Your company is already tooled to engage your digital workplace

Your company is already tooled to engage your digital workplace

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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][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The company is the product the employee is the consumer

The company is the product the employee is the consumer

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Your digital workplace development is a journey worth taking

Your digital workplace development is a journey worth taking

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A digital work is an environment where employees find all the information, and tools they need to do their job. The platform is the ‘presentation layer’ where everything comes together (digitally).

Designing a digital workplace requires a lot of tools and techniques and vision, but that is not the most important thing. In every modern workplace, the experience of the employee – the employee experience – must be central — the more optimized that experience, the better for the organization. The digital working environment is too important, to big to fail.

Behind a digital work environment, there is a complex ecosystem of users, processes, information sources and systems. You stand that up in one go, and you do not change that in one big push. If something is too big to deal with, then you proceed with an agile method. Agile is an iterative process that breaks complex strategy into manageable obtainable actions. In this way, you also prevent the entire ecosystem from collapsing like a house of cards. 

The more optimized that experience, the better for the organizational value created.

Instead of ‘big bang,’ it is better to work on improvements step by step. This way, you manage the complexities, and you can concentrate better on solving complicated individual challenges. By optimizing the digital workplace through an agile method, there is also more time to accurately measure outcomes, and coordinate the results with the target group, to think thoughtfully about further improvements and to communicate the success. Go slow to go fast. Focus on the small wins.

Step by step, process by process

Processes drive the functions of all businesses. These processes are a series of activities with an intended, measurable outcome. Organizations want to achieve their goals as efficiently as possible: at the lowest potential costs, with the highest possible speed and with maximum value for the customer. An optimal digital working environment supports employees in process-based working, making every digital workplace an essential instrument in the organization.

Hella Creative aligns the design of the digital workplace to improvements of the processes in the organization. With that, you connect every development to something that has visible value for everyone in the organization. Moreover, it helps to support change, because who is opposed to a better process?

The ever evolving digital working environment

By consistently improving employee experience and communicating success over periods of six to nine months, your team becomes a lean process optimization machine that makes a measurable difference to the organization. You thereby make an essential contribution to the digital transformation that so many organizations are consciously and unconsciously working on.

Placing the employee needs first and focusing on processes, employee experience and value for employees is more beneficial than simply launching a new intranet design. This new approach guarantees management attention, employee involvement and emphasizes the added measurable value of you and your team.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Modern Workplace and your digital transformation

The Modern Workplace and your digital transformation

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Digital Workplace enables companies to increase employee productivity and improve competitive advantage. The digital transformation strategy makes it possible to master the central challenges of the modern workplace.

The world of business is rapidly changing, transforming

Digitization is increasingly replacing rigid forms of work with flexible workplace concepts and working time models. More and more employees work on the go, at customer sites, in remote or home offices. Our near-future goal should be our ability to work where we want and how we want to work. Achieving this goal will require an employee’s first perspective before technology.

Young and older professionals alike attach great importance to flexible working or mobile working. They want to decide for themselves when and how they work. A study by the World Services Group has shown that for millennials, the balance between work and leisure is the most important. Only then does the increase in wealth follow.

If you want to position yourself as an attractive employer in times of digitization, you should offer existing and future employees, flexible workplace concepts and working time models. The keyword is “Employee Experience or Consumer Experience.”

Work flexibility can only be successful through strategy and digital devices.

To enable companies to do this, as a basic requirement, they must implement a high-performing, digital workplace or digital workspace. A digital workplace allows employees to secure access to all relevant company applications and data. A digital workplace becomes a one-stop-shop. The Digital workplace is a single destination for all employees to find one source of truth. The digital workplace is the gateway to all your workforce mission-critical activities. The location where your employee works and which devices they are using does not matter.

A digital workstation (the tool or device) enables completely flexible work – i.e. exactly what many young professionals expect. 

Increase employee productivity

In addition to satisfaction, the digital workplace, and the associated flexible way of working, also increase employee productivity. The long-term consequence: the turnover of the entire company increases.

For example, the fact that the digital workplace has a positive impact on business performance stems from global Avanade research. A similar result comes from a study by VMware, which was developed in collaboration with the research institute Forbes Insights. According to the report, employees report substantial productivity gains thanks to the introduction of digital workplaces.

Consistently high safety level

Of course, all of these benefits can only help companies when they implement a comprehensive security concept. It is important to protect access to data and applications. Otherwise, there is a risk of data theft. Data theft can have severe consequences for companies – especially in the loss of sensitive data.

