By Pete Rawlinson.

Digital communication has never been as important as it is right now. The coronavirus crisis means organizations and their employees are leaning heavily on the digital communication channels they have in place to stay informed, keep in touch, and collaborate. Even before the crisis, we were heavily reliant on the various tools that make up the digital workplace.

Some organizations have found it easier to transition to new ways of working than others. One of the reasons for this is they have a more effective digital communication landscape that is optimized to the way employees really work. 

Digital communications are inherently complex and usually, the accompanying landscape of tools is equally complex too; in any one organization at any one time, there are a plethora of intranets, employee apps, collaboration tools, conferencing solutions, messaging apps and more in use. And of course, there’s email too! 

Despite this complexity, those organizations that have focused on creating a great digital communication landscape have tools that work well, fewer duplicated apps, less confusion for employees, a reduction in fragmented processes, and more impactful communication.

 

The optimized digital communication landscape

In Workvivo’s book “The digital communications landscape: getting it right” we look at the elements that make up an excellent digital communication landscape and what teams can do to drive improvement. 

In the book we suggest organizations with the best digital communication landscapes achieve.

  • High efficiency: Streamlined to help employees get things done
  • Good findability: Employees can find what they need
  • Lower costs: Presents a good ROI
  • Healthy adoption: Great levels of usage
  • Good employee experience: drives engagement and is built around the way people actually work
  • Low risk: does not expose the organization to risks such as data breaches
  • High trust: employees trust the information and communications they need
  • Effective processes: key business processes are successfully enabled by the tools on hand.

 

Poor scenario vs optimized scenario

The ebook also goes on to explore each of these elements in more detail, comparing the characteristics of poor landscapes with that of a stronger counterpart, for example in relation to efficiency and findability. 

Poor scenario Optimized scenario
Chronic inefficiency: 
Applications and systems are duplicated or exist in siloes so information flows are broken. Employees are confused about what application to use for what task and it takes extra effort just to get simple things done. Employees fallback on email to communicate with each other.
High efficiency: 
Applications and systems are streamlined and work together so that information easily flows around the organization. It’s generally easy to get things done and employees have high awareness and confidence in the digital workplace. There is less dependency on email.
Poor findability: 
Documents and information are hidden in siloes and people can’t find the information they need to carry out their roles. Employees waste a huge amount of time trying to find that one document or who to contact. There is zero confidence in using search, and many people give up and “make do”.
Good findability: 
Generally, employees can find the information and files they need to get everyday tasks done, either through a search or through navigation. When information cannot be found they can easily locate the right person to ask. Overall, less time is wasted and there is less frustration from employees.

 

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Our book “The digital communications landscape: getting it right” also includes actionable insights into:

  • Mapping your existing landscape so you can develop a plan of action
  • “Decoding” the landscape by creating a digital communications matrix
  • Improving the digital employee experience with the right tactics
  • Focusing on sixteen key areas of business value.
The Digital Communication Landscape: Getting It Right