By Dave Bailey
During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies rushed to adopt cloud telephony tools, while others limped with legacy communication technologies, causing many obstacles in the way as much of the the global workforce has moved away. Now, as we step into the new normal and embrace a kind of hybrid workforce model, it’s a good time for business leaders to think about what this future working model looks like for their business. organization and whether they have the necessary tools to ensure its success.
According to NTT’s 2020 Smart Workplace Report, 87% of organizations say the future workplace will be designed around employee empowerment. Additionally, 89% of organizations globally recognize the value of employee experience (EX) to organizational strategy and that it is a critical strategic differentiator. Yet only 38% are very satisfied with their current EX ability.
In order to provide a good employee experience, the right technology is crucial. Employees need tools to work efficiently and productively anytime, anywhere and under any circumstances. The pandemic could not have made this any clearer.
To achieve this, I suggest you review your organization’s corporate communications strategy and the obstacles that can be overcome with the right tools.
- It starts with adoption
Cloud telephony platforms, including chat, voice, video, and employee collaboration tools, allow employees to work on the devices and in the locations they prefer. So, a good cloud telephony platform improves the work experience of employees by removing barriers to their work as they wish. But some organizations have not yet done so.
According to the NTT report, 89% of organizations have become more reliant on technology since the start of the pandemic. But only 45% strongly agree that employees have the technology to work remotely.
The same study found that use of employer collaboration tools increased dramatically during the pandemic, but employee use of often insecure, consumer-grade collaboration apps increased by almost the same percentage. . The use of employee-owned devices for work has also increased significantly.
So the first step is to adopt business telephony if you haven’t already or if you have only committed halfway.
- Choose the right partner
When transitioning to a cloud telephony platform, consider working with an experienced partner who can help articulate your needs and transition to the cloud. Advice before hiring the right partner will help a business understand its needs, the personalities of its employees, its network, and how it all fits together.
Additionally, you may want a partner to provide network services once the cloud telephony platform is launched. In some cases, this may be the same company that helped plan and set up the platform.
Businesses should look for a networking service provider that offers a variety of options for calling plans, cloud contact centers and support services, etc. with the possibility for the client to adapt and develop according to his needs.
- Select the best platform
Before adopting a business communication platform, create a plan that addresses issues that need to be addressed specifically. There are many different types of platforms, with many different features, and what works for one business won’t work for another.
I would suggest looking at an enterprise level platform versus the many mainstream level services on the market that may provide limited functionality, incomplete toolset, or limited security.
Digital transformation and the adoption of a business communication platform is not just a plug and play scenario. Without careful and experienced planning, failure is a real possibility, so make a plan, stick to it, and find a trusted partner to help you out.
- Half doesn’t count
Some organizations, in a hurry to jump on the digital transformation train, have implemented a corporate communications strategy, but only one or two elements of the entire selected platform have been deployed. For example, a collaboration and messaging tool like Microsoft Teams was deployed without critical elements, such as voice calls.
There are a few issues with this approach. First, in enterprise cloud communications, all of these features are designed to work together seamlessly. If an online text chat turns into the need for a voice call, employees can press a button and be connected by voice.
Again, one of the main benefits of cloud telephony is to improve the work experience for employees. A seamless platform provides all the communication tools your team needs from a single dashboard, and without an activated voice call, they may need to switch devices or open a new app to switch between a collaboration or discussion tool and a voice call.
Additionally, much of the ROI that comes with moving to a cloud-based telephony platform only occurs when the organization also embraces each piece of the puzzle. Voice calling tools often allow businesses to ditch expensive and aging phone equipment and move to a fully cloud-based voice service. If businesses don’t embrace voice tools, they can end up with expensive voice equipment costs.
- Training empowers
Giving up training is a common mistake I see with companies that have only partially embraced cloud telephony tools.
For many employees, the move to cloud telephony will be a major change and training is needed to help them see what new tools are available and how they can best use them to work more efficiently. Tailored training ensures employee adoption, well-being and improved safety.
When companies don’t provide enough training, employees often ignore these powerful tools, continue to use unsafe, consumer-grade alternatives, or use only a small fraction of the features available to them.
The end result may very well mean a frustrated workforce. And the company pays for features that employees don’t even use.
Ultimately, the right technology can be the backbone of a great employee experience, and as we move into the future of work, that environment is more important than ever. For more information on connecting your people and promoting a positive hybrid work model, click here.
Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.