85% of business executives admit they have at least two years to embrace digital transformation, or they will fall behind the competition and suffer financially, according to Forbes. Digital transformation is an initiative that needs to be intertwined in every aspect of an organization, for it is no longer the future state – it is already here. The most significant trends and improvements for customer experience are reliant on digital transformation.
However, the concept is not a digital marketing trick or a fad to sell services and products. Neither is the implementation complex, as many managers and entrepreneurs imagine when they try to understand how to digitize their operations. The tools and methodologies are available. You only need to research, create an action plan, evaluate your business structure, and set goals.
To help you understand this concept, here are key components you must consider as you develop your digital transformation strategy.
Prioritize Customer Engagement
Although digitization holds the trends and changes needed to improve customer experience, it is not about using fancy apps and tech innovations to attract customers. Before your organization can invest in innovative tech solutions, it needs to understand the customer journey, behaviors, and expectations. Rather than ask consumers to adapt to new processes, focus on their experience, and implement strategies based on their feedback.
As a leader, you must learn and practice to let go of how you think your business should operate and do what customers want even before they ask for it. The technical founder of an automatic receipt transcription company notes on their website, Taggun.io, that “Good things happen when we learn. But learning gets harder when we get better. We get more arrogant. We are less open to anything.” To survive the competitive market, learning new digital transformation trends should be a never-ending process in your company. Strive to find ways that improve customer service and help you remain relevant in your industry.
Invest In Your Employees
Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality have the power to improve intelligence and influence informed decision-making within an organization. Without the right talent and focus on employees, however, a company struggles to stay on top of the competition. That is why your company’s focus should be on how best you can use technology to provide meaningful support and experience that reach your staff on a deeper level. Using technology to improve your bottom line doesn’t guarantee long term success.
In a market where talent competition is high, investing in technologies that provide excellent employee experience is critical in accelerating digital transformation. Additionally, what IT thinks is delivering is different from what staff say they are doing. The gap between IT and employees can be the cause of business failure, and a lack of the right technological tools can drive employees to seek other employers. The best way to close the gap while maintaining a great digital employee experience is by aligning IT and human resource processes to enhance organizational culture.
Re-engaging and transforming the workplace helps empower employees, creating room for digital integration. For instance, your company can balance the power of mobility to enhance collaboration from any location, on any device by providing access to applications and data while ensuring there is data security.
Automate Internal Processes
Automation is the pillar that brings customers, employees, processes, and technology together. Optimizing internal processes ensures your organization can quickly transform products and consumer feedback into action. As a result, you can best serve your customers faster and predict their needs. Automation starts with understanding current processes in the business, whether it is in the manufacturing, human resource, finance, or sales department.
The use of the cloud for business operations should be a priority. Cloud services are not only cost-effective but also flexible, scalable, available, and straightforward when it comes to storing data and applications. Using the cloud allows the organization to focus on the people and budget on solutions that make it more competitive instead of spending hours running day-to-day data without progress.
Though moving operations from your IT department to a third-party management service is not ideal, it creates room for new opportunities you can tap in for growth and development. On customer experience, automation should focus on increasing efficiency, customer service, and responsiveness in real-time. Utilizing artificial intelligence, such as chatbots, can help to enhance the customer service experience.
Developing digital transformation strategies is not as challenging as it sounds. You only need to focus on critical areas, such as consumers, employees, and business operations. In addition, you must learn and adapt to new technological trends such as the cloud, AI, IoT, and 5G networks.
3 ways Gamification will Revolutionize your Business
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated employee engagement levels. A recent Gallup study shows that employee engagement had increased from 36% in 2019 to 39% in 2020. There are various reasons behind this sudden jump, such as:
a. 45% of employees said they got feedback in 2020 compared to only 26% in 2019.
b. 38% of employees working from home were more engaged than 32% of those working on-site.
But the same study shows that 14% of employees are actively disengaged. Although the engaged to actively disengaged ratio had gone down from 2.7-to-1 in 2019 to 2.6-to-1 in 2020, companies need to identify the vacant spaces and fill them.
Gamification is an excellent strategy for increasing employee engagement levels to all-new higher levels. Many statistics show that employees who have fun at work are more productive and engaged and finish their work well before deadlines.
a. Research by Catapult shows that absenteeism costs UK businesses £554 per employee. Absenteeism can significantly decrease when employees have fun at work.
b. A survey sponsored by Alfresco shows that 65% of employees interact and collaborate with their colleagues multiple times a day. Thus, if employees enjoy time with their colleagues, they will work better and communicate more effectively.
c. According to a study by the University of Warwick, happier employees are 12%-20% more productive than those who are not.
These statistics prove why gamification is essential for your business. Now, let’s see three use cases of how gamification can revolutionize your business.
