Office 365 collaboration: evolve your workplace and engage your employees

office 365 collaboration

15 Feb Office 365 collaboration: evolve your workplace and engage your employees

A troubling stat from Gallup, the research and analytics company, emerged at the end of 2016, that says only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs. There are various reasons for this lack of engagement, from poor management to uninspiring work environments; however, solving this lack of engagement should be a main priority for all businesses moving forward.

So today we wanted to actively explore how Office 365 collaboration can help engage your employees, evolve your workplace and help your company stay ahead. Below are some key steps that you can refer to when in need of inspiration.

Let’s talk engagement

Engagement at work is, of course, one of the most important factors in any role, in any industry. But what do we mean when we talk about engagement? It’s a word that seems to encompass an awful lot. Fundamentally, engagement is an umbrella term for certain key factors that come up when people talk about success at work – things like, responsibility, accountability, ownership, role progress, etc. And usually a lack of these are also what an employee will articulate when trying to pinpoint why they are unhappy or uninterested in their work.

Other research from Gallup found that in the United States, only 30% of employees say they are engaged at work. Gallup define engagement as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace”. However, once the job gets done, does it matter if your employees are engaged or not?

Well, according to further research from Gallup, organisations that score in the top half have double the odds of success compared to those in the bottom half. And those companies in the top 1% have four times the odds of success. And more than simply unhappy staff, a lack of engagement for your employees is actively costing your business money. For example, the loss of productivity from disengaged employees costs the US economy about $370 billion per year.

Meanwhile, high employee engagement affects several KPIs including lower absenteeism, lower staff turnover, fewer safety incidents, fewer mistakes, better customer metrics, higher productivity and profitability.

The steps you can take

So, you know engagement is important. But how do you go about trying to improve your employees’ engagement levels, job satisfaction and, ultimately, your business productivity levels? Below is some practical advice that you can implement almost immediately to limit dissatisfaction and make dealing with the daily business processes as smooth as possible.

Choose the right management system

First things first, the structure of an organisation’s management system is one of the most important factors in influencing employee engagement. The process that your staff go through to get their work done daily massively affects their interest in the job. This means you should be very conscious of what tools and solutions your employees have access to.

Thanks to the digital transformation the way we work continues to change and the level of digital capabilities for getting our work done more efficiently is growing all the time. Office 365 collaboration tools are built to grow along with your business in this mercurial professional landscape. With its ‘cloud-first’ technology, it provides your teams with the latest cutting-edge business productivity tools and solutions so they are always working with the sharpest tools.

Promote communication

Communication and collaboration, as a pair, have been part of the ‘business-speak’ lexicon now for quite some time – and for good reason. Great internal business processes have always relied on good communication between employees, and working in collaboration is both good for the business (better ideas, better support, better outcomes, etc.) and for the individual. It harbours a collective spirit, raises the stakes for each employee (who wants to be the guy who lets the team down?) and altogether better engagement for your staff. That’s why communication and collaboration are a central part to Office 365 and Microsoft’s shift to a cloud-first, mobile-first vision. For instance, using Skype for Business without having to leave a Word document that you’re working on is more efficient and means you can edit the document together in real time. Need to ask a quick question to a colleague who is across an ocean? Send an instant message and get a reply within seconds.

Provide mobile and flexible working

We live in an age where the traditional nine-to-five, same chair, same desk culture is becoming less and less common. In fact, millennials now see the option of working from home or remotely as one of the key factors in deciding to join an organisation. And that’s becoming more appealing to employees everywhere. By giving them the choice to work in a manner (and on a schedule) they find most comfortable, you will see a natural increase in engagement. Like the process of communication and collaboration, Office 365 provides us with the ability to do our work anywhere and at any time – your documents are stored via SharePoint or OneDrive for Business for instant access on any device, whether you are in the office, at home or on the road.

Reduce downtime

As it’s January, let’s imagine you are an employee who has been less than fully engaged over the previous year, and yet, at the turn of the year you have decided to really throw yourself into your work. You show up on January 2nd with jet fuel in your blood only to switch on your computer to a bluescreen, IT tells you the system has crashed and you’re looking at a couple of hours’ downtime minimum. This outcome is an instant motivation killer. However, since Office 365 is run in the cloud, there’s a 99.9 uptime guarantee. That means, when your staff are ready to burst through the doors and gobble up the workload there won’t be anything in their way.

Remember your most valuable asset

Your business may have many assets. A central location in a capital city. Property across the world and a brand name that practically sells itself. But you should not forget that the most vital and valuable asset that you have is your employees. Therefore, it should be your priority to make their engagement the organisation’s priority.

At CPS, we understand the need to engage staff across all levels of your organisation. As Microsoft and Office 365 collaboration experts, we believe in the power of technology and the cloud in achieving your business goals. Get in touch today to find out what we have specifically lined up for your company. 

About the author
Alan Griffiths

Alan is Head of Sales at CPS and holds 25 years of sales experience working throughout a variety of industries including Publishing, Advertising, ISP’s and Hosting providers. For the past 11 years, Alan has worked for three prestigious Microsoft consultancies selling across the full Microsoft product stack. More recently Alan has sold and delivered the following services: Cloud Technologies including Office 365 and Dynamics CRM online, in addition to strategic short and long term technology roadmaps for a number of clients. He has provided these services to hundreds of blue-chip customers across all industries from IT, telecoms and engineering, to pharmaceutical, aerospace and government organisations.

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