In the face of rapid change, the era of experimentation and agility is being forced upon us, which is both exciting and scary. Instead of shying away from it, companies should learn to embrace this new world with a fresh mindset, especially regarding their digital workplace strategy.
Digital workplaces, and by extension, digital transformation, are about changing how we work.
For example, it used to be that real estate agents had to manually write down their transactions in a ledger, their to-do lists on sticky notes, and speak to their clients by phone. Now, you only need one software to manage real estate transactions and follow-up on leads.
Businesses are tasked with overcoming all the challenges associated with an ongoing workplace strategy. Using a mixture of strategy, and tools, companies are moving forward.
To do the same, you’ll have to start from step one. Let’s begin with finding you North Star.
What is a North Star Metric?
Just like how the actual North Star is used to navigate, the North Star Metric is the light that guides the way. It’s the measurement that’s most predictive of a company’s long-term success.
To qualify as a North Star Metric, it must do three things: reflect customer value, measure progress, and lead to revenue. If every department contributes to this one goal, the company will maintain sustainable growth. So, how do you find your North Star metric for your strategy?
Use These Questions When Creating Your Digital Workplace
Finding your North Star Metric isn’t easy, but it can help you get on the right track with your digital workplace strategy. With the right digital workplace strategy, you’ll throttle the competition.
Question #1: What’s my main goal/hope/dream/aspiration?
What does your business hope to accomplish? Most people will say “money,” but the money will follow if your customers and employees are happy. While answering, consider when your customers reach the end of their sales funnel and if this applies to all of your customers.
Question #2: What is my market, industry, and niche?
A digital workplace strategy is employee-centric, but your metrics will be client-centric. You’ll need both to come together if you want to create the best digital strategy.
When asking about your market, separate your questions accordingly:
- Customer Groups: What customer and employee groups could we serve?
- Communication: How will we speak to our employees/customers?
- Product/Services: What products or services will we offer customers/employees?
- Location: In what countries and regions will we operate in?
In this step, consider what you can measure using industry-specific technology.
Question #3: How will our company win the day?
North Star Metrics have to be time-bound and within your control. It has to be a direct reflection of your growth. All of these points answer the question of “how we know we’ve won,” as in, how do we know we’ve delivered what we want to our customers, clients and employees?
Let’s break this down further by asking the following questions:
- What problems do we solve for our clients/customers/employees?
- Are there other ways we can win using the same metrics?
- How will these new features give us a competitive advantage?
Every company will have a different “win” strategy. Find yours with your North Star Metric.
Question #4: What core capabilities will we need?
The AAARRR funnel, also called the “Pirate Funnel,” is an acronym for awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and referral. No matter what part of the phase your company is working on, your North Star metric should help you reach your goals.
Beyond that, you’ll need skilled staff to set your North Star Metric plan in motion. If you’re a videogame programmer and you don’t know how to use Unity, how will you be able to complete your game? Think of 4-5 core capabilities your team needs to reach its goals.
Question #5: What are our management systems?
Our last North Star Metric goal involves growth, which can be fostered through training and management. Your management system should include norms, governing rules, measures, and processes that must exist to ensure your new strategy remains successful.
What it Takes to Build a Successful Digital Workplace
Let’s use all of the answers to the question above and start applying it to a successful digital workplace. With your North Star Metric in hand, apply what you know to our framework.
Find and use tools that establish a collaborative framework. These tools should allow for sharing information, communication, spit-balling ideas, and solving problems. Slack, Google Keep, and InVision are great options for this step as they reinforce the message that sharing is caring!
All companies require feedback from their employees, customers, and clients to ensure they’re delivering the best products or services possible. Promoter and SurveyMonkey can work wonders here as long as management agrees not to spam everyone with review requests.
Create policies for several types of interactions, like online meetings or text messages. If you don’t set clear guidelines for both your employees and customers, you’ll quickly see your workplace devolve into a free-for-all. Your company can become more productive with rules.
Hire Great People
Although hiring for a digital team isn’t that much different than hiring for an office, remote workers do come with their own sets of skills. Your employees should be able to work seamlessly across teams with a positive attitude. Introverts typically excel in digital workplaces.
There’s no shortage of agile tools that boost collaboration and productivity. Zepel and JIRA are project management tools that are designed purely for the digital workplace. When choosing the best tool, keep a people-first mindset so that job completion guides your decisions.
Organization is a difficult thing for many digital workplaces to accomplish because they’re so spread out. Having one place for all documents and files is crucial to keep your team running smoothly. Use cloud-based file-sharing platforms for their security and centralized workflow.
Visual cues play an essential role in communication, but most of that is lost when we use email, text messages, and even certain conferencing call software. Still, video conferencing can actively reduce misunderstanding because both parties can actually see each other.
Businesses require digital workplace solutions that address challenges associated with culture, collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing to account for missteps while you’re implementing your strategy. Only seek technology that’s optimized to gain market insights.
When adopting a new digital workplace strategy, you’ll have to integrate existing systems and tools, both at an enterprise and personal level, including HR info, CRMs, and apps. Remove data silos as soon as possible by finding a platform that complements your old systems.
No digital workplace is complete without artificial intelligence. AI features, like chatbots, make your and your employees’ lives much easier. While it’s true that a human touch will benefit you during the sales process, it’s ok to use robots to deliver a “get back to you soon” note.
A Digital Destination
Everyone needs a goal to accomplish! Remember the North Star Metric? Employees can use that as a basis for where they’ll start their day and where they’re looking to end up by the end. Use this chance to build social goals, as well, like interacting and engaging with co-workers.