We all know that the workplace has changed significantly from the days where you gathered with all your colleagues in an office from nine to five and then went home. Today’s workforce is increasingly dispersed, working around the clock, sometimes without even seeing your colleagues in person. Companies are global, and so are their customers. We’ve built a digital workplace that’s increasingly digital-based, asynchronous, automated, and even a little cold. It wasn’t that anyone set out to create this. The marketplace changed. We added new tools to help fix the problems our new workplace created – email, Skype, Slack, cloud-based folders, and so on – and those tools changed the workplace a little more.
It’s time to bring all those tools together to create not just a set of technologies, but a coherent, intelligent ecosystem. Technology shouldn’t just be about duplicating the workplace of the past, only this time in the cloud. We have the chance to build something greater. We need to use the incredibly rich data generated by online activity to make our companies more effective than ever before. But at the same time, we need to remember that our employees and customers aren’t robots. They need to still feel like they are being seen and interacted with as a person even as workflows become more automated. The challenge is building a data-based ecosystem that’s still deeply human. One key to finding this balance is through video.
Seizing the data
When so many of our interactions are online, the ability to track and analyze interactions across the business opens up new opportunities. Imagine you could collect all the data that you have on your employees in one place, from degrees and certifications to what internal training they’ve taken and how they did. Then compare it to how they’ve performed over the years—KPIs, reviews, promotions, accidents. Now, imagine you could analyze that data to make predictions and influence those results. Predictive analytics promises to help prevent injuries, customize individual development, even discover the best hires. New standards like xAPI and Caliper are making it easier than ever to collect data from across multiple technology platforms and compare it against each other.
How do you make sure you’re generating enough data that will be useful? Video is an increasingly popular tool in the workplace for communication, learning, collaboration, and more—and conveniently, interactions with video create an enormous amount of experience data, much more than with text. Who watched which videos, how many times, and for how long offers a lot of insight into interests and engagement. When videos are made interactive, by adding quizzes, calls-to-action, polls, and even content that changes based on viewer behavior, even more rich data is revealed.
This kind of tracking can be used across the organization. Learning and development videos reveal which training employees have participated in, and even how well they understood it. Marketing videos offer insight into what topics audiences are most interested in. Webcasts and executive messaging lets company leaders track whether their employees are actually paying attention to corporate communications. Video sales emails enable reps to monitor which targets engage with their messages.
All of this data allows for organizations to get deeper insights into both their employees and their customers, allowing for more intelligent decisions. Automation becomes easier. Leaders can intervene and even predict what will bring about desired outcomes based on past behavior.
Get more personalized
Ironically enough, greater automation makes it easier to scale more personalized experiences. Today, both employees and customers expect better than cookie-cutter experiences. They expect that content will be relevant to them personally, and they have little patience when material seems to be aimed at someone else. So, it’s critical that this new digital workplace be at least partially customized to each person who interacts with it.
Let’s look back at some of the use cases from before. In Learning and Development, that might be as simple as onboarding video playlist that are customized by role. Or it might as elaborate as learning paths that respond to the learner. For sales, on the other hand, it could mean using personalized video in prospecting videos, to make a better connection and show targets that the salesperson really understands their needs.
And stay personal
There’s a difference between personalized and personal. Personalized can still be done automatically, and people can still tell the difference. But keeping the workplace personal is a matter of supporting employees as they make human connections. The intelligent digital workplace needs to do both to keep employees from becoming alienated and disengaged.
When so much work happens over emails and shared documents, it’s easy to stop thinking of the person on the other side of the screen as a real human. That’s why it’s critical, as we build this new digital workplace, to keep the human touch.
A huge part of that is seeing faces. We may live in the cloud, but we’re still cavemen at heart, and we want to look someone in the eye. That’s one of the reasons that video has become so incredibly popular in our increasingly digital age. Giving employees more video tools can help fill that gap.
Executives can use video to make their communications more personal and relatable, for more authentic leadership. Coworkers can easily share knowledge with each other, even across time zones. By connecting faces to names, teams share a greater sense of belonging and trust. The same thing goes for building stronger relationships with clients. Who feels more helpful, a faceless name from an email or someone you’ve actually met? Especially when a message has been triggered by an automated system responding to data generated by your actions, involving video helps keep the communications from feeling too depersonalized.
A more intelligent digital workplace
Tomorrow’s digital workplace has the potential to not only replace the in-person interactions with equally meaningful digital interactions, they make it possible to have more engaging and authentic relationships than in the old-fashioned workplace. Work can become more customized to each individual. Leaders can have a bigger personal impact, with authentic interactions at scale. Every interaction becomes more accountable, a never-ending wellspring of data that can be mined and refined to predict future behavior and mold it towards where the team needs to be.
Dana Poleg is Vice President of Marketing at Kaltura, where she has been instrumental in revolutionizing the way the company targets potential customers as well as greatly expanding the company’s global reach. Before arriving at Kaltura, she served as head of Global Demand Generation at the NASDAQ-traded Big Data software company NICE. Previous marketing roles have included portfolio marketing, product marketing, and strategic marketing at Siemens, Comverse, and McCann Ericsson. She holds an MBA from the University of Jerusalem in marketing and finance. Passionate about marketing for sales, Dana believes that marketing should be an integral, driving part of the sales process.