well as their employees. A business that constantly updates and revamps itself to keep up with the times will always find itself providing relevant content to its consumers. Similarly, with timely training and guidance, a business can ensure that their employees are up to date with the latest tools of business, and can create a meaningful experience for their employees.

Similarities Between The Employee Experience And The Customer Experience

The most important similarity between a consumer and an employee are their experiences with the company. The digital workforce is a great tool to enhance this experience on both fronts. Working and engaging with customers in a regular, consistent manner will help them become more acquainted with the brand, and what it offers on the market, ultimately culminating in consumers. Similarly, engaging with employees through continuous interactions and group activities will help create a positive work culture, ultimately resulting in a place where employees are met with affirmative workplace experience.

Similar Marketing Practices Can Be Used Internally

As stated above, businesses are the means to an end. When the business is a brand, its end goal is always the customer. Similarly, a business as a company should always make its employees the end goal. In the same way that consumers can be used to create brand advocacy, a business can also utilize its employees to develop cultural advocacy. This can be done through a digital transformation, such as creating a digital workplace through aspects such as online help and remote working. 

Conclusion

The customer is always the focal point of a business, and products, processes, programs, services and support experiences are always built, keeping them in mind. The same adage, which is used externally, must be used internally for the employees of a company. This focal point, or the end result, should always guide a business and help them make smart and digitally adaptive decisions, whether it be for consumers or employees.