From spreadsheets to super-powered employee engagement

  • Posted on June 25, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Ellen Cowan.

There are lots of good reasons to make employee engagement a priority
If your organization is struggling to attract and retain top talent, boost communication and collaboration amongst employees and outperform competition in this fast-paced world – you’re not alone.

The good news is, taking steps to transform the employee experience can go a long way to solving these and other pressing issues. Take this global investment bank, for example – it made the leap from an Excel-driven workflow to a modern communication and collaboration platform.

Trading up to a digital culture
Committing to an employee engagement strategy – over a three-year timeframe – was the single largest IT investment this capital markets giant has undertaken.

While some of the challenges experienced by the organization were unique to the investment banking space, others are typical regardless of industry:

  • Aging, disparate technology – The existing investment platform was comprised of multiple disconnected systems and overlapping applications, resulting in an inefficient and often frustrating user experience.

  • Overburdened IT department – The firm’s numerous business teams each had their own unique approach to research, risk analysis, reporting and portfolio creation; each team required their own unique mix of applications and analytics platforms. 

  • Cumbersome, fragmented workflow – Employees were using Excel to document research notes, financial models and ideas, then would send the spreadsheets as Outlook attachments to other team members. A decentralized and inefficient approach, to say the least.

Powering up a premium employee experience
Avanade built the UI platform on top of multiple data layers, leveraging Microsoft Teams as the collaboration tool. These guiding principles provided focus throughout the complex project:

  1. Combine the best existing IT tools into a unified cross asset-class investor experience.

  2. Bring together all data assets into a single, easy-to-access platform.

  3. Embed collaboration and social tools to foster global dialog.

  4. Leverage investment science to surface new insights.

  5. Make it scalable and highly personalized to each investor’s workflow.

  6. Maintain a relentless focus on the investor philosophy and process.

It’s critical to strike a balance between old and new. In the case of the investment bank, the spreadsheet and email culture was deeply embedded; some employees wanted to continue to use the “old way”. While employee preferences were respected, the new platform’s ease of use and added benefits were hard to resist. A well-crafted change management program is key to user adoption.

The yield: big gains across the board
Just like the global investment firm, your organization can derive significant advantages by activating a digital platform:

  • Components of control: smart, dynamic and interconnected pieces of information

  • Integrated workflow: dashboards that provide a single location for easy action and follow up of important information

  • Community & collaboration: real-time collaboration and research sharing to promote enhanced dialog

  • System intelligence: continuous monitoring of data flow to bring peripheral insights into focus, and surface ideas and insights that are tangentially connected

  • Integrated workflows: seamless transition between the desktop and mobile experience that enables offline access to key research, datasets, and reports

By leading with user-centric design, you can unlock new ways of working that will benefit your employees, your customers and your organization as a whole.

Committing to an employee engagement strategy may just be the best business decision you make this year.

What’s your plan?

Learn about Avanade’s Digital Advisory practice and how we approach the Digital Employee Experience.

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