The Path to Digital Freedom: Break Out of Your Productivity Shackles
Technology is advancing, but productivity is plateauing. The advent of advanced digital tools creates virtually endless opportunities to streamline business operations, provide a superior customer experience, and unleash innovative new business models. But when we take a look at the numbers, we aren’t seeing this rosy picture. While employee productivity is still inching up, the rate of growth has slowed dramatically since 2012, according to research from Bersin, Deloitte Consulting. It’s interesting to note that in 2013, 1 billion smartphones were in use. Despite these tools’ extraordinary capabilities, productivity gains are dwindling. At a time where superhuman capabilities are at our fingertips, why is employee productivity lagging? This is the question David Mallon, Chief Analyst of Bersin, Deloitte Consulting, and Ofir Bloch, Director of Market Research & Analyst Relations at WalkMe, answered in a recent webinar. Watch the full webinar here!“If you think about that before you go live — if you think about or predict where they might have pitfalls or challenges, and you prepare for that with a strong digital adoption strategy, you can really overcome those challenges,” said Ofir. This retailer chose to implement WalkMe’s ActionBot as part of their digital adoption strategy. The ActionBot is responsible for handling processes like completing transactions and answering basic questions so even first-time users can complete tasks on the platform with ease. As a result, the company realized a 70% reduction in support tickets. This improvement makes it easy to see the business imperative for prioritizing digital adoption and ensuring productivity — there are dollar signs attached to this drop. But an equally meaningful benefit of the WalkMe ActionBot is a better employee experience, according to David. “At the end of the day, by anticipating those problems and placing resources to support them in advance of them tripping over whatever is left over, you’re giving them back just a little bit more sanity,” he said. “That affects engagement, and that ultimately leads to a better result.”
Seven forces that are driving the digital workplaceThere are seven forces that have the greatest impact on the way people work, David explained:
- Huge volumes of data
- AI, cognitive computing, and robotics
- Automation and its potential to displace human jobs
- Diversity and generational differences
- New demands for career development and employment value
- An explosion of gig job opportunities
Employee ‘overwhelm’ is stifling your productivityWebinar attendees said they believe that employee productivity is crucial to their organization and something they are actively addressing, according to a poll. Lost productivity is one of the most critical symptoms of employee overwhelm. The average enterprise has more than 300 mission-critical apps, meaning employees are tasked to gain proficiency on numerous platforms and systems. The organization is also overwhelmed. Although people tend to talk about digital transformation as one large-scale endeavor, it’s really the combination of multiple transformations taking place at the same time. Your sales, marketing, finance, and HR department could each be pursuing digital transformations, without any coordination between them. Here’s the hard math. If you multiply the overwhelmed employee by the multiple transformations and the overwhelmed organization, you end up with a limited value realization, according to Ofir.
Technology alone is not a productivity enabler“Technology should be the way organizations overcome challenges,” said Ofir, “not the barrier itself.” Indeed, the capabilities all of these digital tools offer seem to promise higher efficiency, greater innovation, and novel business models. This is what drives companies to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into technology. But access to software alone does not guarantee higher productivity. Webinar attendees identified three main barriers to making successful use of their tech investments.
- 25.5% pointed to employee resistance to change
- 24.5% said management behavior doesn’t adequately support change
- 20.6% cited a lack of clarity around the need for new digital tools