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  • Thomas Bradbury

Language, attitudes, action......and Technology



There are so many great examples of how using the right words and attitudes can have a dramatic impact on how a new idea, concept or theory is received. Most of us lose sight of this as we get into the patterns that make up our lives, both personal and business-wise.

So, consider how the voice of the business, its leaders and its managers come across to support or detract from the employee experience. Are they aligned so that we are getting the same message from all? Do employees find it to be credible? Credibility only comes when words and attitudes match deeds.

Let’s focus on our IT Org as we consider this. Essentially, IT is comprised of project initiatives and programs. We language project work to let people know what we are doing and why. "The next big thing!" "A more seamless and pleasant experience!" "A more modern and effective process driven by technology to achieve better results!" We get approval using intelligent words and attitudes to get buy-in and support from stakeholders as well as future users. Our deeds during the execution stage keep us on schedule and budget.

But then what?

Our data shows us that 80% of poor user experience with workplace technology is NOT that companies need new tech. The 80% of poor user experience comes AFTER the project is over and the program begins. The program of constant effort around gaining awareness, training, standardizing for consistent ease of use, etc. In one word: ENABLEMENT. A living, breathing, never-ending push to keep users moving forward, being productive and using the tools we invest in for the reasons we invested in them.

And enablement is not the help desk. And it’s not the implementation team. Successful CIO’s need to know this and live this. Because the people that are great at building things quite often are not great at ongoing enabling efforts. Their language, attitudes and deeds need to match the program, not the project. Enabling is about outreach and strategy to better the user interaction and experience. Enabling, like good teaching, is about understanding unique factors for individuals, teams or departments. And then it’s about creating strategies connected to those unique factors to achieve the desired outcomes.

This is a new and modern way for IT Orgs within medium and large companies to think about workplace technology and employee experience. In a few years, it will be table stakes in all companies. And not just in the IT Org. Corporate Real Estate and Human Resources will need to be aligned and positioned to collaborate with each other. Apple taught us this in retail.  Now we need to apply it to the approach of improving the corporate employee experience. Because, like I always say, it’s not only what you do. It’s how you do it.

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