With a digital workplace, companies can significantly reduce this risk. Here, the corresponding security is automatically included: For example, all data and applications that belong to the digital workplace, located in a secure data center. All applications are updated regularly and fully automatically – so that they are always up to date. In addition, only applications known to the IT department are used. In addition to comprehensive protection against data theft or malware attacks, one of the biggest security and privacy risks can be minimized: the shadow IT.

Shadow IT means employees in everyday work use applications that the IT department is not aware of or have not syndicated.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

What does it mean to transform a business digitally?

What does it mean to transform a business digitally?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Digital transformation is what happens to companies as they implement new and innovative methods of doing business based on technological advances. The implemented changes fundamentally affect the status quo through digital tools. More often, these digital tools involve introducing not only new technologies but also potential behavioural changes to replace or improve existing systems and processes. A digital transformation is not a “solution” or “product” that you can buy but affects everything that comes into contact with your workforce through IT in their respective industries.

Do you feel the absence (or malfunction) of the technology rather than its benefits? 

Our modern world is digital, and we expect nothing more than complete efficiency from technology. Smartphones have all the data you need and more for the highest productivity 24 hours a day. You have in the palm of your hand word-processing tools, calendars, smart home notifications, public transportation schedules, grocery delivery and weather reports. 

We usually become aware of technology only when it is suddenly no longer present or functioning. An example of this lack of presence, you are at a toll booth where you must pay cash because there are no digital means of payment. Another example is when the technology for conference calls fails, again. These are just a few reasons why companies need to invest in technologies that meet both customers, consumers and employee demands. 

Clouds, mobile apps, and various as-a-service offerings require new types of storage, analytics, automation, and management. One innovation leads to the next: new technologies lead to process improvements and in turn, to better products and services. And then customers always demand further enhancements because they are already too used to individual experiences in their everyday lives

You can imagine this as follows:

  • Products such as paper records in filing cabinets are now just bits and bytes in cloud containers. Merely the idea of a filing cabinet today abstract, software-defined object. Technology made obsolete the physical filing cabinet. I guess a good question is “why do we still use the term file”?
  • Guest rooms have replaced services such as hotel stays and rental cars, and drivers are ordered today with their smartphones.
  • Processes such as waterfall workflows have evolved into DevOps practices with iterative teams.

Integration of the digital transformation

The positive (and negative) of digital transformation is that there is no one patent solution. Changing how we work with technology depends mostly on how we are currently dealing with technology.

Where do you stand personally? Do you still rely on traditional monolithic software stacks? Do your developers already work with public cloud environments, but are they struggling with porting apps in their own company? Are your business units able to make their own technology decisions instead of having to wait for applications to pass the IT approval process? Is your organization open to BYOA (bring your own apps or shadow IT)? Wherever you are currently, that’s exactly where your starting point is.

Many consulting practices regard your location in digital transformation as a maturity score. At Hella Creative, we do not view it as maturity; rather, we see it as a point in a journey. This journey does not necessarily have a start and an end just varying levels of complexity.

Since not everyone starts at the same point, there are no universally applicable frameworks, playbooks or roadmaps for the digital transformation. Your organization may need to rethink its current software, development methodologies, business processes and employee-relevant responsibilities (governance). Or, if your architecture already forms a good foundation, maybe add new features.

Digital transformation or its implementation is not a quick action but a long-term strategy. It must integrate long-term behavioural, cultural and technological changes to ensure continued organizational and business success. Digital transformation does not have to mean that your business processes are interrupted or revolutionized. Digital transformation must be organic and gradual. After all, iterative progress is progress. Hella Creative takes an Agile approach to transformation consulting and actioning your digital roadmap. The goal must be to learn to react flexibly to changes before the market makes such demands. The market inevitably will make those demands. Whether you operate a law firm or print newspapers, there is no business that is safe from disruption.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Digital workplace communications best practices

Digital workplace communications best practices

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Many organizations pay extensive attention to how they communicate with the outside world. It must be as efficient and personal as possible. However, what about internal communication? Isn’t that the same for that? To make a difference as an organization, you have to improve your internal communication first. How do you do that? We help you on your way with these seven tips. Any organization can action these tips without engaging the professional support of a consultant.

The added value of excellent internal communication

What does internal communication do within an organization? 

  • Let people find each other and let the dialogue develop
  • Ensure involvement of employees with each other and the organization
  • Provide clarity about the strategy, mission, goals and values ​​of the organization
  • Let people work together better, faster, more effectively and more efficiently

Although these four elements partly overlap, you can call them all-important for the proper functioning of an organization. Adequately addressed internal communication makes organizations stronger, more efficient and more productive.

