Start 2016 with the Top 7 Collaboration Trends

2015-2016.jpgIt’s that time of year when most thought leaders turn to future casting and planning for the New Year. We’ve already seen a flurry of “2016 trends” posts in the past few weeks, and we’re here to stress the importance of getting 2016 off on the right foot.

Few things – at least in our eyes – are more important than examining the top business collaboration trends of the past year. Which ones stood the test of time? And which ones will lay the foundation for organizational success into 2016?

Let’s get started with the seven enterprise collaboration trends you should know to start the New Year right.

  1. Mobile

If you weren’t aware, mobile is the new enterprise desktop. Says Josh Steimle, Forbes contributor, “People are using mobile devices to do everything they do, and if there is something they can’t do on their mobile phone, they’re frustrated and ready to leap to the first offering that comes along.”

Mobile isn’t a phone; it’s a way of working. People use it—and other devices—to get things done. That means your social intranet has to be mobile friendly. If it isn’t, people aren’t going to adopt it, putting you back at square one, with information silos and inefficient workflows causing companywide frustration and consuming more time than necessary.

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  1. Interoperability

“There’s an app for that” has been a saying for years now, but we’re finally moving away from that mentality. And it’s a good thing. People don’t need more tools – it leads to an even more cluttered workflow. They need better tools that empower them to do more than just a single function like messaging or file sharing.

Employees also need those two elements to work together. That is, the tools and tech need to integrate and unify within a single social collaboration platform. It will make the tools more efficient and effective, which will, in turn, make employees more efficient and productive.

jim-carrey-typing.gifThe added bonus – moving away from the single point solutions for each application (an app for messaging, one for wikis, another for file sharing) helps alleviate the password conundrum. With the average person juggling 19 passwords, consolidating key enterprise collaboration functions on a single platform can help eliminate the need to install and password-protect each app, too.

  1. Remote Collaboration

Employees expect to be able to do their work at any time, any place and from any device. It’s a point related to the mobile trend we discussed above, but it deserves consideration in its own right.

Remote work, and remote collaboration, is about flexibility. It’s about getting the job done, regardless of people’s locations. Mobile and social collaboration platforms are merely the vehicles powering it. Use both to empower your workforce today and next year – and help your teams “Get Stuff Done, Together.”

  1. Employee Onboarding

Employee engagement has been a hot topic this year. It turns out one of the best ways to increase it is through a better onboarding experience.

Human resources personnel are rethinking that experience across the board. They aim to improve it in workplaces where people still work the traditional 9 to 5, as well as in companies with an entirely remote workforce and flextime. More often than not, they’re making improvements through technology and social collaboration tools.

  1. Niche Networks

Transparency” has been another big topic on the tips of everyone’s tongues this year. And the trend has delivered a variety of benefits – employees have access to the information they want and need. And trust and engagement between employees and executive teams have grown.

But…(you knew there was a “but,” didn’t you?) too much information is almost as bad as too little. Employees are experiencing analysis paralysis. Where are they supposed to focus their attention? How are they to get their work done when they’re getting notifications for everything from lunch tomorrow to personal updates from the CFO?

jackie-chan-tmi.jpgOkay, the reality might not be quite that bad, but you get the idea. It’s information overload. Employees are responding by creating niche networks – or as we call them in Incentive, “Spaces” – for particular projects or departments that enable them to talk with coworkers about a specific interest or skill.

  1. Social Collaboration

Email isn’t dead, but people are using it differently these days. It’s no longer a major player; instead, it’s relegated to being just one of many tools to get a job done.

Email will continue to diminish in importance thanks to social collaboration tools. Inbox zero finally is a reality. Plus, social intranets simply are a better way to organize and collaborate. Files are easier to share and access. Intellectual property is better preserved as information silos between departments are broken down. Search often is improved, too, with a social platform.

  1. Analytics

Everybody says that social intranets increase efficiency and productivity. Now you can prove it. Your social intranet’s data shows what’s working and what’s not. It lets you monitor employee activity and drive improvements, not only with operational processes, but also business milestones and goals.

Get Ready for 2016

The New Year will be here before you know it. Don’t get caught up in the wave of new trends; focus on the current ones. Address mobility issues. Reduce the number of tools employees need to manage on a day-to-day basis. Empower employees to form niche networks and share their knowledge with each other. Assess workplace productivity, efficiency and engagement with a social intranet. If you put these proven collaboration trends into practice, you’ll be more than ready for whatever the future holds.

Let us help you get more done in 2016. Sign up for a free test drive of Incentive today!

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