Employee Innovation: It Starts with Smart Tools and Technology Integration
By Peter Fretty
Only 33% of U.S. workers are engaged at their jobs, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workforce report. It goes on to state:
“Regardless of all the changes in the workplace, people remain the core component in an organization’s success or failure. Leaders have to think about their technology, policies, products and services … because these are factors that influence the engagement and success of their employees. The key to an organization’s growth has been and always will be its workforce.”
Naturally, organizations need smart tools and technology — solutions that enhance employees’ ability to be responsive to immediate needs while being informed of up-to-the-minute changes. This is especially important as a growing percentage of workers are embracing remote or flexible work arrangements. As the Gallup report suggests, it’s time for organizations “to adapt to the needs of the modern workforce. If they don't, they'll struggle to attract and keep great employees and, therefore, customers.”
The best technology deployments are streamlined and fully integrated with other solutions and devices, and have the ability to empower a diverse employee base to work strategically and collaboratively.
Strategy plays an instrumental role in creating the right atmosphere for innovation. Adam Uzialko, in Business News Daily, writes: “The responsive workplace offers an opportunity to extend the office far beyond its walls and enable more complete remote collaboration. The potential for the responsive workplace to dissolve the traditional boundaries of the office could have an immense impact on employees’ attitudes and the quality of the work they produce.”
Of course, the onus of making this work falls on business leaders. To improve engagement and promote innovation, companies must take a hard look at how employees interact with the technology and tools at their disposal. Although today’s IT solutions offer significant potential, implementing ineffective or overly complicated technology can translate to a loss of productivity and further worker disengagement.
Time for integrated innovation
Integration plays a major role in any technology deployment. Solutions that play well together enhance worker engagement, which leads to greater collaboration and idea generation.
The best place to generate workplace innovation is information. A total document solution (TDS) that integrates hardware and software — for example, multifunction printers with enterprise content management technology — to elevate workflow, improve efficiency, and increase productivity. At the same time, that integration helps identify challenges that organizations encounter with documents by streamlining the entire document workflow, while also reducing costs.
The idea behind a TDS is to capitalize on the significant value within documents. How the organization leverages this data affects operations and ongoing strategy. Specifically, the goal of TDS is to identify how ideas are generated, the way materials are ordered, and how distribution of data is handled.
Where should you begin? The right TDS provider will offer an assessment that spotlights where it’s possible to streamline and optimize data flow, turning static documents into interactive data points. It will assess the devices and processes (hardware and software) used to run the business — day to day, minute to minute — and find ways to make them more integrated, efficient, cost-effective, and secure.
By optimizing document workflow, companies facilitate progress and productivity, empowering employees to not only stay focused on their goals, but also strategically innovate — rather that disengaging or frustrating them.