2014-13-October-communicateGo ahead. Give your employees yet another state-of-the art, fresh off the cloud (or out-of-the-box) solution for collaboration and communication.

Odds are few of them will use it anyway … unless you do two not-so-shocking things. Can you guess what they are?

Here's a clue: the technology itself isn't the problem. 

A new study by Softchoice, a Toronto, Ontario-based technology solutions and managed services provider, confirmed unified communications (UC) and collaboration tools have the power to accelerate productivity, bring people together and increase employee engagement. However, most UC implementations fail because employees are left out of the process, the research found.

Here's why.

Why Didn't You Ask?

Softchoice just released a study outlining the approach IT departments take when releasing new communication technologies and their impact on end users. The study, Working Hard or Hardly Networked, is based on responses from 250 IT managers and 750 line-of-business employees who were asked about the effects typical UC and collaboration rollouts have on employee communication habits, preferences and workplace satisfaction.

The research found employees tend to ignore new office communication and collaboration tools unless they are involved in the selection process. When IT selects a solution without their input, employees are less productive and less satisfied with the technology than employees who are involved in the process. "On top of that, employees generally fail to use the majority of collaboration tools selected and provided for them," the study noted.

There are two critical, often overlooked, components to a successful implementation of social business technologies.

1. Long before any technology decision is made, make sure you understand your company culture, employee work habits and productivity needs to find the right technology fit.

2. Once the tool is deployed, engage employees with a robust communications and adoption strategy to help them learn to use the new technology and, more importantly, why they should bother using it.

You can find out more about the research in this original infographic created for CMSWire by Jackie Plonchak.


Title image by Alan Turkus  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.