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How to Improve Employee Experience: Consolidating Communication & Collaboration Tools

Cocentric
Jan 28 · 7 mins read

Companies are focusing on how to improve the employee experience to tackle challenges related to culture, engagement, productivity and retention that come with a now predominantly hybrid world, or just to ensure that the workplace remains a positive place to be.

Employee experience is impacted by every touchpoint of the workplace and throughout the employee lifecycle. With so many areas to assess it can be hard to know where to start when improving the employee experience. In this blog we will be focusing on one of the foundations of employee experience – your employee’s environment – and how consolidating your communication and collaboration tools can help you reach your goals.

Focusing on environment to improve the employee experience

According to BCW’s International Workforce Insight study (in partnership with Workplace from Meta), companies with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable. In a digital hybrid working era, companies must ensure that employees have the right tools to boost engagement and enable them to do their jobs efficiently. They also need to ensure that employees feel connected to their work and fellow employees no matter where they are located. 

Many companies had to quickly adopt new digital tools to improve communication and collaboration in a short period of time to meet hybrid working demands. The outcome of this is that companies are still suffering from channel overload and process misalignment. This leads to employee confusion and frustration over what’s the right tool for the right task, at the right time, as well as inefficiencies in time spent finding the information they need, and knowing which communication channels to use to share content, interact or collaborate. 

So, let’s look at the key challenges of having too many tools and channels before diving into why HR and Internal Comms leaders should be consolidating solutions to improve the employee experience.

Challenges of using too many tools and channels

A recent study found that multiple but disparate tools cost employees up to an hour a day, as they try to find the information they need that’s dispersed across different apps and tools. Additionally, 45% of employees reported that having to constantly switch between these tools is hampering their productivity

Key challenges resulting from too many communications and collaboration tools include:

  • Siloed communications – This leaves teams/individuals without clear or consistent direction or alignment with strategies, objectives and values, leading to issues such as certain comms not being shared across relevant teams, functional updates not being shared with the right people and disparate data and documentation.
  • Management challenges – Managers start to lose visibility over their teams’ performance and satisfaction, with projects executed and shared, collaboration and communication happening and instant messaging taking place all in a disparate manner.
  • Confusion and miscommunication – When everyone is on a different page, things become confusing. Conversations can flow from one channel to another and it becomes unclear where the right place is to execute certain tasks. 
  • Difficulty collaborating – With no unified channel to execute projects, meetings and workshops, conversations, presentations, calendars and schedules all look different from one desk to another, resulting in employees choosing to work independently.
  • Increased downtime – Too many tools can drain your resources. Managers spend more time finding threads and project timelines, updating themselves on schedules and keeping track of employees. Meanwhile, employees waste effort searching for information, instead of having everything easily accessible in one place. 
  • Stakeholders lose visibility – With disparate communication, stakeholders can lose sight of how the company is operating and what the trajectory looks like. This can increase tension and reduce trust in your business. Employers need to focus their efforts on ensuring that employees receive the right information at the right time. 
  • Security risks – Where employees have the choice of too many tools, it becomes unclear where delicate information should be shared. If the wrong information makes its way to unsecured channels, the consequences can be catastrophic for your company and your client relationships.

3 key reasons for consolidating tools to improve employee experience 

The above challenges highlight that a bigger tech stack doesn’t necessarily mean a better one. So how do you overcome these challenges and ultimately improve your employee experience? The answer is to consolidate your tools.

It’s important to note that by “consolidate” we don’t mean that everything has to be in one platform and that you should be decommissioning all of your existing tools. Instead, it’s important to think about how tools can be integrated and can support each other. 

Below we outline the key reasons to consolidate your communications and collaboration tools.

1. Making things easier for employees

By designating the right channels for communication, knowledge sharing, learning and collaboration, and using tools like bots and integrations to connect them and align them with key processes, everything becomes much easier for employees to track and use, and they feel empowered to do their jobs properly, leading to an improved employee experience.

2. Simplifying the use of tools and applications

A big part of improving the employee experience comes down to simplification. You need to simplify the use of your tools and consolidate applications so that everyone can enjoy the right digital experience to meet their needs, and achieve streamlined communication and collaboration overall. 

3. Removing repetitive tasks

When looking to improve the employee experience, reducing time-consuming and repetitive tasks is key. Removing or integrating communications tools can minimise repetition and make daily activities more seamless. Modern digital solutions use automation to streamline processes, which ultimately improves employee engagement and increases efficiency.

How to consolidate tools with Cocentric 

At Cocentric, we understand how to improve the employee experience by empowering teams with digital tools that are aligned rather than disparate and siloed. 

A channel audit and strategy is a great place to start. We help companies understand the current digital landscape. Our experts provide you with the direction and solutions to solve your key challenges and meet your vision of success when it comes to communications and collaboration. 

Our strategic approach is designed to place employees at the centre by defining their key pain points and needs across the company. What we aim to understand is:

  • How your current digital tools are being used
  • Which employees should be using what channel, and for what purpose
  • Which channels are adding value, need to be retained or are now obsolete
  • How should certain channels be integrated or decommissioned

As part of our channel audit, we carry out a series of interviews with key stakeholders, create surveys and organise focus groups – depending on the size of the company. We then map experiences to personas within your company to help you understand the behaviours, needs, wants, motivations, and demographics of employees across the company, giving you a sense of how different personas experience company processes and communications. From here, we identify what tool works for a particular team or function and which channels people use most often.

We segment the company too, for example comparing channel use on the factory floor versus people sitting at a desk in the Finance or Marketing department, and understanding different teams and employee groups.

The result is both qualitative and quantitative data about channel usage, expenditure and efficiency across the company, from which we produce comprehensive analyses and propose our plan for removing, retaining, introducing and consolidating the right channels to empower your business. 

Learn how to improve employee experience with Cocentric’s solutions

If you’d like to know more about how to improve employee experience and consolidate your digital tools, check out our Digital Experience page, browse our case studies or get in touch with our team to discuss your current communications and collaboration challenges. If you’re considering new communications and collaboration tools, why not download our guide to choosing the right solutions for your business.

Download our guide to choosing the right communications software below:

Download Guide