Step up or lose your company’s most valuable assets — your people

Last week I wrote about how companies could benefit by bringing an element of gamification within the workplace. As a recap, gamification is part of a strategy that uses elements such as leader boards, engagement and healthy competition to extract the best from employees.

To build on gamification, this week the focus is about how important user experience is and how this correlates to levels of user adoption. Some of the most innovative companies (many self-proclaimed) claim to be with the times and further argue that they understand how to best utilize technology to engage employees and advance their company. The reality of the situation is that many companies strive to be highly engaged, but simply are not.

Why is it important to have an engaged workforce? According to a study by Serota Consulting of 28 multinational companies, it was found that the share prices of organizations with highly engaged employees rose by an average of 16 percent compared with an industry average of 6 percent. These numbers describe the growth potential when employees are engaged, but another realization that companies are facing is that there is a shrinking talent pool. It is now more important than ever to hold onto superstar employees, and attract even better ones.

The secret to building web applications that are adopted is simple. As a company, we look at what people use outside of work and how applications are shaping the way people communicate, interact, meetup and even rate on things as inspiration. What often baffles me personally is when some companies are confused on why their “new, out of the box” application isn’t being well received. When we dig deeper and view the internal software that the next generations of employees are expected to use, it becomes painfully clear… Not only do executives expect these archaic applications to be used daily, they are also expected to enjoy using them.

Why would anyone enjoy using an application that in no way has any semblance of the applications that are used in their personal lives?

What we define as a successful project is when a company leverages our team’s expertise to deliver a custom web application that not only serves a distinct purpose, but is also universally used. So how exactly do we come up with these applications? To create such an application, company goals must align with employee preferences and behaviors. The trick is to use everyday life as motivation.

More and more, employees and vendors alike want to deal with companies that have innovation as one of their core values. The companies that “get it” use technology to make lives less stressful, increase engagement and collaboration within teams.

My challenge to the companies striving to be the next game changing industry leader is to step up to the plate. Take a hard look in the mirror and ask what kind of company you want to be, and what you are doing to be that company. Internal company applications should be as fun, engaging, productive and accessible as the applications that are?wait?never mind they are blocked?