Have you ever thought about your company’s employees as brand ambassadors? Sure, they may not be working in the marketing department, but how they discuss their workplace experiences with friends, family, and online can impact your brand’s reputation—and even prevent prospective hires from wanting to join your team.
As a result, the importance of a positive workplace experience extends beyond the traditional metrics of retention, engagement, and employer brand, and could impact your ability to leverage employees as an effective marketing channel.
A Gallup report reveals that one in two employees are open to leaving their organizations. Additionally, three times as many people left their jobs due to engagement, culture, well-being, or work-life balance issues compared to the number of people who primarily left for pay and benefits reasons in 2022.
Whether working remotely or hybrid, employees continue to face significant productivity and connectivity issues that keep them from reaching their full potential. With nearly one-third of employees saying that their organization has not yet adopted technologies or capabilities that support return-to-office plans, there remains a gap between employees’ expectations for the workplace experience and reality.
Statistics like these show the need to look at attracting and retaining talent through a marketer’s lens. Imagine how powerful, productive, and externally vocal your employees could be if they had a more engaging and purposeful experience in the office.
Business leaders must invest in collaboration technologies that streamline in-office experiences while supporting remote teams’ connectivity. This includes employee apps, digital signage, space reservation tools, and more.
Here are three tech-enabled steps companies should take to increase productivity and inspire employees to return to the office.
Improve Communication Across Departments
The Appspace 2023 Workplace experience trends & insights report uncovered major opportunities for organizations to enhance connectivity for all employees. Respondents provided valuable insights into their workplace expectations and needs. Specifically, employees want better processes for receiving organization-wide updates and more opportunities to connect with their peers around shared interests.
The research shows many organizations also need to do a better job helping their teams work collaboratively, whether they’re working from the traditional office, home office, or other locations.
Collaborative technology is often the missing piece to address these challenges. Business leaders who use collaborative technologies over outdated systems will improve communication across departments and workplace environments. This may mean using employee apps to encourage quick and easy collaboration and provide an avenue for workplace announcements, videos, and other content types to keep on-site and remote employees aligned and engaged.
Employee retention is more likely to decline when remote and hybrid workers feel out of the loop. Employee apps allow teams to organize their files better and make it easier for all workers to find and share knowledge.
But adding one more IT solution isn’t helpful if it makes your tech stack more cumbersome. Business leaders should be strategic about adding tech, ensuring that additions integrate seamlessly into their existing tech stacks. Employee apps that integrate with other enterprise messaging tools, such as Microsoft Teams, can remove communication silos and prevent tech burnout.
Streamline Workplace Management
Seventy percent of employees report they waste time transitioning from working outside of the office to working in the traditional office setting. Digital tools can help this experience. For example, space reservation tools ensure hybrid workers will have an office or desk to work from when they go into the office. This simple option can save employees a lot of time and, equally importantly, reduce frustration.
Other technologies such as contactless check-in and wayfinding eliminate employees’ concerns and streamline traditional business operations. In my own experience, return-to-office plans become more appealing when there are processes to eliminate the friction between remote and in-office workers.
Prioritize the Employee Experience
Just as your marketing strategies should maintain a customer-centric approach, your internal operations should be employee-centric.
Pre-pandemic, the 9-to-5 cubicle was a familiar image for people when they thought of common office work environments. This traditional office construct still works for some, but many employees today feel they’re just as productive working in non-traditional workspaces. With this new reality as a backdrop, organizations are shedding unused real estate, leaving many hybrid workers without assigned offices and desks.
Regardless of where they’re working, most employees desire more improved and effective, company-wide communications. Whether you’re centralizing operations in a brick-and-mortar location, or retaining remote or hybrid staff, workplace experience technology delivers on this goal.
For employees who spend time in the office, digital signage makes it easy to see company-wide announcements. Digital signage can be updated daily to provide insights into how the business is operating and can be used to provide reminders, schedule information, or wish employees “happy birthday.”
Updating signage based on the needs of your employees helps improve the employee experience, keeping them informed or showing your appreciation in a clear and transparent way.
Digital signs can be stationed in meeting rooms, lobbies, and team areas to amplify communications and keep workers productive regarding outputs and collaboration. Most importantly, they meet employees where they are and keep the work day from becoming an insular, monotonous experience.
Now’s the time to ensure your employees love your organization’s brand. Offer them the technologies that will increase collaboration and productivity, and excite them. Most importantly, if you’re asking your team members to return to the office, make sure it’s an office worth returning to.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chief Marketing Officer, Appspace
Mike Hicks has 20 years of progressive B2B technology marketing experience, specializing in transforming disparate marketing silos into integrated demand generation engines that drive measurable pipelines.
He has extensive experience leading global enterprise software marketing and demand teams, responsible for strategy, budgeting, planning, CRM, marketing automation, media and awareness, lead qualification, funnel management, renewals and upsell marketing.