SOGETI UK BLOG

As the year turns it’s time again for defining goals and new resolutions for the coming year. One of the hottest resolutions for our Meet the Future initiative is how to engage with our own people.

According to research by the Boston Consulting Group, improving levels of social mobility within an organisation will increase productivity and, in turn, will amplify achievement and offer further fulfillment for both individuals and the company.  If people can fulfill their potential and desires, they can help to drive the business forward.

A recent AON Hewitt survey reports that in Europe five out of 10 workers are engaged with their organisation which is not good for the company or its employees. In addition to that, companies see people flying away like migrating birds looking for a better climate all the time. That means something needs to be done to ensure employees remain engaged and fulfilled.

The good news is that we can change things – by introducing a new way of being and working.

Here is a list of actions for us all to try in 2016 to help us be more sociable and engaged with our business, and feel more fulfilled:

Change the Rules: The world has changed so rules created previously no longer work in the modern age. Surviving in today’s world requires us to play a new game – one where we don’t start with the question “what can you do for me?”, but instead “What can I do for you? What are my higher objectives, values? How should I be doing things?”

The structures of modern educational and corporate organisations are destabilising. They weaken stability by blurring the vision and misdirecting missions to get on-board; and being on a mission without a clear vision will not take us far. However if one defines who she/he is, stretches targets, focuses on what their own vision and needs, within the organisation, they can achieve their dream and be the best. The answer to the question “How can I grow at work?” no longer sits on our boss’ desks, but in our heads and hands. We must all step up and take responsibility for our own careers if we want to grow.

To Do List: Talk, discuss, debate. Ask questions, disagree, provoke. Be inspired. Go out for lunch with your manager and others around the business that you wouldn’t usually communicate with and hear what they have to say. Listen to ideas. Have ideas. Express your vision. Hear amazing talks. Argue. See. Read. Write.

Get it Out: What is the biggest thing preventing you from getting on with your job? Don’t allow it to be a blocker anymore – tell someone about it and try to change it.

Win an Award: Financial rewards cannot be the only means of recognition as there is not enough money in the economy to match the value of the energy and time our employees give every day. As John Steinbeck said “Anything that just costs money is cheap.” There must be another way to reward employees for their hard work.

One day I was called into our CEO’s office. I was thoroughly surprised when I heard him say, “I want to arrange a day out for our employees to have fun, and do something different. Let’s go on a Treasure Hunt!”

We can all win by treasuring values, respecting our colleagues and creating our own fun and success in the workplace. The company needs its people to feel part of it, to engage with our organisation and events, and to feel that they can build a better future with their own hands and feel a bigger sense of pride and enjoyment at work.

 

Anahita Mahmoudi AUTHOR:
Anahita Mahmoudi is a Principal Consult at Sogeti UK with a drive to design and manage development projects. She is a design innovation consultant with a focus on design for human interaction studies. Anahita also chairs at ‘Meet The Future’ committee in the UK and is promoting cultural transformation to improve colleagues’ productivity and engagement.

Posted in: communication, Human Behaviour, Infrastructure, Social Aspects, Socio-technical systems      
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One of the challenges of today’s corporate world is the need for effective internal communication and employee engagement. Management and communication teams are concerned that traditional channels used to distribute news (emails, paper or electronic newsletters) are not paid enough attention; they are either left unread, read too late, or lost between other unread mails. The consequences of this lack of readiness are affecting the relationship that the company hopes to have with all of its employees. But all is not lost…

 

What causes this and how can be resolved?

Communication is vital across all fields and especially in our global, interconnected society, where a decisive business leadership model has become the established way of contact for many seeking opportunities for growth and survival.

Through time, each new generation has experienced the use of different tools for communication with their friends, family and employers; from fire signals, cave paintings, paper, letters, TV, radio and, finally, to today’s internet and applications. While these tools can bring so many rewards to our day to day activities, they can also be useless if they are not used correctly. If a company wants to encourage readership of communications by its employees, it needs to acknowledge that it is it’s own responsibility to provide the right tools that enable those communications to reach staff in an effective and efficient way.

McFarlane, 2010, defined efficiency as ‘acting with speed; saying things fast, delivering a 20 minute speech in five minutes, using a PowerPoint presentation to present an extended essay to a class’, thus, ignoring some irrelevant details. A good corporate social media strategy should be able to claim its efficiency by minimising wasted time and effort needed to access important news.  Furthermore the strategy must be effective by providing information that meets employees’ interests and that they would actually want to read.

