Why a personalized digital workplace makes your company a great place to work
A versatile workplace
Henry Ford once said, “You can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black” – and historically employees have accepted this kind of approach to workplace IT, receiving the same devices and support as their peers.
Henry Ford’s statement was true of its time, but today we would not dream of telling consumers that they can only choose a car in one colour, or one type of mobile phone. And we wouldn’t have told Usain Bolt that he can only use one type of running shoes. Nevertheless, this is the world many employees live in, knowing they could be more productive and efficient if they were allowed to use technology beyond what their company has supplied and dictated they must use.
How you work, and the access you have to the tools and methods that suit you best, is an important part of being yourself in the workplace. For modern organizations, finding their employee’s unique strengths and identifying ways to embrace and empower them will be key. Digitalization can help businesses do this by creating a digital workplace that is as unique as the individual they employ.
It’s unsurprising that companies with inclusive policies are gaining “diversity dividend”, which can add up to a cash flow that’s 2.3 times higher per employee. This is because when you’re allowed to be completely yourself, – whatever background, gender, sexuality, disability or race – it undeniably improves your performance and allows you to play to your strengths without having to be concerned about covering up, or adapting who you really are.
One size doesn’t fit all
Employees’ needs and preferences at work vary significantly, according to a number of factors.
This can come down to the nature of your role, how mobile you are and how much work happens in the field. Your personal circumstances can be equally important: if you’re a parent or carer, using flexible and remote working to balance work and family commitments. And of course, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to how they work, and this can be tied to personal traits. Individual employees might prefer to work in different ways, to maximize their strengths, gain support where needed and collaborate with others in a certain way. Digital skills and confidence can also play a role. As consumers we’re used to choosing technology that’s highly personalized, comfortable and prioritizes our experience. Now we expect the same at work and ultimately, one size does not fit all.
Businesses are under increasing pressure to deliver a personalized digital workplace, to play to employees’ strengths, maximize productivity and ensure the workplace remains attractive to new talent. I’ve heard stories from recruitment agency’s where highly skilled people are turning down job offers based on a company’s IT infrastructure. The simple fact is, if they can’t work with the device or operating system that they are used to and prefer, they can choose another company to work for. This highlights the importance of a modern digital workplace to attract a new, highly skilled workforce.
Don’t assume, understand
Tailoring IT services to individual employees is nothing new. But in an enterprise, the sheer scale of resource needed to deliver a personalized digital workplace for everyone has been a significant constraint in the past.
It’s also true that without objective data, it’s hard to know what individual users throughout the organization actually want or need – and there’s always the risk of making generalizations. For example, it’s easy to make assumptions based on employees’ ages, like the idea that millennials are more digitally skilled than their older colleagues or are more demanding when it comes to bring your own device (BYOD). In reality, these preconceptions don’t always stand up; businesses need to understand what employees want as individuals and adjust services accordingly.
We are encountering a personalized digital user experience every day in our private lives. We use applications that can suggest new music, movies or the best way to travel to work. And they do this by using big data and analytics based on our previous behaviour. So why is it so difficult to get the same quality of user experience in our business life? The truth is that it’s not! That’s where Fujitsu’s Digital Workplace Services comes in. By using cognitive analytics to better understand users and putting insights into action with robotic process automation (RPA) and virtual agents, businesses can deliver a truly personalized experience.
Making IT work for you
The process starts with building an understanding of each user, based on employee data – including role, location and access rights, as well as historical data on enquiries and IT usage. These insights can then be applied to areas like IT support, which can be tailored based on users’ digital skills and preferences.
Less confident users might receive more detailed advice on our self-service portal, followed by a call for additional support. If a user has made the same enquiry multiple times, the desk can provide more detail guidance or recommend training. By contrast, users who are more proficient in IT would receive more technical, factual guidelines provided in text bullet points.
Virtual agents can also ensure that they use language that makes sense to individual users, by constantly updating to reflect colloquial or conversational terms in relation to the software or common issues. By integrating machine learning and AI into the Virtual Agent employees can receive contextual, relevant and user-friendly support.
The Service Desk can also help simplify IT tasks, such as ordering new equipment, by making automated suggestions based on users’ previous requests or orders made by others in the same role or location. The combination of data, analytics and RPA also makes it easier for businesses to implement BYOD policies, tailored according to job role and access rights.
A workplace fit for the future
Everyone wants to be treated as an individual, whether it’s at home or in the workplace. And this is shown to make us more effective at whatever we do. Fujitsu’s next generation service desk has the tools and methodology to deliver a personalized experience for improved user satisfaction and productivity.
Through real-time feedback (analytics) on how well the digital workplace is functioning, users have a direct voice into the business and can feel part of a workplace that allows them to play to their strengths.
Enabling employees to be themselves in the workplace unlocks benefits far beyond the individual themselves. It’s time for businesses to take note and take a personalized approach to stay ahead of the game!