Many employees are grappling with using a plethora of apps just to get their work done, causing them to be disengaged and frustrated with their work. Photo: File

DURBAN - Many employees are grappling with using a plethora of apps just to get their work done, causing them to be disengaged and frustrated with their work.

This is happening at a time when there is a dearth of technology skills in South Africa, as well as across the world. To make matters worse, many organisations are finding it hard to retain the skills that they have. Employee engagement has, thus, become crucial for organisations to attract and retain talent, as well as making sure that employees are as productive as they should be.

It’s not rocket science to figure out that if employees are not engaged in their work, they will be unproductive. A recent report by analytics and performance management consultancy firm, Gallup, estimated the global costs of unproductivity at a staggering $7 trillion. Gallup has stated that only 15 percent of employees are engaged in their work.

According to Forrester Research, "improving human performance at work is the most important objective for workforce technology strategy; and employee motivation, customer experience and financial performance depend on it". 

With Millennials coming into leadership positions within the workforce, businesses must start realising that the “future of work” is no longer something from science fiction movies. It is time that businesses realise that they need to make work smarter by embracing next-generation intelligence capabilities that enable them to deliver a unified and contextual experience across any device or network that engages employees and enables them to perform at their best.

One way to ensure that employees are engaged is to provide them with simple tools to use in their day-to-day activities. On average, employees deal with as many as 11 different apps a day to get their work done. And most of their functionality goes unused or makes tasks more difficult as employees spend too much time – almost 10 hours a week – searching for the information they need. Navigating from one app to the other can be a tedious feat that can easily lead to an employee getting distracted or frustrated.

Organisations, therefore, need a mind-set shift regarding the glut of enterprise applications that their employees are using. These need to be consolidated to ensure the employees are not hopping from one app to the next – something that is also time-consuming.

In a typical work environment, employees feel disengaged from their workplace due to lack of needed tools, overly complex apps, and a generally frustrating user experience. A unified workspace experience ensures employees have minimal distractions in the execution of their duties.

With so much competition for workers, and the high rate of employee turnover, once employees get frustrated, it’s imperative that companies find new ways to engage them and enable them to complete their work with far less friction. The goal of any user workspace must be to make the overall experience as painless as possible, while also providing a consolidated approach to producing needed job-related workflows that increase end-user productivity.

To simplify this, organisations need to provide single sign-on access to all the apps that employees prefer to use in one, unified experience, including out-of-the-box integrations with enterprise applications such as Salesforce, Workday, SAP Ariba and SAP Concur, ServiceNow, Microsoft Outlook and G Suite.

Organisations must also understand that their technology users (employees) are unique in how they approach their work and achieve the highest productivity. Thus, providing a one-size-fits-all computing environment is not really optimum. The ultimate goal should to be to achieve a level of customisation that provides user-specific views and workflows by customising how a user wants to interact with corporate systems.

The next generation workspaces will use analytics to more fully understand the needs of the user and tailor the workspace for those unique requirements. Through new integrations with some of the most commonly used collaboration tools, content can be delivered to employees in one constant stream, eliminating the need for them to switch context.

The workforce of today is looking for a dynamic work environment, and organisations are looking to not just attract but also retain talent. The best way forward is one where organisations embrace an intelligent digital workspace, helping them streamline complex processes.

Brendan McAravey, Regional Director, Sub-Saharan Africa at Citrix

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE