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Nicole Klemp

Whatever your field or industry, your people have jobs to do. (Even this guy, who tastes ice cream for a living.) So if your workers have to jump through hoops to access the tools they need to do those jobs, they will become frustrated — and eventually — disengaged. Workers who are disengaged from their work are less productive and a drain on resources. They’re also likely to provide poor service to customers — and damage your reputation.

Board up the rabbit hole

If accessing files, documents, or crucial customer data feels like chasing The White Rabbit, it may be time to rethink your technology strategy. Nothing burns out an employee more than logging into system after disparate system, encountering bottlenecks at every turn. Forcing outdated legacy infrastructures on workers won’t fly in an age in which employee needs come first. The technologies that enable today’s modern workers not only need to be consumer grade, but also a natural part of the workers’ daily environment. Workers are much more productive (and engaged) when they are given modern, seamless, integrated tools to do their jobs.

Stop playing favorites: Invest in customers and workers

Many of the companies who find themselves on “best places to work” lists have one frequent commonality: they’ve built their businesses around people, processes, and technology. They’ve bought into the idea of a Virtuous Cycle of customer and worker experiences, and treat Customer Experience (CX) and Worker Experience (WX) with equal importance. Successful companies know that the more engaged their employees are, the happier and more productive they’ll be —  and the better they’ll treat customers.

According to Salesforce’s 2017 State of IT report, 71 percent of employees say they want their companies to provide them with the same level of technology as they use in their personal lives. That’s why investment in user-centric, consumer-grade platforms and mobile apps for workers is essential to WX transformation. Getting workers (i.e., employees, contractors, partners, vendors) to use the same platform can make cross-functional collaboration much easier, and help eliminate silos. Using technology to automate routine tasks means workers can instead focus on more strategic work.

Move work to the cloud

Develop a technology strategy that allows your workers to perform in a socially-enabled environment — one that brings together colleagues, business partners, content, and major work tasks. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems — like Salesforce — are built for collaboration and managing workflows, while Human Capital Management (HCM) platforms (e.g., Workday) provide organizations with a solid system of record for employees. Organizations that use both CRM and HCM systems can better manage processes and predict employee behaviors. To round out worker technologies, companies can opt for a powerful and flexible platform like Google’s G Suite, where workers can communicate and collaborate on projects in real time. Each of these cloud platforms has the capability to be tailored to specific industries and customized to best meet business needs.

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