Four Ways Enterprise Social Collaboration Will Engage Your Workforce and Strengthen Your Business
Although customer satisfaction depends on a variety of factors—from the quality of a product to excellence in customer service—a growing body of research suggests that customers’ happiness is strongly tied to employee engagement and enthusiasm. According to a recent Gallup survey, companies with the highest levels of employee engagement have significantly higher productivity, profitability and customer ratings; lower turnover and absenteeism; and fewer safety incidents than those in the bottom 25 percent. Additionally, researchers at the University of Michigan found that employee engagement not only drives higher levels of customer satisfaction, but it increases customer loyalty. And a recent Gallup poll in Germany found that 81 percent of engaged workers are willing to provide positive recommendations of their employer’s products and services, compared to only 18 percent of actively disengaged workers.
However, according to Gallup research, only 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is “engaged” in their work.
So the question becomes: How does a company build engagement among its workforce? And the answer is: With enterprise social collaboration. While there’s no doubt that many companies have found the value in utilizing external social media platforms, many have not tapped into internal applications that can be easily incorporated to the day-to-day workflow. Here are the top four reasons why growing your internal communication and collaboration via social intranets will engage your workforce:
Happy customers begin with engaged employees, and customer satisfaction is rooted deeply within the organization
1. Opens Up Communications
Internal social technologies allow for direct connectivity and engagement with team members and coworkers both in and outside the organization. And according to a recent analysis done by the McKinsey Global Institute, improved communication and collaboration through social technologies could raise the productivity of interactive work by 20 to 25 percent. With instant communication and easier collaboration among colleagues—across different teams and from different regions of the world—employees can find more importance and value in their work. This type of communication also breaks down silos and encourages information-sharing and innovation.
2. Creates Intelligent Workspaces
Not only do internal social technologies have the ability to provide open communication within the company, they can offer access to distinct workspaces and provide real-time instant notifications on the things that matter. Unintuitive technology and disorganized virtual workspaces can cause employees to become stressed, thereby triggering disengagement. This is a powerful distraction with enormous workplace costs: In the U.S., a study estimated that workplace stress caused absenteeism, productivity losses and sick leave in 2010 at a cost to employers of $300 billion. With intelligent workspaces, employees can easily see the tasks that need their attention and take the necessary actions when applicable. Files can be centrally stored and easily accessible, minimizing time and effort spent looking for information that matters.
3. Provides Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device Access
Whether you’re in Hong Kong or Paris, enterprise social collaboration tools allow employees to connect, communicate, share and collaborate from their smartphones or tablets and enjoy direct, real-time access when and where they need it. Engagement technology is built around mobility, and businesses are investing heavily in engagement applications. Mobile enterprise investments are expected to increase by 30 percent in the coming years. Workers equipped with their own devices make the move toward mobility and engagement easier.
4. Empowers Users
Enterprise social collaboration empowers its users with not only the tools they need to be productive leaders and contribute to the success of the business, but also with the tools they need to grow. It also offers a unified window into the company. Offering an aggregated view of everything in and around the workplace at their fingertips—from important company announcements and recent updates from peers and connections to links to project workspaces and personalized communities—users feel empowered, engaged, connected and valued. And the American Psychological Association found that when employees felt valued by their employers, 92 percent of them felt satisfied in their roles and 91 percent said they were motivated to do their best.
Happy customers begin with engaged employees, and customer satisfaction is rooted deeply within the organization. Companies that adapt to a more open, sharing and flexible workplace stand to create tremendous value for their employees; and in that sense, understanding that enterprise social collaboration can be beneficial both externally and internally, is critical for a company’s success.