Posted: 14 Sep. 2022 8 min. read

Drive business outcomes through the digital workplace

Navigate the digital workplace through maturity stages

By John Brownridge, Kunal Khashu, and Roni Grant Gottesdiener

 

Driving superior experiences and business outcomes with tomorrow’s digital workplace today

 

The workplace is no longer simply where workers go to work. Nor is it necessarily the place where the worker actually is. The new workplace is where workers connect, engage, collaborate, and find a sense of belonging. And as most companies know well, knowledge work often exists independent of a physical place. It lives in a shared and seamless digital environment—the digital workplace.

The digital workplace allows us to interact with our work, in the form of processes, data and insights. It also provides opportunities to communicate, collaborate, and connect people and teams together across spatial and organizational boundaries. Workers can take their work on the road, in the air, or across the seas.

The digital workplace creates endless opportunities and possibilities, but the reality for most workers is that the digital workplace is a challenging place to feel connected, collaborative and, for some, productive. In pursuit of addressing these challenges, organizations have historically introduced layers of new technology in a piecemeal way, but the gains have often not lived up to expectations. To provide workers with the experiences they increasingly expect, companies can no longer lead with technological solutions. Rather, they must start treating their workers as they would their customers and listen to them.

 

 

ADVANCING DIGITAL WORKPLACE MATURITY

To envision and create a digital workplace that provides an environment where the workforce can thrive, organizations must take a human-centered approach. They must also take stock of where they are on their journey and where they aspire to be. Humans crave a digital experience that is reliable, equitable, productive, helpful, intuitive, and easy to navigate. The organizations that overcome the “experience debt” that overhangs typical digital workplaces—by reimagining and deploying the digital workplace the right way—are the ones that will achieve their desired business outcomes and win in the war on talent.

Deloitte designed its digital maturity model to help companies prepare for, navigate, and thrive on their digital workplace journey. Companies can use the tool to understand the different digital maturity stages and cross-reference where they are as an organization and where they aspire to be. It can make all the difference for a successful digital workplace journey. Four digital maturity stages inform the maturity model:

 

  1. Business outcomes: The realization of key business value imperatives, such as productivity gain, collaboration and connection, workforce engagement, and experience.
  2. Workplace experience: Connecting and prioritizing holistic workforce experiences to measurable business outcomes.
  3. Technology capabilities: Technology enablement of business outcomes and experiences across the digital maturity journey.
  4. Digital mindset and adoption: Mindset and operational shifts required to enable the continuously improving digital workplace journey.

 

INVESTING IN THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE LEADS TO POSITIVE BUSINESS OUTCOMES

Establishing intended measurable business outcomes is an integral first step to setting up the digital workplace for success. Often, we see organizations complete point-in-time, incremental transformations that lead to unpredictable productivity gains and complicated employee experiences. A shift in focus can move organizations to higher levels of maturity and more tangible outcomes. Leading organizations are designing and delivering the digital workplace to drive measurable business results, such as; productivity, connection, collaboration, the “great resignation,” “war for talent,” “hybrid work” and much more.

Business outcomes should be defined to provide direction, help organizations prioritize initiatives, and clarify what success looks like.

 

Category Considerations for determining related business outcomes
Productivity

Employees feel 84% more or as productive when working from home via digital technology and 67% more empowered to contribute while working digitally1.

Using automation to eliminate manual tasks can result in increased workforce productivity and efficiency, better quality work with reduced manual errors/rework, and ultimately enable the potential for greater revenue, margin and/or investments for organizations.

Collaboration and connection

The digital workplace enables workers to collaborate, share knowledge, innovate, ideate, and connect with colleagues to build community and belonging. 46% agree that the use of technology during the lockdown made it easier to collaborate at work2.

Overall, organizations become more innovative and efficient as workers connect to design and develop services and products to be delivered to the market.

“Great resignation” and “war for talent”

Employees are 230% more engaged and 85% more likely to stay beyond three years in their jobs if they feel they have the technology that supports them at work3.

Providing employees a seamless orchestration of tools to complete their job-related work, team across the organization, and complete tasks for themselves can result in significant talent experience, retention, and attraction gains.

 

WORKFORCE EXPERIENCE DELIVERS THE DESIRED BUSINESS OUTCOMES

Defining the desired workforce experiences is a crucial step in your transformation journey. Organizations must consider ever-changing workforce needs alongside business goals when designing the digital workplace.

Often, when product teams design a digital workplace without a customer lens or vision, they become limited in their ability to respond to employee needs and business demands quickly. As organizations mature, the workforce experience becomes connected across organization silos, but there is still evidence of incomplete experiences and inconsistent engagement levels. Companies with the highest maturity levels deliver experiences that allow employees to feel more valued and connected to the company culture through hyper-personalized and consumer-grade experiences and connections. Ultimately, aligning on the business outcomes and prioritizing workforce experiences for the future state based on leadership input and workforce sentiment is required to become a digital workplace leader.

TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES ENABLE THE WORKFORCE EXPERIENCE

Outcomes and experiences should drive the determination of technological capabilities and solutions. Organizations starting their digital workplace journey have historically made technology investments with a complex mix of custom and legacy systems that are not linked, leading to sub-optimized Return on Investment. Most mature organizations prioritize capabilities with real, enduring value for the workforce and the business, reducing customization and risk of rework. Digital workplace leaders deliver technology-enabled solutions as a gateway to work for individuals and teams, creating end-to-end support across moments that matter.

JOURNEY MINDSET

Designing, deploying, extending, and optimizing a leading digital workplace, is a never-ending journey, that requires a:

  • Mindset grounded in curiosity and adaptability.
  • Focus on human-centric design of experiences, such as, well-being, belonging, connectivity, purpose, individual and joint success, and sense of accomplishment.
  • Commitment to seamless technology experiences, measurement, iteration, and constant innovation.

All driving to unleash the potential of the workforce and deliver success to the business.

Authors:

References:

https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/technology-and-the-future-of-work/working-digitally.html

https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/consulting/articles/working-during-lockdown-impact-of-covid-19-on-productivity-and-wellbeing.html

https://hbr.org/2022/02/in-a-hybrid-world-your-tech-defines-employee-experience

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