The modern workplace can be described as a fluid and casual environment where a work-life balance is prioritized. The traditional nine to five in the office working under a manager’s discretion is getting phased out. Employers have come to the realization that the old and rigid style of thinking resulted in reduced efficiency and disgruntled employees. Not to mention, new age challenges such as the ability to collaborate effectively over long distances could not be met. The blended workforce of today is not tied down to a physical location and has proven to be more responsive to problems that arise. Modern collaborative software such as Microsoft Teams has made it possible for colleagues to effectively communicate with co-workers without boundaries in real world time. While the agility, speed and innovative nature of the modern workplace is seen as an advantage today, in the coming years these traits will become prerequisites for success. Implementing a modern workplace may seem like a daunting task. However, we will outline a step-by-step roadmap to modernizing your workplace to help you get the ball rolling.
1. Assess the current work environment.
Before even implementing a workplace improvement project, you need to understand the current state of the workplace. Information such as budgets, resources that are available, skills of your workforce and existing technology should be noted. This information can be used as a foundation for creating a plan and strategy.
2. Set goals.
The goals you set should be achievable and measurable in order understand the impact of the actual program, make improvements and prove ROI. Greater employee productivity and performance is a goal to aim for as well as a more pleasing work environment. Improving employee engagement and job satisfaction should be focused on as well.
3. Address challenges.
The proper handling of obstacles is essential to avoid derailing any business project. Barriers that are common can include budget constraints, demonstrating ROI, lack of executive buy-in and employee resistance. Having a strong understanding of potential barriers will make it possible to develop strategies that can be overcome.
4. Develop a strategy and a roadmap.
Having a strategy in a single, articulate statement can assist in ensuring that all stakeholders stay in sync and productive. It serves as a guiding tool that provides context and will mobilize team members and make sure they understand their roles and responsibilities. This document should include a timeline of events that are broken up into stages, descriptions and goals for each stage and key protocols, procedures, roles and responsibilities.
5. Pilot test the program.
Although it is not always necessary, pilot testing is seen as a useful means of gathering data, collecting feedback and making early adjustments. This test-driven approach can encompass a small set of employees receiving training on the new tools and processes. These employees would begin working with all the tools on a part-time basis while the managers collect feedback, study software analytics and adapt as seen fit. Pilot testing is a great way to work out the kinks and discover and potential downfalls before a full-scale implementation.
6. Roll out the program over a set time frame.
Change management best practices should be adhered to when implementing any organizational change. This includes ensuring that all employees are aware of the change and the rationale driving it. Also, employees must be provided with the knowledge, tools and skills they need to execute the program. Lastly, the project should be proactively coordinated through completion. Perfection should not be expected immediately so it’s important to be willing to make adjustments as needed.
7. Monitor and improve.
Continuous improvement processes can include tracking metrics such as key performance indicators, including employee satisfaction and time-to-competency with software programs. Also, managers should be prepared to analyze the data and compare it to their previously set goals. Opportunities for improvement should be noted and addressed. These improvement processes should be performed regularly to ensure the program’s health and efficiency.
It should be noted that implementing the modern workplace should be viewed as an ongoing effort as opposed to a one-time project. If you just read through all the steps suggested to implement a modern workplace and are pondering where to turn first, look no further. Organizational change initiatives should be focused on first for companies that have yet to fully implement a modern workplace. Employee training should become a staple of your organization. Often times the organizations are tasked with keeping its employees in the know and trained on continually evolving digital tools. The employee experience should also be fine-tuned. Millennials value work-life balance and being able to have flexibility when it comes to when and where they work. In order for companies to acquire and retain talent they must be willing to adapt to these desires. In addition, employees favor more responsive feedback on their work through monthly or weekly reviews as opposed to annual reviews. Traditional yearly performance reviews are inefficient and can damage morale in some cases. Building a virtual workplace where employees are provided the tools to successfully and seamlessly collaborate from wherever and whenever is also a must. Finally, organizations must keep an open mind and being willing to continually adopt new tools and software to stay current and on pace with competition.
The biggest mistake you could make after reading this is to table the discussion for a future time. The future is now, modernize today. Doing so will require a deliberate effort which includes defining goals, creating strategies, and implementing organizational change. Common obstacles may include resistance from business leaders, executing the transition from legacy technology/processes/systems, and employee resistance. However, once overcome the workplace will be in a position to thrive. Your organization will have to continually adapt to the ever-changing work environment and make improvements, adopting innovative digital tools and implementing modern business practices will be critical. Doing so will result in happy employees who are more productive, improved organizational performance and the ability to stay competitive in the ever-changing digital economy. The agility, speed and innovative nature of the modern workplace is worth the time, cost and effort required to implement it.
Has your organization made an effort to implement a modern workplace? ACP CreativIT is happy to provide the expertise needed to equip your organization with an agile, speedy and innovative modern workplace. Contact us to talk to one of our experts today or visit our modern workplace page here.