How Collaboration Tools Can Boost Enterprise Engagement

by Sohini Bagchi    Aug 16, 2018

engage

It has been proven time and again that engaged employees have a tremendous impact on the success of an enterprise. According to a study by Aberdeen, customer loyalty improves by as much as 200 percent or more when employees are engaged and subsequently the revenue. In contrast, a disengaged employee can negatively impact an entire company in no time, with another research paper bringing to light that an estimated one-fifth disengaged employees can cost around $500 billion in lost productivity each year in the US alone, which indeed is a staggering number. In such a scenario, experts believe collaboration tools can help boost employee engagement and communication in the workplace.

While emailing was always a powerful communication tool, in today’s digital world, where enterprises often rely on remote workers or outsource their work, the idea of every person talking to or emailing each other often become cumbersome. A better solution is to have all team members on a single platform where they can all connect, engage and update each other with the latest processes and happenings so as to help employees make informed and intelligent decisions.

For this purposes businesses often use collaboration tools such as Slack, Yammer, and Chatter, or embedded applications such as Microsoft Teams and JIRA, as a study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute noted, 72% reported using them to facilitate employee communication. However, when asked why managers were turning to social tools and platforms, business leaders were ambiguous. They said things like “we are going with what others are doing” and “that’s how you may tap the right talent.” Clearly it was a ‘bandwagon’ effect, where businesses were following market trend without understanding how it can positively impact their own organization and employees.

A recent research report by Dale Carnegie of India, highlights the fact that despite realizing the importance of employee engagement, the average level of employee engagement in recent years remains essentially unchanged. There are enough instances to prove that engaged employees are a competitive advantage, and the impact on the bottom line is indisputable. Yet, the research findings revealed that 70% leaders believe that employee engagement has a strong impact on financial performance, meaning the remaining 30% question the validity of that link.

Worse, around 22% reported that they believe their organizations are spending too much time and money trying to engage employees and 26% say efforts to engage employees are a distraction from getting real work done, revealing a disillusioned group of leaders unlikely to embrace further initiatives.

 “Employee engagement should be an ongoing effort and a daily priority for every organization. Engaged employees are a competitive advantage, and a company’s best asset is its human capital,” Pallavi Jha, Chairperson and Managing Director, Dale Carnegie of India said.

Experts believe it is important to make the most of collaboration tools. There are few things to remember when selecting the best collaboration platform.

Intuitive and user friendly: When a new software solution is launched in the market, end-user feedback can set the tone for the success or failure of the tools being deployed. This will force IT to ensure that the tools being evaluated are introduced to a small number of business users and teams to gain some insight before the full rollout. Tools should include shortcuts to initiate video or audio chat directly from the chat window and to invite others.

Integration capabilities with third-party apps: The enterprise collaboration platform should offer a significant number of connectors that allow the platform for the user to have external communication conversation. In other words, it should allow users to have visibility into other data component that come from outside of the platform, much like social media networks like Facebook. When the platforms are built such they can easily interact and connect with users’ systems, it would add more value to the communication.

Enterprise content search capabilities: The search feature plays an important in evaluating the capabilities offered by the different enterprise collaboration tools.  It enables organizations to search and communicate across multiple business units.

Automation and intelligence: Vendors should leverage bots within their collaboration platforms to deliver smart virtual team members. These can respond to different chat requests and perform tasks just the way a real customer service associate would do. In other words, bots can be used to automate different manual processes in order to increase efficiency.

In conclusion, we can say that to create more engaged and positive employees, companies should opt for enterprise collaboration software that can transform the way colleagues communicate. It is important to evaluate various enterprise collaboration tools available in the market, in terms of cost, features and usability, with a focus on the RoI. Most importantly, to improve collaboration and team engagement, you need to let your team connect with a common app that has the power to drastically change the way organizations connect and do business.