3Ms Of ESN Some Mystery, Some Masala And Lots Of Magic

by Shashi Mohan, Executive VP & CTO, Intellect Design Arena Ltd

With the rise of hyper connected workforces and new workplace technologies, global organizations try to embrace a new way of working for nurturing employee engagement. Today’s digital workplace comprises of multigenerational workforce who are always ‘on the go’ in both personal and professional life. Moreover, the recent proliferation of social technologies at workplace enables employees to share knowledge, find experts and create ideas in real-time.

In recent years, the implementation of social technologies is evident in B2B companies in the verge of becoming a ‘Digital Organization.’ Every one of us would agree that digital disrupts our workplace today and we witness this workplace transformation on a large scale in today’s job environment.

Here are 3M’s of ESN that leads to the rise of a collaborative workplace:

Mystery: In recent years, the business outcomes of social collaboration are proven through real–life business use cases across different industry verticals. However, the real challenge lies in enabling employees to embrace the social tools for improving their productivity. The rise of a collaborative workplace is evident today and the recent studies enumerate the importance of social collaboration and employee engagement within enterprises:

• Employees want to work for companies that excel at social business. (Source: MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte)

• 72 Percent of companies are expected to deploy at least one social software tool and 639M paid users of enterprise social networks by 2020 (Source: Frost & Sullivan)

• Culture and employee engagement are the most important issues that companies face around the world (Source: Deloitte: Global Human Capital Trends 2015)

• Only 13 percent of workers worldwide -- are engaged in their jobs (Source: Gallup)

Research shows that employee engagement is all time low. Henceforth, global organisations today are forced to rethink employer-employee relationships in a new dimension due to the rise of multigenerational workforce in today’s digital world.

Many studies prove that engaged companies and employees result in superior customer service, better talent retention, higher profitability and stronger business outcomes in the long run.

Masala: The biggest challenge today in digital organizations for any social collaboration initiative is to find innovative ways for employees to embrace this new way of working. So, empower your employees with relevant training programs to make them comfortable in using these tools in their respective businesses.

The first and foremost objective is to tap your early adopters for becoming Social Advocates who will be sharing the best practices learning for a broader enterprise adoption. In general, employees don’t flock to new tools once introduced and the onus lies with the Executives to incentivize employees with redeemable points at every stages of their adoption cycle.

According to the NICE study, only 31 percent of companies exploring some form of digital rewards i.e. gaming mechanics are used infrequently. The primary goal of an enterprise gamification is to ease and improve the adoption of social collaboration tools at workplace by embedding game elements such as badges, points and rewards.

Magic: Every IT initiative needs a measurement to prove its viability within organizations. Similarly, organizations want to measure the success of enterprise social collaboration through relevant metrics after attaining a certain stage of adoption.

The biggest advantage for Unmail is that it has been proven internally and its first clients are two multinational organizations which focuss on the global BFSI space. It was implemented across both organizations. With a global presence, the ESN solution had to be accessed by associates and clients across geographies, teams and departments.

In 2 years of time frame after implementation, we have seen myriad benefits in terms of business impact. The support calls have reduced by 32 Percent, workflow processing time has reduced by 20 Percent, efforts reduction by 12 Percent, on-boarding time reduced by 75 Percent, attrition rates have reduced by 30 Percent and Email usage has reduced by 74 Percent with time savings of close to 1.3 million hours.

In summation, most organizations have started understanding the importance of social collaboration in a digital era. According to Angela Ashenden, MWD Advisors, “the first wave of social collaboration adopters sought to improve knowledge and information sharing, but our survey indicates that the next wave is focused on driving innovation and improving employee engagement.” Hence CIOs must ensure their organizations are agile enough to adopt and implement these emerging technologies to embrace ‘Future of Work’ for envisioning ‘Connected and Engaged Workplace’ as a reality in future. Unleash the power of social collaboration build a culture of engagement!