technologies, which often results in outof
date software versions that IT doesn’t
have time to manage.
Instead of limiting access, try creating
policies that take sensitivity and risk into
account. MD Financial Management implemented
an “open-by-default” policy
that encourages employees to create and
share content, and saw adoption skyrocket.
Documents deemed sensitive can still
be restricted to certain users, or restricted
to within office walls. Likewise, cloud
opens up better access and more modern
tools. Use identity management tools
to add an increased layer to cloud security.
Offering more accessible digital tools to
your employees will actually help increase
security, as it minimizes the need to send
secure documents through email or share
them with unauthorized third party tools.
The next area of concern is assigning
value to different digital features – who
gets to decide which features are most
important? This commonly leads to
laundry lists of feature requests, or one
department squashing the needs of other
departments. The best way to get consensus
is to use real employee data to drive
decisions. Instead of conflicting hypotheses
about what business leaders think
employees want, use actual employee research
to guide decision-making. These
observations pull teams together as they
try to find a solution to the core business
problems, instead of fighting over individual
We often see teams overvalue features
as a percentage of their overall weighting.
Pick out a smaller set of features that
you think will truly drive business results
– and then focus on implementing them
flawlessly. Ease-of-use and implementation
are often much bigger factors in
digital workplace success.
Lastly, if employees don’t adopt the new
tool, all of your efforts are lost. HR often
wants to limit social features like commenting
and profile pictures in order to
avoid potential infractions. Employees
themselves may be scared to try out new
tools, where their content can be viewed
across the organization. Instead of limiting
engagement features, try creating clear
guidelines that encourage participation,
but still document what’s considered unacceptable.
Then, use leaders inside the
organization to model positive collaboration
to get the ball rolling.
As IT, communications and HR
departments disagree over digital workplace
politics, employees aren’t getting
the quality resources they need to do
their jobs. This is often thought to be a
technology problem: the tools aren’t providing
enough functionality; are too hard
to use; or are poorly connected. However,
the root cause of these issues is often a
people problem – siloed departments
can’t agree on organizational priorities.
When you bump into common pitfalls
like security problems, feature fights and
adoption issues, remember to focus on
the employee experience first. Make it
easier for employees to do their jobs, and
employee engagement and productivity
will follow. n
Darren Gibbons is the co-creator
THe LaBOuR and empLOymenT Law expeRTS
Emond Harnden is one of Canada’s largest firms devoted exclusively to advising
management on labour relations and employment law. we have the expertise to handle
any employee relations matter and a team committed to serving the HR community.
It’s a forward-thinking approach to labour law.
Glebe Chambers 707, rue Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 3V1 1.888.563.7660 www.ehlaw.ca
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SECURITY POLICIES ARE WRITTEN WITH THE
BEST INTENTIONS; HOWEVER, THEY OFTEN
LEAVE EMPLOYEES WITH LIMITED ACCESS
TO THE DOCUMENTS THEY NEED.
40 ❚ NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL