Great digital workplaces are making an impact. Leading organizations such as BNY Mellon, Verizon and Vodafone — winner and runners up, respectively, in the 2017 Digital Workplace of the Year Award — are demonstrating this in no uncertain terms.

Achieving a high performance digital workplace is no easy task, and many practitioners are struggling to give it the attention it needs in their organizations. Here we take a quick look at the state of the industry, the benefits of getting it right, and how entering the 2018 Digital Workplace of the Year Awards can help you think about how your organization measures up.

Digital Workplaces at an Early Stage in Many Organizations

Our 2017 survey of CMSWire readers, published in the 2017 State of the Digital Workplace report, revealed that organizations are not only struggling with technology issues but also with getting buy-in to the digital workplace concept and bringing the organization along with the change. Here are some interesting data from the survey.

  • 48.1 percent of organizations say their digital workplace is at an early stage.
  • 56.1 percent do not yet have an established digital workplace program or function.

Therefore, for many,there is a real need to push the digital workplace up the strategic agenda —a finding that DWG Digital Workplace Maturity benchmarking corroborates. Although management practices and governance may be mature around certain key digital channels, such as the intranet or collaboration platform, more work is needed at the level of the whole digital workplace. This involves formalizing and documenting a strategy, vision and roadmap for the digital workplace, which all stakeholders can align to.

The survey also identified that culture and change is a significant priority for those responsible for driving digital workplace programs. Participants rated it as their number 2 priority, right behind joint number 1 priorities of enterprise social/collaboration and intranet effectiveness. Cross-referencing again with in-depth benchmarking results, what we see is that the lack of investment in change management is constraining progress, with most organizations performing poorly in measures relating to organizational readiness (e.g. employee and leader enablement to use digital tools).

How a Great Digital Workplace Contributes to Key Organizational Outcomes

For those getting digital workplace onto the strategic agenda, and executing on the most important priorities successfully, a range of benefits are being evidenced.

  • Opportunities to rationalize and reduce operational costs.
  • Improving key people-related measures such as productivity, engagement and retention.
  • Better business continuity and corporate social responsibility.
  • Increased revenue through improved frontline enablement.
  • Accelerated innovation among employees, partners and customers.

Nevertheless, measuring the impact of the digital workplace can be tricky. As DWG research has shown, while most digital workplace practitioners know instinctively that it brings enormous benefits, explicitly tying efforts to business outcomes can be difficult. With rigorous and well considered measurement practices it is, however, possible — as Verizon proved in the 2017 awards by putting a dollar value on digital workplace related savings, to the tune of $11.2m for the current year.

Where digital workplaces succeed, they become acknowledged as an essential aspect of the organization’s wider digital transformation and overall performance.

Digital Workplace of the Year Acknowledges the Best in the Industry

Identifying great practice in the industry means looking at the range of practices that contribute to high performing digital workplaces. To do this, in 2017 Digital Workplace Group and Simpler Media Group established the Digital Workplace of the Year awards to celebrate organizations and practitioners that have excelled at creating well-executed, high-performing digital workplace environments.

The awards focus in on the good practices behind the best digital workplaces, acknowledging the hard work that goes into getting results. The judging criteria encapsulate the key elements of any successful digital workplace program, from strategy through to ultimate impact:

Learning Opportunities

  • Digital workplace strategy.
  • Rationale/business case.
  • Governance framework.
  • Three most impressive features/aspects.
  • User engagement.
  • Impact of the program?

Last year the judges were impressed with some of the efforts underway relating to employee-centric approaches, the development of clear yet simple visions, involving cross-functional stakeholders, and some really well thought-out features.

However, there was room for improvement with a number of key shortcomings relating to unclear digital workplace definitions, poor strategy and governance, and lack of measurement. In 2018, it will be exciting to see if entrants have managed to progress in these challenging areas.

Think Your Digital Workplace Makes the Cut? Enter the Awards

In 2017, outstanding digital workplace performance was revealed at winners BNY Mellon, as well as runners up Verizon and Vodafone. Their success was celebrated by the community at Digital Workplace Experience in Chicago.

Digital Workplace of the Year Awards
Simpler Media Group

If you think your organization could be up among the winners in 2018, now is the time to get to work on your entry. We don’t expect perfection! The judges will be looking for strong practices in the criteria above which demonstrate that your organization is on a digital workplace journey and is already starting to have an impact. Winning is thrilling, but entering also has its advantages, like helping teams to step back, take stock, and consider how well they measure up to the various elements.

Digital Workplace of the Year 2018 is now open for entries! You have until midnight (GMT) on April 30 to enter your organization. Find out more or enter now.