Most traditional communication models are based on an inefficient and ineffective ‘paging’ model – users are typically unaware what will be on the next page and they are forced to scroll or read without a specific intent. In the UK, for example, ‘Metro’ prints thousands of newspapers and hand them out to people for free every day.

However, in a recent UK observation 1, 6 out of 10 train passengers on a train were holding a phone and reading materials from their device, scrolling through random contents but selecting which articles they actually want to read, and in what order. This is a very important difference with social media models compared to the newspaper model, and it’s all about ‘interest’.

This is not a challenge that ‘digital tactics’ alone can solve. A reader is more likely to read a story if it is either relevant (i.e. has a direct impact on his/her life) or it is interesting (the story does not impact him/her, but he/she is intrigued enough to know more about it anyway), so journalists and communications professionals still need to write a compelling story or post. In addition, while many companies have adopted the use of social media in the workplace through tools such as Yammer, Jive Engage, etc. they have experienced poor levels of engagement with them. That’s not because they are not great but that is because the intended information is hidden within these expansive, wrongly used tools and hard to find.

People value communication that is more efficient than effective; that is, speed is valued over quality points for the sake of instant impact and brevity. That means directing employees, instead of expecting them to sift through a large pool of information, along the right path of digital contents. Therefore, businesses need a new communication strategy to meet the needs of today’s employees – a fast, modern approach that is capable of tagging, filtering, or present the news based on individuals’ interests so that readership can increase.

PEW research centre declared that, during the last 10 years, usage rates of social networks have increased from 10% to 74%. The fast growth of technology has caught everyone’s attention regardless of their gender, age, and education. Another study declared that 85% of social networks are accessed via smart phones and via mobile applications. Here at Sogeti UK, we have listened to this research and built upon it, to tailor our own solution and design a social app that meet the requirements of our staff in this fast growing digital age.

 

What we’ve done

As of this week, Sogeti UK has designed and launched the second version of a mobile communication application in house. This application allows Communications teams to effectively and efficiently voice the organisation’s news updates. It showcases regular updates from each of the departments within our business, provides information on internal and external events, and within the My Sogeti section staff can find a handbook, staff directory, and access to frequently asked HR questions.

Version 1 of our app was released in May 2014 and within the first 4 months it was downloaded by 75% of Sogeti UK’s employees. We found that our staff felt more engaged with the organisation because the information they wanted to see was now at their fingertips.

Version 2 soon got the go ahead and we distributed it through HockeyApp – a private application distribution platform. The new version saw the introduction of new sections, an update to the look and feel of the user interface, and gave the Communications team the ability to send short push notification messages to staff.

We’re really happy with the feedback so far, and are already planning version 3!

 

Want an app like this?

We would love to design, develop and test an app for you! We can cover the whole application lifecycle and even ensure it’s completely secure, like ours.

Contact us today on: +44 (0)20 7014 8900, or email enquiries.uk@sogeti.com.

 

Reference

Donovan A. McFarlane, 2010, Social Communication in a Technology-Driven Society: A Philosophical Exploration of Factor-Impacts and Consequences. American Communication Journal, Volume 12,winter 2010. Retrieved August 7th, 2015, from http://ac-journal.org/journal/pubs/2010/McFarlane.pdf

1. The statement is based on an experiment that was conducted in London underground between 8-9 am. During this experiment, 300 people were observed over 30 days.

Social Networking Fact Sheet, Retrieved August 5th August, 2015, from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/

 

Anahita Mahmoudi AUTHOR:
Anahita Mahmoudi is a Principal Consult at Sogeti UK with a drive to design and manage development projects. She is a design innovation consultant with a focus on design for human interaction studies. Anahita also chairs at ‘Meet The Future’ committee in the UK and is promoting cultural transformation to improve colleagues’ productivity and engagement.

Posted in: communication, Developers, Digital, Digital strategy, Human Behaviour, Human Interaction Testing, Innovation, Quality Assurance, Social media, Social media analytics      
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In Sprint 2014, Sogeti Group ran an experiment with 17 of its young professionals from around the Sogeti world to work on an initiative called “Meet the Future”. This program is a calling for young employees from different backgrounds and roles to get involved in the company’s mission, explore new opportunities, learn from each other and introduce a new idea of leadership. It seeks to bridge generations and disciplines for opportunities and improvements for future strategies.

