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2020: the year of the employee?

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

Workplaces are changing rapidly – often without us even noticing. And now that the first wave of digital disruption has already passed, employees are demanding more sophisticated experiences from the companies they work for. This means that, as businesses, we have a choice: change, or get left behind. One way of ensuring that we move with the times is to listen to the changing expectations of employees as we move towards the next big milestone: 2020.

That’s all very well, but how can we approach this change beyond digital whilst still keeping employees on side? To investigate the shifting digital scene, Infomentum carried out a survey with over 1000 office workers to try and gauge the reality behind employee expectations.

So, what do the employees of 2020 actually want?

The skiver vs. the flexible worker

Right now, 41% of employees want to work from home. But 62% of bosses won’t let this happen. Are these flexible workers skiving, or the people of the future? Who’s right in this situation: the employee or the employer? With the number of workers demanding flexible hours set to rise, the answers are not so straightforward.

Whilst there are fears that out-of-office work may lead to lower productivity, it actually appears that the reverse is true. By adopting cloud document management systems your business can promise better collaboration between departments, and greater flexibility throughout the workforce. Working from home need no longer be a hindrance, but perhaps your greatest asset. Because, let’s face it, the organisations that are agile enough to let their employees work remotely will see the greatest benefits, both physically and technologically. Our previous report into Generation C, the connected generation, illustrates these benefits – exploring why fewer distractions, and less stressful environments lead to happier employees and greater company success.

Have you upgraded?

It’s time to listen to the 91% of employees who believe that their employer will no longer be competitive by 2020. Yes, this might seem like just another scare story. But, guess what: the world has already changed and those non-upgraders are being left behind in the wake of this digital boom.

We’re now looking beyond digital for the workplaces of 2020. Employees want their organisations to harness the flexible working technologies available in order to boost business success. And, there will be merit behind this. Once tasks become increasingly automated, employees will be able to devote more time to strategic thinking and generating new ideas.

The secret success of Gen C employees

In 2020, the employers who embrace the forward looking attitudes of Gen C will be the most successful; it is these members of the ‘connected generation’ that are driving the pace of change. Their hardworking and increasingly flexible mind-sets will be your greatest asset – perhaps not such a secret, but still a truth easily forgotten. Attempts to enforce top-down controls will merely limit workforce motivation and who wants that? So, instead, it is time to listen to the demands of the 2020 workforce.

So there you have it: a snapshot of the changing expectations of your 2020 employees. Want to pinpoint the specific areas that will work for you as we all move beyond digital? We thought as much. Read more in the full report: ‘Beyond Digital: what’s next for businesses in 2020?’.

Strategy first, technology second

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

I have a Google habit. It’s the curse (or blessing!) of growing up in the ‘digital age’ (but please, don’t call me a millennial). That’s to say that I rely on my smartphone to Google anything and everything. Admit it, you’re guilty too.

Scientists believe that this habit of ‘googling’ everything is actually making our attention spans shorter. It’s a common practise in this ‘digital’ era; throw technology at a problem and it will solve it. That works, right? When it comes to your business, the ‘Google’ effect is not the answer.

Don’t stumble in the dark

To thrive in the digital age, it’s not about having to bring every piece of new or exciting technology on board, and shoehorning it into a place in your organisation. It’s about carrying out your normal business functions and processes more effectively and efficiently. It’s about enabling your employees to better serve your customers.

Just bringing in any technology with no clear roadmap for how this will evolve with your organisation, and solve business problems, is fruitless. There are some scary stats out there telling us that two thirds of digital transformation initiatives fail. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

Strategy first

What experience do you want your partners, suppliers, customers and employees to have? It’s not about the technology. It’s about how they feel when they’re using it; and you certainly don’t want that to be one of frustration or fatigue with the system. Rather than focusing on the technologies you think you need, or that you want, which is an operational move, take the strategic move first.

Consider how anyone interacting with your organisation behaves; whether it’s web, social media, telephone or any other channel. This will help you to identify the processes causing the biggest pain points. Once you understand the gripes in your current processes, you can pinpoint the key areas which could benefit from change.

Technology second

It’s all very well knowing where you need to change today. But how does that help you decide on what your technology stack looks like?

Understanding what you want your business of tomorrow to look like is key to ensuring the changes you make today enable your business to grow. It’s important to consider your culture; how will you manage the change internally and prepare your business to transform? Once you’ve got these details in tow, you’re well on the way to mapping the technologies to which will overhaul your creaking processes and bridge that gap to where you want your business to be.

