Soft Skills in the Workplace in a Digital World
From time to time I post a guest blog when it contains important information. Today's blog is by Charlie Fletcher. Charlie has been a frequent contributor to this blog. You can contact her at: [email protected].
Our work lives are becoming more digital than ever before. Remote careers are on the rise, AI is making many tasks easier, and technology is advancing at a rate that can feel impossible to keep up with.
Digital technology is a good thing when it comes to almost every industry. It helps things run smoother, faster, and more efficiently. It would be easy for businesses to allow every customer experience to become dehumanized.
However, that’s not what consumers (or employees) really want. Nowadays, consumers want stronger connections with brands. It builds trust and loyalty and helps them feel like they’re dealing with humans, rather than computers.
Employees want the same thing. Humanization allows workers to feel valued and understood and adds more personality and positivity to the workplace.
So, how can businesses work to humanize the digital experience for employees and customers?
Humanizing the Workplace
Before you work on humanizing your brand to your customers, make sure your internal environment feels personal and positive, too. It’s important for all employees to feel a sense of connection, but it’s especially essential for remote workers who aren’t seeing people face-to-face each day. Creating an organizational chart for your employees can help everyone get a better idea of who they’re working with, their roles and expectations, and how they fit within the company. This type of chart should include:
- Employee names
- Job titles
- Contact information
In addition to everyone knowing each other, encourage working together as often as possible. Technology has made it possible to work on projects remotely with ease. Things like cloud-based storage, video conferencing, and instant messaging can all be used to humanize the working experience, even in a digital space.
Staying engaged with your employees will improve their experience, motivate them, and establish a more positive digital environment. Even if they’re working remotely, you can do your part as a leader by checking in with them regularly, and fostering connections that ensure everyone feels seen, heard, and valued.
Showing Intention With Your Marketing Materials
Consumer connection starts with marketing.
People have to know about your business if they want to connect with it. With that in mind, the “traditional” marketing techniques used by past generations may not be as effective as they once were.
From a digital perspective, marketing should always start with identifying your target audience. Collecting data and doing research is a great way to identify the consumers who might truly be interested in your brand. When you identify your audience, you can market with more intentionality instead of firing off hundreds of “one-size-fits-all” strategies that might reach the right people.
Consumers have notoriously short attention spans, meaning you need to be on point and market with intention. Marketing with intention and humanizing your efforts to capture their attention should include things like:
- Keeping your message short and sweet
- Using personalized content
- Defining your message
- Utilizing the right platforms
- Capitalizing on storytelling
- Using different types of content
Every marketer knows that “content is king,” and that rings true no matter what platform you’re using or how you’re publishing your content. By making things as personal as possible and switching it up with visuals like videos and photos, you’ll engage your target audience for longer periods of time and can work on forming a stronger relationship.
Utilize Social Media
Speaking of stronger relationships, one of the best ways to foster them is to get social.
Social media marketing is nothing new, but so many businesses don’t take advantage of it the way they should. Every customer experience should be conversational, and social media is a great way to accomplish that. Not only will you attract new consumers, but you’ll get consistent feedback and build loyalty. You can give your audience a sneak peek into how your business works by posting videos and sharing behind-the-scenes photos.
That’s good for employee morale, too, since you want to be able to show your consumers that everyone who works with your business has a good time. That human connection is important for both consumers and employees and can make your business feel more like an old friend rather than a corporation throwing advertisements online.
Social networks cut out the middle man of advertising. They allow you to directly connect with your audience and add a human element to the digital experience that consumers truly crave. Making sure it’s an integral part of your marketing strategy should be a top priority. That’s especially true if you’re advertising to millennials and Gen Z.
The digital experience isn’t going anywhere. As technology continues to advance, more businesses will focus on remote opportunities and using digital advancements to make life easier. More consumers will go online to interact with businesses and do their shopping.
However, that doesn’t mean our “humanness” goes away. If recent advancements have taught us anything, it’s that people are craving connection more than ever. Keep that in mind as you build your brand, including how your company runs internally, and how you interact with your customers.
Blog posted by Dr. Steven Mintz, The Ethics Sage, on August 11, 2022. You can sign up for Steve’s newsletter and learn more about his activities on his website (https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/) and by following him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/StevenMintzEthics and on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ethicssage.