2020 changed work—where we work, how we work, how businesses view work, and our expectations of the tools we need to do work.
The overnight shift to a digital work environment in March last year created unprecedented challenges for every organisation but also created untold opportunities. I’ve reflected on some of the key learnings from a turbulent year and have built some resolutions I feel all businesses should consider in order to truly thrive in 2021 — ‘the year of the comeback’—and beyond.
Resolution 1: Reject silos and embrace ecosystems
Of the many things 2020 taught us, one learning that stands out is the need for technology to deliver seamless work at an individual and organisational level. As businesses look ahead to 2021 it’s time to move on from stand-alone tools and applications that don’t connect with other systems or data. Make this year the year you commit to integrated technologies that connect people, process, and data.
Embrace systems of record that manage all core organisational and departmental functions and data, and connect them with the larger organisational ecosystem.
This approach will allow business leaders to manage their work with the same precision as other functional areas (think HR, finance and customers) through a standardised model enabled by work management platforms, accelerating the delivery of compelling digital experiences for both employees and customers.
Resolution 2: Embrace quick and continuous change as the norm
In 2020, companies had to operate with unparalleled agility, realising the importance of anticipating and adapting—quickly—to change. In 2021, businesses need to make agility a permanent state of mind. To do this, leaders will need quick and easy access to the data required to continuously adapt, prioritise, and realign in sync with external and internal changes. Work management technology is the connective tissue between tools, linking and presenting data and insights from disparate systems to key decision makers at the right time. A centralised platform for work becomes the source of truth for all work information and the fuel for data-driven decisions—the basis of making agility not just a crisis response, but a steady state.
Resolution 3: Create exceptional digital work experiences
Delivering exceptional customer experiences requires that companies also make their digital workforce a top priority in the coming year. The responsibility of making this happen extends far beyond the organisation’s HR function, it’s a c-level conversation. Staying competitive will require companies to create collaborative, virtual, rich media digital work experiences that reflect the way work and the people doing the work are changing. The right technologies and technology culture are the engine for the digital work experience, connecting distributed teams and empowering them to do their best work—from anywhere—using their favorite tools.
In addition to creating great customer experiences, getting the digital work experience right will boost employee engagement, productivity, and performance—across all generations. Here are some pointers to get you there:
- Redefine the employee experience—Ensuring workers are digitally enabled with the right tools, content and experience to keep them engaged and connected.
- Create personalised digital work experiences and connections for a distributed workforce— Mastering the creation, scale, velocity of multimedia content requires prioritising and focusing on the employee experience as much as the customer experience. Keeping your future workforce engaged and doing their best work depends on it.
- Harness the strengths of your multigenerational workforce—While at the same time, acknowledging that all employees, regardless of age, bring the higher expectations of their personal digital experiences.
Paige Erickson, Managing Director, EMEA at Workfront, an Adobe company