This might not be something you can carry out alone; many businesses bring in outside agencies with the expertise in user journey mapping and technical architecture. It will certainly pay to consult the experts in the long run for the success of your transformation. They’ve been there, done it and learnt the lessons.

So, before you throw technology at your problem, take a step back to consider the bigger picture. Your business will thank you for it.

Download our whitepaper “Talking Transformation – a CEOs guide to dealing with Digital Disruption” for more information on how to move your digital initiatives forward.

Generation C: Are You Meeting Their Needs?

Author: Infomentum

Author: Leigh Hopwood

Doing nothing is like going backwards.

Surprise, we’ve changed.  Yes, you and I. We text our friends and family, we socialise on Facebook, network through LinkedIn and get the latest news about train delays through Twitter. We spend more time than ever with our faces glued to a screen, in a variety of sizes.

In 2012 you’d see headlines like ‘social media is dead’. It was deemed a fad. But finally the realisation has hit that the digital business is here to stay.  And we’re only now seeing the term ‘digital disruption’ being bandied around. The digital phenomenon has been here for years – its businesses that have been slow to adapt.

So who's in the driving seat?

Have you heard of Gen C? Gen C, or Generation C, is the connected generation. Unlike Generation X, Generation Y and the Millennials, Generation C is defined by its behaviour – not their age. They use devices, apps and web sites to interact with friends, family and companies. They use these approaches to go about their daily business.

According to infoMENTUM's research report, 81% of Generation C consumers shop online, 87.5% use online banking, and 86% use social networking to connect with friends. As employees, 75% of Generation C people value the freedom to be creative, 55% value using their own technology and 73% value flexible working. Unfortunately, 60% of businesses have IT systems that are only ever updated occasionally.

It’s this connected generation that are driving the adoption of digital technology both by the consumer and employees.

What has this got to do with the contact centre?

Oh, so much.  Where shall I start? First, your people.

Whether you like it or not, your people are increasingly becoming tech savvy.  That means that they are using functionality in their home life that they expect to get access to at work. It’s not just about having the latest devices, it’s about having systems and processes in place that take full advantage of the streamlined approaches that can be achieved with digital technology.

From being able to connect with an expert or accurate/up-to-date information seamlessly to help a customer, to being able to access their HR data from home to monitor their own performance, your employees now know that not only can processes be completed more efficiently, but they can probably tell you how to achieve it.

Now let’s take a look at your customers. Whether you are in B2B or B2C, your customer has high expectations in how you might sell to them, and in your customer service.  It’s no longer acceptable to only interact via the phone with FAQ’s on your website aimed at reducing call volumes.

Customer profiling is so important to ensure that you are delivering the right service, at the right time, through the right channel to satisfy your customers. Understanding why your customers are getting in touch, and how they prefer to communicate is crucial.

Integrating the right digital technology into your contact centre processes, and working with your people to enable them to use them effectively, will give you a huge wave of benefit. Your people will be happier working with the latest functionality and having the right tools to do their job well, and your customers will be happy because they can do business with you much easier.

And if everyone is happy, then your profits will rise. Happy days!

What happens if you do nothing?

That’s not an option. Gone are the days of sitting and waiting for technology to settle down. You can no longer wait to see what the next big thing is. If you don’t respond and invest now, you might as well throw the towel in. Expect to make mistakes, expect to have to change course and expect the unexpected. That’s life.

Leigh's post originally appeared on callcentre.co.uk

Digital Disruption: the Elephant in the Boardroom

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

With digital at the forefront of businesses minds, ‘digital disruption’ are the buzzwords on senior business leader’s lips. But what is it, and what does it mean for your business?

What is digital disruption?

Digital technologies are disrupting the established ways that we do business at a rapid pace. Whether it’s consumers expecting a seamless experience through your business, from websites to brick-and-mortar stores, or using social media as a platform to raise customer service queries and complaints.

It’s about more than just social media and mobile phones; it’s about changing consumer demands, technology advances and the fight to be competitive. It’s about the traditional and fundamental ways a business behaves being transformed.

Instead of treating it as a separate discipline, digital needs to be integrated into the very way we work.

It’s not just your customers

As our Generation C research illustrated, it’s not just customers who are driving digital disruption; it’s your employees too.

