Work is no longer a separate, physical place where we hunker down and think purely job-related thoughts. With modern technology, we are effortlessly connected to one another—simultaneously working, texting, searching, discovering and learning. We crave information on demand and are constantly seeking new ways to accomplish more with less time in the day on all fronts—professional, relational and personal.

Compelled by ideas and concepts that will improve our interconnectedness, speedy execution of a task, or ability to explore or discover things that will further our development, we cling to the power of technology in our personal and professional lives—ever expectant for what’s next.

If you are seeking to forge a stronger connection with your employees, you must translate these desires, realities and tendencies toward technology through a corporate lens and respond quickly to changes in our prominently digital workplace. To do this, an organization should do three key things:

#1-Keep an Eye on Emerging Technologies

According to Gartner, “[h]ow employees use technology outside of work says a lot about the possibilities to bring smart tools inside the organization.” For example, Periscope, a new smartphone application that allows users to watch and respond to live videos from other users all around the world, is a consumer-focused application that could add value to the enterprise world. Corporations could leverage technology like Periscope to live broadcast ideas or news they want to share, showcase R&D efforts or new product or brand releases, show moments of a work day, conference or an event, etc. The possibilities are endless, and all of them result in a more exciting way to engage employees across an organization.

#2-Stand behind Changing Styles of Work

As much as we crave autonomy in our work, we want our work culture to be immersive and challenging—giving us the ability to forge relationships beyond natural work groups and to deepen our knowledgebase in a community. That means that we want to be able to get in touch with individuals across the enterprise quickly and efficiently. (Spending more than 30 minutes or more of our day trying to reach someone from within when we have a question, idea or proposal is a hassle, and it often results in individual problem solving and siloed ownership over tasks).

Since the people we want to connect with are not always a cubicle away, we need online collaboration tools that allow us to work together from any location or time zone. Tools like invision, that allows employees to provide feedback on product prototypes or designs virtually, or Proposify, that allows teams to collaborate on, review and send proposals online, can dramatically improve workflow and communication between employees. Leveraging virtual learning technology can help organizations accommodate changing work styles to better connect with their employees and improve the overall performance of individuals and teams.

#3-Embrace Online Communication and Learning

Important, and often overlooked, is the concept of creating a virtual learning community within your organization to improve the efficiency, speed, and quality of knowledge transfer between individuals and groups. Online education programs, often organized and deployed through a central learning hub called a Learning Management System (LMS), offer alternative learning methods that allow employees to sharpen skills that apply to their current jobs as well as to their future development. With a virtual corporate university, your employees can quickly access and share the information that they need to work independently and within groups and refine the business skills required for their positions regardless of their location or device—allowing you to meet employee expectations for learning in the digital workplace.

To actively engage a digitally-driven workforce, your organization must pay attention to new technologies in both the consumer and the enterprise space, adapt to changing work styles, and embrace the concept of a virtual learning community where employees can develop skills that apply to current and future development. If your organization needs help with the virtual course development process, or is looking for a partner who can help you pave the pathway to a more efficient and powerful digital workplace strategy, Knowledge Anywhere may be a good fit. Contact us today to learn more.

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