How can you improve your internal communication?

Communication professionals are not all satisfied with their roles. How organizations view, internal communication is also not always optimal. A few frequently mentioned areas for improvement from the study:

  • The internal communication department is often too late involved in decisions or projects
  • The internal communications team does not employ skilled digital marketing strategists.
  • There is not enough budget for internal communication
  • Top management does not set an excellent example in the field of internal communication
  • Senior management does not see the connection between employee experience and customer experience

Can you improve your internal dialogue as an organization? We provide the following seven tips that you can start using right away.

Prepare an internal communication plan

What role does your communication team currently play in your organization? In what way do you communicate now? So does that work? Where is improvement possible? You create an internal communication strategy or communication plan based on these questions.

You decide how concise or extensive you make your communication plan. You can improve your internal communication in different ways. Do not forget to ask everyone in your organization for input – if necessary, anonymously. This way, you find out what people are open to, or what their ultimate need is.

Connect teams and departments

Do the different departments or groups within your organization all know what they are doing? Also, do they sometimes work together? By bringing teams – even when they seem to be busy with other things – in contact with each other, you make the exchange of knowledge possible. Organize a joint brainstorm or a question and answer session. Sometimes tips or new insights can come from unexpected sources.

“You improve your internal communication and your organization as a whole if you ensure that departments do not alienate from each other.”

You improve your internal communication and your organization as a whole if you ensure that departments do not alienate from each other. Also, it promotes the bond between colleagues – and that can only benefit communication.

Ensure support and make clear who is responsible

Who is responsible for internal communication at your organization? Is there a separate department for this? Does it fall under the Communication or Marketing team? Alternatively, under HR? Internal communication is one layer below management for the majority of organizations.

Whatever department it takes on: ensure that it is clear to everyone responsible for internal communication. Put several motivated, enthusiastic people on it, which you know are also capable of motivating others. In this way, you create support within your organization, and as many people as possible participate.

An excellent example of a team member’s role responsible for success and support is a community manager. The community manager has the task of inspiring, motivating and addressing everyone within (and often outside) your organization. An essential link in your internal communication.

Use the tools that you have available

A digital workplace, collaboration platform or social intranet is a suitable tool for discussing projects, exchanging ideas and sharing tasks. It makes internal communication a transparent, smooth process. Nobody has to leave their workplace for it.

When choosing a digital platform, always take into account its functionalities, but also user-friendliness. It makes a big difference whether your employees greet it with enthusiasm or reluctantly (or not at all) start using it.

Do you have an intranet or a digital communication platform? Then you have a versatile tool at your disposal. You can go in many directions, especially in the field of internal communication. Analyze what you have and find out how the software can help you improve internal communication. For example, make use of audiovisual content, make data and statistics transparent for everyone, share your company story or spread your message efficiently throughout your organization.

Naturally, you also have options without a modern intranet. A newsletter by e-mail, a staff magazine, a meeting with participants from several teams – it works, but it takes a little more effort. 

Provide and encourage room for feedback

Within organizations with a strict hierarchy, internal communication sometimes runs smoothly. Not so strange, since a message has to take many turns. Also, communication often only goes one way: from top to bottom.

An organization is bursting with knowledge and ideas. Also yours. However, do people also get the space to share this? You can only improve your internal communication if you let it come from both sides. The management team or management must not be the only one who communicates internally.

Give employees the space to use their feedback. Also, above all give them the feeling that they can do this freely. Let people give their opinion about your services or products, your working method, your organization as a whole or other specific issues. It is a shame if you do not use the knowledge and creativity that are present within your organization.

Avoid a flood of communication

With current technologies, it is much easier to spread a message quickly within a (large) organization. That is, of course, positive, but at the same time, there is a danger in it. Be careful not to flood people with information. Other important messages can get buried.

“Don’t flood people with communication. Otherwise, the most important messages can get snowed under.”

Newsletters, short messages, infographics, images, videos – all good, but choose the right moments for it. Too much communication is counterproductive. If you love people for their work because of the amount of information you send them, you know it’s better to turn the knob back a little.

Keep communicating

As an organization, it is essential to stay in conversation with your employees. Continue to involve them in what you do and allow them to think along with you about issues that directly or indirectly relate to their position, your organization or the market in which you operate. Employees will come up with ideas faster if they are regularly asked.

Remember that you do not sell an advertising message or commercial pitch to your team. They quickly get through that. Authenticity is essential, even when it comes to internal communication. Finally, make sure that you communicate as directly as possible, instead of via detours. This way you prevent – just like with a whisper game – your message has utterly different content at the end of the line.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]