The work/life balance has been disrupted by digital technologies, and employees are bringing that disruption to the office too.

Used to having the latest gadgets and information at their fingertips, digital-savvy Generation C are frustrated at work when they can’t find documents, can’t access information on the go, and can’t effectively collaborate and share knowledge.

With their rapid uptake of technology, using it in ways it wasn’t originally intended and the trend for using personal devices in the office, digital is disrupting your business whether you like it or not.

Can you execute your digital strategy?

In recent research, Forrester found that although 73% of executives believe that their company has a digital strategy in place, only 19% believe they have the right technology to execute it, only 15% believing they have the skills and capabilities. This makes for worrying reading for the future of existing business. With agile, fast-moving start-ups flooding the market, how can traditional, big business keep up?

The answer…? Digital transformation.

In order to cope with digital disruption, businesses need to go through a rapid period of digital transformation, or risk being left behind.

We only have to look at companies such as Blockbuster to see the devastating effects of ignoring digital disruption. They didn’t respond quickly enough to the changing ways that their customers were consuming film and in steps Netflix, the online streaming service allowing users to view as many films and TV shows as they like for a fixed monthly fee, without ever having to leave their sofa. Blockbuster was left out in the cold and went under as a result.

In my upcoming series of blogs, I’ll be looking at digital transformation in greater depth. In the meantime, visit our Digital Transformation Strategic Assessment page for more information on creating a digital strategy.

A Business Guide to Generation C

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

With Generation C already a huge demographic which is growing every day, businesses need to ensure that they are capturing Gen C’s attention, whether as their customer, potential customer or employee.

Despite the fact that this group is constantly expanding, the findings of our research report indicate that businesses are not catering for Generation C as effectively as they could be. As a result, they could be missing out on generating revenue by exploiting the connected generation.

Retaining your Gen C employee

As their employee, one simple thing that bosses can do to accommodate Generation C is to allow flexibleProductive Generation C Employees working; the survey showed that this freedom allows them to be more creative. Better still, the vast majority of bosses involved in the survey noted that they trusted employees not to skive when they aren’t in the office – great news for Gen C employees.

For CIOs and IT managers worrying that their equipment simply isn’t up to scratch, there’s also good news. Gen C aren’t necessarily aiming for the best and most expensive technology on the market, they simply want to work in the best way possible for them. This could mean bringing their own device to work, or the option to work flexibly from different locations. For this to happen, it’s the internal systems which crucially need to be up to standard.

An effective content and information management system will allow Gen C employees to access documents quickly and easily, without wasting time looking for the information they need, or worse, having to recreate a document that they can’t find. This system needs to be accessible whatever the device being used, and whether or not the employee is in the office.

Don’t forget your website

It’s not just internal documents that need to be accessible on the go. With both employees and consumers using your website, it’s also essential that it gives the best possible user experience across multiple channels. Gen C expect websites to be responsive to the type of device they are using.

Gen C don’t appreciate being bombarded with sales message, and will be immediately switched off from websites with annoying pop-up adverts. Perhaps more frustrating for these digital natives however is not being able to get onto a website at all; over half of survey respondents noted slow loading pages as their biggest bug bear online.

Socialise with Gen C

Generation C are highly collaborative and appreciate two-way conversations. With that in mind, utilising social media is indispensable, through whichever channel is the best medium for your business and industry.

For more hints and tips for businesses to interact effectively with Generation C, download the full report ‘Generating Success with Generation C’.

Employers, Don’t Let Gen C Pass You By

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

Generation C is not a group defined by their age; they are defined by their attitudes, behaviour, shared interests and constantly connected digital lifestyle.

It’s easy to forget than whilst it’s essential to engage Gen C as the consumer, giving them a rich and fulfilling online experience, your employees are just as likely to represent Gen C. How are you catering for Generation C in the workplace?

So how do they behave at work?

Because of their desire to be collaborative and their community orientated outlook, Generation C appear to be good problem solvers. If they don’t know the answer to something, they are far more likely to approach an online forum or community for helps and answers. What’s more, they understand how to perform more complex searches on search engines and internal systems. This is an invaluable asset to any business, as Gen C respondents of the survey were far more likely to describe themselves as inventive, ‘continually coming up with new ideas and different ways of approaching problems’. Encouragingly for employers, the study also found a positive correlation between being a part of Generation C and being driven at work. Gen C appear to want to go the extra mile to help the organisation succeed.