1. Make your training sessions compelling instead of grueling.
We all know how boring training sessions can get. I have participated in several L&D programs sponsored by the companies I have worked in. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that most people are either busy chit-chatting with their colleagues or sipping extra cups of free coffee. Thus, the primary purpose of training sessions is somewhere lost.
And, why do you think that happens?
People can give various explanations, but the primary reason is boredom.
Employees get bored of training sessions because there are no fun-filled activities to hold their interest.
This is where gamification comes in. Instead of after-session surveys or post-training tests, you can provide real-time polls to check what they have understood and what they have skipped.
And it has never been as easy as it’s today. You can ask the participants to install apps when they enter the L&D room, where they will take polls, surveys, and tests.
You can plan some group activities and hands-on sessions where learners move their hands and legs, as it has several therapeutic benefits. A mild physical activity will go a long way in helping participants to drop boredom.
2. Start a “boredom removal program” at your workplace.
Yes, you heard that right.
A “boredom removal program” is similar to a “pest removal program” frequently conducted by municipal corporations. Boredom is not very different from pests. The latter contaminates the external environment while the former infects our minds, but they function along the same lines.
Follow the steps below to cut of the roots of boredom in your company:
a. Arrange for face-to-face meetings (or online conferences if physical meetings aren’t possible) with managers and junior executives to find out reasons for boredom.
b. Avoid asking closed-ended questions that have simple “yes” or “no” answers. Instead, learn the technique of asking open-ended questions that brings emotions into the equation. You can better judge the employee’s psyche by understanding their feelings.
c. Gamify your interactions. Instead of reading out notes or displaying dull PowerPoint presentations, say what you want to say in the form of games. Online Games have a unique power to engross players for hours. Give puzzles, assign collaborative tasks, and do some physical exercises to suck the boredom. In short, allow the participants to think. Employees who think and come up with innovative solutions never get bored.
d. There is nothing else that gets people more excited than competitions. No matter how much you see, listen to, or talk about equality, people still like winning and watch others losing. Our brains have reward centers that activate when we win a competition. Moreover, our minds are hardwired to experience the thrill of winning over and over again. So, organize branch- or nation-wide competitions and you will be surprised to look at the results.
3. Gamification stimulates the ideas creation process.
Companies conduct pre-market release surveys and research to get an idea of how their products will perform in the market. Gamification can completely transform this process by augmenting our mental processes that dictate our ability to analyze, respond, and react in different situations. There are two ways of doing this: alternate reality games and live-action role-playing games (LARP). Let’s discuss them one by one.
In alternate reality games, the players remain as they are, but the reality around them changes. Jane McGonigal, a gamification expert, has developed a game called “World Without Oil” to show how companies can stimulate the ideas creation process. In the game, the participants become part of a world with an extreme oil shortage. The players receive reminders about the change in oil prices, notifications of oil shortages, and alerts about countries fighting over remaining oil reserves. Players constantly share insights about how the new changes in the world are impacting their lives. This data is collected and is used by different industries for long-term planning scenarios.
On the other hand, in LARP, players take on new roles but the reality around them may or may not change. A new role allows players to shed off traditional social norms and observe the world without predefined criteria and beliefs. For example, researchers at the University of California developed a game called Battlestar Galactica to study the impact of wearable devices.
In this game, the players act as the survivors of an alien attack on their home planet. They need to adjust to new communication patterns based on mental and physical health signals that originate from the clothes they wear. Through this game, researchers gain valuable insights into how wearable technology can positively change human interactions.
Companies across a broad range of industries are using gamification techniques to significantly improve their processes and give a powerful voice to their employees. Gamification plays a vital role in holding the employees’ interest by fostering creative thinking, re-imagining resource consumption, and exploring future challenges interactively. Traditional industries like the automobile industry can also use the gamification technique to understand the benefits and drawbacks of electric cars and the strategies they can implement to emerge as industry leaders.
4 Benefits of Using an Online Research Community
The business world is growing very rapidly and becoming competitive day after day. With so many businesses offering the same products and services, it has become a challenge to attract customers and let them see the value they get if they make the decision to choose you. Technological innovation has played a huge part in ensuring that businesses have something to work with when it comes to understanding key things about their audience.
With the help of online community platforms, a business can easily do research, collect data, and analyze this data. In this article, I am going to highlight the importance of online research community platforms and the benefit they offer to businesses around the world. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it so that you can take your business to the heights of success.
- Bring People Together
The very first and the biggest benefit of an online research community platform is that it provides you with an ideal place to bring different people together. It doesn’t matter what kind of industry you belong to or what kind of a business you are running; you can easily use such platforms to connect with your customers.
The platform lets you get insight into what they want and expect from you so that you are able to transform your business accordingly. It goes a long way in making sure that the people who are using your products and services are actually satisfied with what you are offering them, and they feel as if they contribute to your business in a positive way.
