WorkplaceUX…a tool to help the CIO make the business better
Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Recently, I traveled to meet with a Fortune 500 CIO to discuss how I can partner with him and his team to understand how WorkplaceUX can improve the ways the IT org supports the business at large. It was a wide-ranging discussion, and it was obvious that this particular CIO was very strategic. The conversation didn’t dive into solutions or technical rabbit holes. This guy was focused on business issues that he felt technology could drive more positive outcomes.
Early on, I presented our WorkplaceUX methodology (see below WorkplaceUX pillars) and the data that we’ve collected over the past year from the corporations that we’ve worked with across the country. I described how we needed to understand and hold up next to each other the respective perspectives of employees, the IT org, andleadership. Why are they not working in harmony? He immediately understood the value. By recognizing that I’m not the answer for helping him with security or day-to-day infrastructure & uptime, he identified the area of employee experience as the place to potentially leverage WorkplaceUX.
Employee experience to this CIO was not a soft, touchy-feely topic. He connected it to the business as part of key initiatives for productivity, employee attraction/retention, the collaboration between business units, IT org partnership with HR and CRE, and more. We discussed how WorkplaceUX can be customized for the most important outcomes that they want to improve. By talking about the experiences workers are having or not having, we can determine whether the right technology is missing, whether it's an IT org communication issue, or maybe user misconception. Whatever the case, we want to know what needs to be improved and why.
Here are a few examples:
This corporation has geographical competition for attracting young engineers. So not only do they need to attract this talent to a certain part of the country, there are at least 2 or 3 other large corporations in the region that want these same skilled employees. So how can they compete and win these workers over? Our answer to that is to identify current employees that fit the profile of whom they want to bring more of into their organization. Once identified, let’s run this talent base through the WorkplaceUX methodology. Let’s find out what their experiences are with technology at their firm. Knowing what works or doesn’t work becomes the list of options to address when thinking about making investments or organizational changes to attract and retain more of the great people that they want in their organization.
An important business group such as marketing or engineering needs to develop better modes for intra-group collaboration, usually across multiple time zones. WorkplaceUX actually solves two common issues as it facilitates better business outcomes. It enables the IT org to better work with the business group to solve issues by applying our framework to the discussions around experiences, not technology. Second, of course, is that by focusing on the existing experiences that employees within the group are having when it comes to collaborating, we find out what’s driven by gaps in technology, awareness/training, or poor infrastructure configuration that doesn’t support the desired end-state.
The CIO wants to solve an important problem that’s very common. Employees are constantly complaining about the meeting spaces. Meetings start late as they try to reserve proper spaces and spend time getting tools to work. They are also reluctant to use all attributes of a meeting space because they don’t experience consistent dependable services throughout the meeting. So, can we upgrade to a consistent and positive experience in all of the meetings across the enterprise and stay within a budget? By leveraging WorkplaceUX we’ll be able to diagnose the issues that are tech related as well as the issues that are tethered to the IT org’s approach to training, communication and solution design. Perhaps we have already invested in the tech and it’s a configuration or training issue? Let’s figure that out and make a plan to get the experiences right and then standardize across all rooms so that employees know what to expect as they have the same tools in every meeting space they use.
These are just three of the ideas that were very attractive to the CIO as ways to leverage WorkplaceUX to better the tech experiences and create productive and positive outcomes for the business. Working with this CIO as a partner enabled our ability to brainstorm and look at common and important issues that are related to workplace technology and have an impact on employee experience and the business.