But they’re not being fully accommodated for at workGive Generation C the right information and the right technologies

Despite their positive effect on businesses, it appears as though Generation C are not being catered for
in the workplace; over half of respondents said that their IT systems at work are only ever updated occasionally, and many complained of outdated and slow systems.

One of their biggest bug bears at work is wasting time looking for lost documents. On average, they spend up to an hour a day searching for these documents, and 20% even said they waste additional time having to recreate these documents when they couldn't be located.

Shockingly, this wasted time is costing British businesses up to a staggering £15 billion per year.

But it’s not just easy access to documents that Generation C wants; they also value the ability to work flexibly and using the technology of their choosing. This means not only do they need easy access to documents, they want to be able to access documents on the go and from the device of their choosing.

Generation C aren’t just your customers; they’re your employees too. What are you doing to engage them? Download the full report, ‘Generating Success with Generation C’, to read more on satisfying Gen C employees.

Communicating with Generation C Consumers

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

Generation C is the connected generation – they are digital natives who are constantly communicating, computerised, community-orientated and always clicking.

As the connected generation, it’s not surprising that Generation C spend much of their time online; they shop (88%), bank (87%), visit forums (57%) and stream TV (68%) regularly.

Not only are Gen C carrying out all of these activities and more online, they’re using a multitude of devices. They want to access this online information whenever and wherever they want, whether that’s from a desk or anywhere out and about.

Gen C expect websites to be responsive to the device they are using, fast loading and they want to ability to carry out self-service tasks online.

But Gen C are frustrated online. Why?

According to our research, a staggering 98.5% of Generation C stated that they are dissatisfied by the features of websites. Their five worst rated features were:

  1. Slow loading pages (66.2%)Generation C are frustrated online
  2. Pop ups (57.8%)
  3. Advertisements (30%)
  4. Broken links (26.9%)
  5. Auto-playing videos (25.7%)

This has a big impact on Generation C, who see the internet as a completely immersive part of their lives. They are less patient online than their non-Gen C counterparts, having become so accustomed to super-fast broadband and 3G/4G connections. Poor websites will immediately put Gen C consumers off.

They’re social

Social media sites feature heavily in Gen C’s online connections. We found that 86% of Generation C are using social media sites to interact with family and friends, and their immediate circle aren’t the only ones influencing their behaviour. Due to their desire to collaborate, Generation C are also the most likely consumers to reach out to their peers across the world through forums and social sites such as Twitter, where they can communicate with other Gen C’ers outside of their immediate circle who they would not otherwise come across.

And it’s not just interacting with peers that draws Gen C to social media; they expect to be able to engage with companies online too. 75.5% of Generation C survey respondents listed ‘being able to contact a company easily through different channels’ as important to them. It’s obvious that Generation C value interactivity highly and appreciate a two-way dialogue with brands rather than being bombarded with sales messages.

With so many online interactions happening every day, can you afford for your website not to engage Generation C? Download the full report, ‘Generating Success with Generation C’, to read more about how Gen C behave online and how to appeal to them.

Are You Ready for Generation C?

Author: Infomentum

Engaging Generation CAuthor: Rachel Edwards

This week sees the launch of an exciting piece of research we carried out into a new generation of people: Generation C.

These people are your customers, your employees and maybe even yourself.

Generation C is the connected generation; they are digital natives who are completely au fait with the latest gadgets and technologies. They are always computerised, always online communicating, clicking and connecting with their community of peers. They are one of the largest demographics and they’re expanding all the time.

In the research, carried out by Censuswide, we surveyed over 1000 desk-based office workers because we wanted to understand the impact this emerging demographic is having on business. We wanted to understand their attitudes towards the technology which constantly surrounds them, how they behave online and as consumers and employees and how they perform in the workplace. We wanted to know how they judge potential employers and most importantly, how employers can get the most out of them.

54% of the survey respondents were identified as Gen C. The remaining respondents admitted that being online and connected doesn't dictate their lives (40%) and 6% saying that they only see technology as a means to an end.

In the full report, we address the key behaviours of Gen C as consumers and as employees. Based on the research, the report also includes a business guide for how to get the best from Generation C whether as your employees or your consumers.

Intrigued? Do you think you could be Generation C? Are Gen C your employees or your consumers? Download and read the full report ‘Generating Success with Generation C’.

You can share the Generation C infographic and video, or comment on the report on Twitter by using the hashtag #GenC.

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