- Create Brand Ambassadors
Another benefit of online engagement platforms is that you can use them to create a following for your business. A platform lets you engage with your customers on a daily basis, which allows you to let them be a part of your VIP community where you share important information about your future plans.
These VIP customers act as brand ambassadors and create a positive word about your products and services so that everyone in their circle knows what you are offering. It is a great way to advertise your business without spending a lot of money on it.
- Increase Your Reach
One of the most important parts of running a business is making sure that you consistently make new customers while keeping the old ones happy. Engaging with your existing customers in a positive way helps other people see that you truly care for your audience and want to keep them happy.
Engaging with your customers on these platforms and sharing important information about your business is going to improve your brand recognition and customer loyalty. By developing a good relationship with your customers, you promote other people to connect with you, which ends up going a long way in improving your overall reach.
- Understand Customer’s Behavior
Last but not least, I can’t stress the importance of tapping into your customer’s mind and finding out what he really wants. Your customer’s buying pattern and behavior are going to give you an insight regarding what kind of products he likes. You can use this information to create better products and drive better marketing campaigns that have better success.
An online research platform not only allows you to connect with your customers but also lets you dig deep into how he is feeling. You can ask important questions regarding his experience and get feedback from him to improve your business. It is a great way to understand his motivations and desires and then use this information to market your products in a better way.
4 Virtual Office Christmas Party Ideas
Regardless of whether this would have been your company’s first Christmas party or the twentieth, you were probably putting plans in motion for a while now and hoping that COVID-19 would have been handled by the time the holidays arrived. However, seeing as how we are still in this situation where social distancing is recommended and many of us still work from home, your plans for the office party have probably changed. If you’ve decided not to cancel the cheer this year and opted for organizing a virtual party instead, you might be looking for some ideas and tips on how to make it a success even if you can’t all be in the same place. Keep on reading for some suggestions.
Socialize over cocktails
Even though you’re not all in the office or a place you’ve rented for the party, it doesn’t mean that you can’t set a time and date for the party and get fancy. Provide everyone with the platform you plan on using, whether it’s Zoom, Skype, or something else, and give them instructions on how to dress. You can either simply dress for a cocktail party or give the party a theme, such as wear your worst Christmas sweater. Seeing as how you’d be paying for drinks anyway, you should consider food and drink delivery to everyone’s home so that you can all have the same experience. When it comes to décor, allow the participants to do as they please, as it’s possible that some don’t celebrate Christmas or just don’t want to put up decorations. If you work in different time zones, it might not be time for cocktails everywhere so you can opt for coffee and snacks instead of drinks.
Play party games
Video calls also make it easy to play various party games. When planning the event, make sure to come up with these games in advance so that you know if there is anything that needs preparing beforehand. Luckily, there are many games that don’t require any preparation. For example, charades don’t require anything but a willingness to have fun. With a simple notepad and pen, you can also play Pictionary. Then, if your employees are a creative and talented bunch, you can organize a company talent show. Keep in mind that some workers are more introverted and might not want to take part in showing off their skills, so consider appointing them to be judges. Something else to take into consideration is giving out silly prizes to your team members – just make sure no one is overlooked.
Organize a Secret Santa exchange
If you were planning to do a Secret Santa gift exchange, you can still do that. You can find an organizer and generator online to help you get everything ready. When it comes to gifts, you should probably set a budget and rules as you don’t want some people to be disappointed by only getting a Christmas card and someone else getting a new laptop. Remember that you are also taking part in this and that you have to get a gift for one of your colleagues. If you get a female coworker you respect a lot, you should browse the internet for some Christmas gift ideas for her before you make a purchase. However, if you don’t know her all that well, a hamper full of sweet and savoury delights as well as a drink or two might be the solution you are looking for. Remind everyone to send their gifts on time so that you can all open them during your video call.
Make cookies together
Sometimes, a Christmas office party doesn’t have to be a party at all. If there are only a few of you in the company, you might be only looking for a way to spend some quality time together. One way to do that is by setting a time when you can all make cookies together. Maybe one of you is an expert at baking and is going to teach the rest how to make tasty treats for their families. Make sure you tell everyone which ingredients are necessary and what other equipment they might need. If you all agree on this, it’s essential that you are all relaxed as tension has no place at a Christmas party. In case someone can’t follow along, be patient and help them keep up. If baking is not your company’s forte, you can opt for other types of crafting projects, such as making your own decorations or gifts for other people.
While you can stick to the regular party setting and have everyone sip on cocktails from the comfort of their own home, you can also make the most of this new reality and come up with something new for your office holiday party. Who knows, maybe this new approach of baking together or playing games online turns into an annual thing.
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