Liberate your workforce

How to create an empowered and productive workforce

Highlights
  • Facilitating across-the-board adoption of UC&C processes is critical, but with the wealth of options available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.  
  • Once a UC&C solution is established, find a balance between encouraging open communication across devices and protecting resources and data.
  • IT managers should monitor emerging trends, particularly in machine learning, artificial intelligence and collaborative applications.

To meet the demands of a modern workforce, business leaders must decide on the right platform and implementation strategies for their business while catering to current conditions and anticipating the future.

For years, businesses have been hamstrung by a plethora of disparate communication, collaboration and mobility suites – often adopted by keen employees without central IT’s approval. 

In the past year, however, collaboration and mobility tools have matured, with services that allow users to unify their environments and maximise the potential for employees across an enterprise to work together in a truly seamless fashion. 

Woman working mobile with cup of tea

Access all areas

Unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) suites connect employees beyond a group chat or shared folder. They provide them with the same secure access and abilities whether they are at a desk or on the go, within corporate premises or working flexibly elsewhere.

“The consumerisation of technology is something we have all heard about,” says David Coventry, Executive Director, Solutions Sales, Telstra. “People want access to the same tools, the same applications, the ability to work from anywhere and to bring their own device. They want to access the same things in the workplace as they do at home.”

It’s all about engagement

It’s easy to see why, when such expectations are not met and collaborating becomes difficult or problematic, employee engagement suffers – and so does productivity.

“Today, we have quite a confronting fact about employee engagement ­– in Australia, it’s at an all-time low, with 76 per cent of the Australian workforce disengaged from their current employer,” says Coventry, quoting global research firm Gallup.

“It’s a stunning fact. And that’s driven by a need and desire for technology. Building digital applications for people and enabling them to work flexibly are some of the things you can do to boost engagement within your own organisation and retain your workforce.”

Enable it for all

Today, the most effective UC&C solutions are holistic cloud platforms, deployed and maintained by central IT. By their very nature, these are device agnostic, empowering employees to work through convenience, while still providing all the benefits of enterprise quality collaboration and mobility.

This brings an important opportunity for organisations to address a mismatched assortment of messaging, screen sharing, team chat and conferencing tools that may already be in use to one degree or another. It’s a chance to bring functionality out of single-department implementations and so-called “shadow IT” and enable it for all.

Perhaps best of all, a cohesive UC&C implementation has the potential to boost employee engagement with tools that enable teamwork and flexibility across the entire organisation. The technology should complement the people, culture and processes.

Once a UC&C solution has been established, the key to its success will be to find a flexible balance between control and access that protects business resources and information while encouraging open communication across multiple devices.

“Seventy-six per cent of the Australian workforce are disengaged from their current employer. It’s a confronting fact. And that’s driven by a need and desire for technology.” 

David Coventry, Executive Director, Solutions Sales, Telstra

Adopt across the board

Telstra’s Director of Unified Communications and Digital Media, Gretchen Cooke, says facilitating across-the-board employee adoption of UC&C processes is critical to increasing innovation and raising productivity in the workplace. But with the wealth of options available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

“We’re aiming to alleviate many of these concerns with technology that unifies the desk phone and mobile in a single, network-integrated solution, highlighted by the network having the intelligence to perform effortless call handover between the mobile and desk phone,” Cooke says.

 

Agility and flexibility are key to a productive and happy workforce. Discover how you can liberate your workforce through technology.

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