Digital workplace

The power of organizational insights in driving digital adoption

Published Sep 30, 2021

In today’s business world, data is more important than ever. Data is not just critical for decision making about customer-facing experiences, but for creating the best employee outcomes as well. The digital workplace has changed the means of gauging employee behavior. Gone are the days when leaders could “manage by walking around” an office to see what employees were working on, answer questions, and work through issues together. 

Instead, leaders today need to rely on organizational data to see who is doing what, when, and provide guidance and support when employees need it–often from thousands of miles and several time zones away. They also rely on data to discern what needs to change, and how. 

Understanding the flow of work is essential for planning a successful digital adoption roadmap that ensures employees get the most out of the software they use. Deciding which tools to add to or replace within a company’s internal app suite, discerning where in-app guidance is needed and which guides to prioritize, assessing how well employees are responding to various interventions–all of these questions demand answers informed by evidence. Yet data is only as powerful as the insights you can draw from it. And in order to extract and leverage truly powerful insights, the right digital adoption solution is essential. 

Moving from data to insights 

Gathering data on how people and teams spend their time in software is an important first step in the digital transformation journey. Plenty of digital adoption solutions provide basic analytics around employee guide and app usage. But rudimentary dashboards tied to a single tool or guide will only take change managers so far. 

In order to make the most impactful decisions, change managers need to be able to make sense of the information an analytics tool provides. They need to see data points connected into a holistic story about how employees are engaging with software. Once they do, managers can then segment insights based on metadata (an employee’s role, tenure, location, etc.) and specific behaviors (for example, if it’s an employee’s first time using an app). Being able to drill down to this level allows managers to see how different groups are behaving, discern which workflows are optimal, and experiment with different interventions for various segments. 

This is the kind of insight a great digital adoption solution provides. With Pendo for Employees, managers don’t just get data around isolated moments within single apps. Instead, they can now see the full flow of work, across apps and across time. The latter is especially important for providing the necessary context to inform a digital adoption plan. After all, work happens over time, and efficiency is a function of time. By letting one see and measure both workflows as a whole and the individual steps within them, Pendo gives managers the kind of insight into the digital workplace that walking around the office gave managers of the analog workplace–only with a much greater level of detail. 

Let insights guide your strategy every step of the way

It’s important that change managers harness the power of organizational insights from the moment they begin planning their digital adoption roadmap. In order for a transformation to be successful, one has to know the state one is transforming from. Guides and interventions will only be effective if they’re rooted in actual employee behavior and account for the flow of work as it truly exists–as opposed to how managers think it should. It may be tempting to plan a change–be it developing new guidance, driving adoption of a new feature, or increasing compliance in a given area–based off the documented process for how a workflow is supposed to be executed. But the risk of taking that approach is that it won’t be based on reality, which is a recipe for failure. 

Consider a company that wants to improve the accuracy of its finance department’s budget projections. In service of this goal, it purchases and implements an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform on which employees will be able to collaborate and calculate their budget planning numbers. In theory, this should allow managers to see the ways in which employees arrive at the most accurate projections and use that knowledge to boost accuracy across the entire department. 

For the change to be successful, however, managers need to factor in how that work is currently done–say, across a series of separate apps and tools–and plan guidance, training, and interventions around the new process accordingly. If not, then they risk that their employees will continue to collaborate how they always have. They may only use the new platform as the place in which to input their final numbers, while the ways that they calculate those numbers remain a black box. The company will have spent precious time and resources on the new platform while being unable to harvest the insights it can in theory provide. The best way to effect change is thus to plan it around how your team actually behaves as opposed to how you believe they should be. 

Once a change team begins implementing their digital adoption strategy, they should continue to leverage organizational insights in order to further optimize it. For example, Pendo lets managers compare workflow efficiency before and after interventions over a specified time period. It also allows managers to segment groups and individual users based on metadata and behavior. Once they do, they can glean specific insights about each segment, which they can then leverage to create customized guidance. With the ability to run analytics against each segment, managers can measure the efficiency of one intervention vs. another, and decide which works best. 

Find the courage to embrace change 

True, objective knowledge can be both empowering and scary. When things aren’t working in an organization, it’s often because managers are hoping that employees behave in a different way than they in fact do. They lack the courage to accept reality–and work towards changing it. The people who succeed the most in driving real transformation are those brave enough to look at the organizational insights a great digital adoption solution provides and grapple with the truth. Driving digital transformation isn’t easy, and success looks different for every company. But the road to transformation starts with understanding where you’re coming from–and leveraging that knowledge to get to where you want to go.