Measuring Success

Is it really working?

Measuring the value of your digital workplace investment is, at best, an imperfect science. In fact, most analysts contend that precise ROI measurement is not possible due to the expansive reach of the digital workplace across all aspects of the business, and many CIOs simply understand that the value of the digital workplace is inherent.  

The worth of a digital workplace is often likened to the value of a telephone system. Has your organization ever been asked to measure the ROI of its phone system? Not likely. Most organizations and executives know full well that the telephone is a mission-critical instrument. In many ways, the digital workplace is like the corporate phone system – it assists us in accomplishing crucial work all the time. Yet, much of its value is latent, with unseen savings that are implicitly understood.

Likening a robust digital workplace to a telephone system will help to illustrate your case, but it likely won’t persuade your CFO. To do that, you need to provide tangible, measured intranet ROI.

Measuring digital workplace adoption

Today’s digital workplace platforms come with an abundance of ways to measure adoption and engagement.  Early intranets were largely measured based on their uptake. The defining factors were number of pages, number of authors, etc. 

As intranets evolve to digital workplaces, activity metrics also became an important way to measure value. The number of employees who read content can be an important measure. By determining the number of users who have access, you can determine how many are using your digital workplace as a knowledge hub.

By putting the right triggers in place, it's even possible to determine how readers are navigating from the home page to find your various content repositories. You can also measure how long users are spending in different areas of your digital workplace.

Employee engagement metrics

Engagement metrics have largely been used on public social networks as a way to measure the impact of a post, picture, or video, and can come in the form of views, comments, discussions, likes, or debates. The more readers comment on an article, the more likely they are engaged. Digital workplace engagement can also be determined by the frequency of discussions and number of comments.

Forms and workflow adoption

At some point, your digital workplace will evolve to include workflows. The best approach when implementing new workflows is to disable the old method.  Doing this allows you to compare volume between the old way and the new way.  If disabling the old method isn’t an option, you can still compare the ratio of employees using the old way versus the new way.

Page bounce rates

For years, websites and landing pages have used the bounce rate to determine the relevancy, conversion rate, and effectiveness of their copy. A high bounce rate means that visitors stayed only for a short while, perhaps seconds, on a page. A low bounce rate signals that people are staying on pages and giving the content their attention. Bounce rates can offer great insight into how valuable different areas of your digital workplace are, highlighting where to focus attention to drive more engagement and adoption.

A digital workplace has a tremendous impact on productivity, employee engagement, and innovation within your company, but it can be difficult to measure. An investment in technology that improves employee skills, fosters knowledge sharing, and enhances culture affects financial outcomes through a cause-and-effect relationship. But even intangible assets can be measured with the right timeline and approach. 

Start by developing a strong understanding of your culture, strategy, and the workflows you’re trying to augment, and compare that with the cost to acquire the technology. As you define the relevant metrics and monitor progress against your goals, you’ll gather the insight required to keep evolving. And that’s the true measure of success.

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