As a continuation of our Digital Workplace Adoption Series, experienced BrightStarr Consultants Matt and Martyn discuss best practice for driving great intranet adoption.
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For more insights into digital workplace adoption, read our Q&A with the Internal Communications Manager of dorma+kaba as they discuss launching their Unily intranet to 16,000 dispersed employees.
Matthew: Hi everyone, and welcome to BrightStarr's series on digital workplace adoption. My name's Matthew Boyd and I am a Customer Success Manager at BrightStarr, and today I'm joined by my colleague Martin Pearce. Martin is what is BrightStarr's Principal Business Consultant and he's going to be talking to us today from his customer experience about the theme of adoption in the digital workplace. Hi Martin.
Matthew: So Martin, perhaps you could start by setting the scene and explain to us what exactly is adoption and why is it so important today?
Martin: Well, I think adoption simply is about measuring how well your technology is being used or not, as the case may be. So it's very vital to measure how much usage it’s getting, how many employees are using these tools and technologies. Because if it's not being used in a way you thought it would be, that can obviously very much hinder your future investment in terms of how these technologies evolve in your business.
Matthew: So Martin, from your experience of working with other customers, can you tell us what kind of challenges to adoption they're facing?
Martin: Yes. So I think that the challenges are on a number of levels. One is how do you measure usage? How do you measure and make sure the staff are using it in the right way that you originally planned for? And secondly, how do you quantify the value you want to get out of these tools? And often that can also be sort made more difficult by the fact that staff might have a very different set of expectations that they would expect from using digital workplace technology, than perhaps yourself as a business. And therefore we have to sort of think about measuring the impact of digital workplace technology, I would say in more of a medium to longer term sense as well. So it's more about kind of thinking about it in terms of outcomes than necessarily sort of quantifying how many reads or likes or times someone's shared a piece of document, a piece of content rather.
Martin: So I think you have to sort of really end up with a balance of both. So you have to be able to obviously quantify how often is this technology being used, but also in a more longer term sense, how well has it contributed perhaps in an indirect or direct way to again, how your company's growing and developing in the future.
Matthew: Okay, that's really interesting. So I mean, if you were trying to advise our audience today on how they could achieve better adoption, what would you say to them?
Martin: One is being really sure of quite simply what you want your digital workplace technology and all that it encompasses to achieve for your business. So what is its vision? How is it going to contribute to your business's growth? So I think that what I'm saying is, in summary, is to try and break up your business strategy into a number of discrete phases. And because those phases could be around communication, it could be around getting the most out of the channels of technology, be on mobile, collaboration spaces and so on, or even about a phase around bettering the knowledge that these tools can produce, will then give your adoption strategy if you like, more of a clearer focus. That also means that everyone using these technologies will have a more of a clearer sense of what value they should expect from them at any given point in time.
Matthew: Right. Okay. Now having joined BrightStarr for their seminar recently, I know you talked a little bit around the four key pillars to adoption, which are prevalent in each of these kind of staged or phased approaches. Would you mind sharing a little bit about that with our audience?
Martin: Quite simply, I think that the four components to your digital adoption strategy should be around kind of people, tools, technology, and value, but you know when it comes to people, as I say, it's about pinpointing who to talk to, who to target, and who should be doing what around these tools and technologies, you know, in all these kinds of phases I'm talking about. So I think for launch, for example, what we found is that what makes most sense is that you engage quite simply senior leadership and management, because without their sense of purpose and why these tools are important, I think that other staff, employees are going to struggle to really take on board how these tools can be changing their work life, day-to-day work for the better.
Secondly when it comes to content, it's the same sort of scenario really. Because I think that not everyone in organizations are going to naturally sort of take to an intranet or digital workplace from day one. You know, because of leading busy lives, having busy jobs to do, deadlines and so on, they are going to take to tools and content like this, where it clearly allows them to be more autonomous, perhaps in terms of what they do, gives them more scope and freedom in terms of how they can create better knowledge, better quality processes and so on.
And also helps them to share in a more like-minded way with other people they work with, without being sort of cajoled or forced to do this stuff. Because that's the sort of idea that we need to convey over this technology, because that's going to make it more receptive. Because if you're more receptive, then you're going to start to actually trust this platform because you can more immediately understand it helps you with your work in a more wider sort of sense. But if you're told what to do all the time, you're probably not going to take to it in a more intuitive kind of way.
Matthew: So that kind of talks to the idea of the people and content and technology kind of drawing them into that. So what's the fourth key pillar there that we're missing?
Martin: Well it's kind of what I touched already, which is about value. But I think the key thing to say here is that because digital workplace technology, which involves as I say, social networking, connecting up business processes and apps, basically a platform for all these things to kind of coexist inside, it's that I don't think that everyone will get the same value from it from day one. Why would they? Because you're talking about marketing, HR, corporate communications, product development, and so on. The whole point is that everyone has an opportunity to kind of start to better how they collaborate and network using these platforms.
So I think we have to kind of break up what we mean by value, that's what I'm trying to get at. And focus it around particular teams or business functions or processes. I think that therefore we have to sort of measure value by each of those sort of different kind of ways that people want to use this technology, rather than having this sort of all encompassing sense that it will derive one sort of type of financial return to the business. I think it's a lot more complicated than that. So I think that when it comes to measuring adoption, measuring how people are using this, and measuring how much value they're getting from it, as I say, I think we have to be a little bit more specific and we have to talk to each individual kind of business function in terms of the type of value that's going to most impact what they do and contribute towards company growth.
Matthew: Okay, excellent. If you could give just one tip, one core take away that you'd like our audience to take away today to drive better adoption of their digital workplace tools, what would it be?
Martin: I think the tip would be keep it simple. Start very simply and don't try and achieve too much on day one. You might have to take some baby steps to make sure that everyone is engaged in the right way from day one without trying to set too high expectations about how this technology's going to transform your business.
Matthew: Thanks very much for joining me today Martin and sharing with our audience. If you're looking to find out more about our adoption series, you can get in touch with us via our Twitter account, which is @BrightStarr_SP. Feel free to drop us your adoption woes and we'll try and tackle those as best we can, maybe in a future video. For the time being, check out the BrightStarr blog for more insightful articles and content, and we'll speak to you soon. Thank you.
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