After being part of this group and running the initiative in the UK, I observed that in this modern time there is a common desire, among all the people who are working for an organisation that feel overlooked. Deep down, we long for a soulful workplace, for a place that we can fulfil our purpose while responding to the organisation’s purpose – these two should not be separate from one another. One cannot survive without the other.

Anyone who joins an organisation has two primary purposes; achievement and fulfilment. Achievement itself is then associated with two different areas: security (earning money to live) and significance (working to be recognised). Fulfilment is satisfaction or happiness that is attained by the achieving the goals.

“No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry.Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Conversely, organisations and their top management have desires too, they desire productivity and loyalty. Every company aims to achieve maximum results (having talented and hardworking employees) with minimum spending (lower cost of training and maintaining employees). Nonetheless, most people know that, these days, there is no such thing as ‘lifetime employment’. Not only because organisations may very occasionally disregard employees for a ‘better’ option, but mostly because employees leave the company for their own greater achievements.

Now, there is a necessity for organisations and individuals to recognise their true needs at the present time. Then, organisations need to create such environments that allow employees to find answers to their needs; because employees are only able to satisfy the organisation’s desires, if they find answers to their own achievement and fulfilment needs. An employee who is not able to achieve or fulfil his/her purpose, will most likely never be productive or loyal.

So, here is a pattern that has been introduced in Sogeti UK in order to create a space where both organisations and individuals can be satisfied. The pattern is identified by four themes. Each theme covers an element which potentially can bring new way of being or working. The four themes bring together Balance, Union, Power and Transition which are reflected through four seasons and invite employees to take an action or get involved in an activity.

 

The first theme is Balance. This theme introduces a new corporate mind-set where PEOPLE and PROFIT are equally valuable. This principle not only embraces two of Sogeti’s core values; team spirit and fun but also creates a smooth path for the future. To address the theme of Balance, Sogeti UK has arranged for a number of exciting social events and new practices that place emphasis on the happiness of its employees, though it is hard to move away from profit completely.

The satisfaction that we seek now, in the 21st Century, will not only be found by working harder and earning more money. It will be resolved where it originates; within ourselves.

The term ‘organisation’ wasn’t introduced to our society and the Oxford Dictionary didn’t even have a definition for the term until 1950. Before that time, the only form of collective work environments were farms, where everyone worked on the same field to achieve the same goal. If the farm glows as a result of good season work, everyone tastes the result. Unfortunately, since the appearance of modern society, the relationship between individual and organisation has been corrupted. The ‘Management Revolution’ that emerged in the 20th Century proposes organisation is discrete and distinct from societies and family (Druker, 1995). This is where our communities have made a mistake, and the consequences of this belief have affected both individuals and organisations.

The second theme is Union. This theme places emphasis on the power of union and collective thinking. It is based on the idea of creating better personal and professional relationships with those we meet, talk to and work with.

Power is the third theme. This theme is all about grasping our own power and taking responsibility for our career and the company alike, bringing a more tangible impact to our work place.

Transition is the last theme. Transition is calling for individuals to stand up for human-centric values, share new ideas, and implement positive change within their workplace.

Look out for future blogs which expand on each of the three themes and how to approach them J.

Summary:

Organisations are collection of individuals. Organisations are made of individuals who can’t (shouldn’t) live against their nature. Individuals’ need is beyond earning money, it is about fulfillment, satisfaction and happiness. Organisations’ behaviour should be in line with their individuals’ value and need. Growing an organisation requires growing its individuals. Increasing the corporate value and productivity can be achieved by valuing and understanding employees. And at last organisational change is a collective transmission and need to happen at individual level; both in managers’ offices as well as employees’ desks.

Ref:

Druker, Peter F., Management in the time of great change, 1995, Butterworth Heinehann, P67-80.

Anahita Mahmoudi AUTHOR:
Anahita Mahmoudi is a Principal Consult at Sogeti UK with a drive to design and manage development projects. She is a design innovation consultant with a focus on design for human interaction studies. Anahita also chairs at ‘Meet The Future’ committee in the UK and is promoting cultural transformation to improve colleagues’ productivity and engagement.

Posted in: Behaviour Driven Development, Human Interaction Testing, Human Resources, Innovation, Quality Assurance, Research, Security, Social Aspects, sogeti employees, Transformation, User Experience      
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