2022 has been quite a year for DWG. We celebrated our 20th anniversary since kicking off our very first member meeting way back in 2002; we held another brilliant Digital Workplace of the Year Awards, highlighting some excellent work in the digital workplace and intranet space; and our consulting work with Esteé Lauder Companies was celebrated through an MCA award.
In June we held an emotional in-person member meeting in New York, the first since the start of the pandemic – and a welcome return for one of the most popular aspects of DWG membership.
Nature of Work, the ground-breaking book from Paul Miller and Shimrit Janes, has continued to attract high levels of interest through a series of events. And, as ever, we’ve produced a wide range of content and events through our Live Tours, Insights, Executive Circles, Technology Exchanges and AskDWG Specials, as well as our research programme. Meanwhile, the Digital Workplace Impact podcast has gone from strength to strength, with some fascinating sessions this year.
And, of course, we’ve published some great expert blogs. As is now traditional at the end of each year, here’s a round-up of some of the best blogs from 2022.
Every year since 2014, DWG has been predicting the digital workplace trends we think we’re going to see in the following year. If you’re doing your strategic planning, this is always a good place to kickstart your thinking, or to use as a source for talking points and conversation starters with stakeholders. This year Nancy Goebel has listed her ten predictions, plus a super prediction for 2023. From the power of meaningful metrics, to the skills digital workplace teams need, to the influence (or not) of the metaverse, it’s all here. It’s also fun to reflect on what we got it right and what we slipped up on. Is there anything we missed?
DWG’s annual Digital Workplace of the Year Awards celebrate excellent examples of work throughout the industry, surfacing leading digital workplaces across three major categories. The various blog posts that cover this work provide plenty of useful examples (some with screenshots – hooray!) that are a great source of knowledge for digital workplace and intranet teams.
This year, Fidelity Investments was a worthy winner, with an industry-leading approach and operating model for its digital workplace. It’s also worth checking out SAP’s Modern Intranet of the Year award as well as some other excellent leading intranets. Kirsty Litchford from Campbell Soup Company is celebrating as Digital Workplace Leader of the Year with her team, as are other leaders who were all awarded for their exciting contributions. Plus, once again, we celebrated serial winner DBS Bank, recognized for the third year in a row!
DWG’s research programme focuses on the key topics and emergent themes that digital workplace practitioners need to consider. Unsurprisingly, supporting hybrid work has been high up on the agenda during 2022 and the research programme covered the advanced practices that teams are delivering to support emerging hybrid working practices.
While Shimrit Janes’ full paper is only available as part of DWG membership, this post provides some insights and tips from the report, such as the necessity to find connection in our everyday work. One point I found particularly interesting is the importance of considering the language and vocabulary around hybrid working – and the ‘coded messages’ that certain terms can transmit.
Has it really been 20 years? It’s hard to believe that DWG has been around for more than two decades – and this year we celebrated the fact with a number of different posts reflecting on the past. I particularly enjoyed putting together this post (a timeline of the past 20 years), covering some of the milestones that have proved to be particularly important in the histories of the digital workplace and DWG.
One thing that became apparent in writing this timeline is the debt the digital workplace owes to the development of the internet and technology in the consumer space; milestones such as the launch of personalization in Google search and the iPhone have had significant impacts. Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint have also had a major influence. I’d also like to think that DWG has made a contribution to the professional digital workplace community, ensuring that many digital workplace teams don’t have to journey alone as they innovate within their own organizations.
Another post that looks back over the 20 years of DWG is this personal account written by Paul Miller, who founded in 2002 what was then the Intranet Benchmarking Forum (IBF). Paul takes us through some moments that have mattered, including that inaugural member meeting at the British Library in London, the first live intranet tour (which happened accidentally), and how DWG24, the 24-hour live broadcast about intranet and digital workplaces, was born. Finally, Paul explains how IBF evolved into DWG and later we started our consulting arm. He also recalls a few specific memories along the way – and I was particularly intrigued by his mention of the ‘upside-down room at Adobe HQ, which is definitely worth Googling! I’ve been a DWG-er for 12 years, and it was interesting to relive some of the memories, but also to understand some of the context behind what we offer today.
This thoughtful post from January, written by Dr L Vargas, details learnings from another fascinating DWG research report, this one covering the power of taking an anthropological view of the digital workplace. Anthropology has been an influence on the world of user research for a while now, and L’s post is a great introduction to what ‘digital anthropology’ is, why this is a valuable way to look at the world of employee experience, and the kind of skillsets we need. I think it also challenges digital workplace professionals to think more like anthropologists in order to make sense of the complexities of the way humans interact with the technologies across the digital workplace, encouraging us to be ‘curious’ as a starting point.
7. Delivering internal communications and intranet content in a hybrid workplace: the challenges and opportunities
The hybrid workplace presents challenges across every aspect of providing digital services and content for employees, including internal comms. In this comprehensive article, Annette Corbett examines some of the challenges and opportunities around providing comms-led content in the post-pandemic world. Covering the impact of COVID-19, and touching upon areas such as learning and knowledge, this post is an interesting read for anyone considering their content strategy or how to deliver their communications via a devolved publishing model. Annette also touches upon how to deal with vanity publishing (the practice of authors producing content with little real purpose or value); this is not often mentioned as a prevailing issue and yet it is a challenge many of us will recognize!
Business intelligence (BI) plays a very important role in the digital workplace – and there are increasing opportunities to derive value from the data produced. However, BI continues to be fairly peripheral to the core activities of most digital workplace teams.
In 2022, the DWG research programme did a deep dive into BI through a very informative report written by Hans-Jürgen Sturm, which highlights what digital workplace teams need to know. This accompanying article is a good starting point for teams who are beginning to think about BI and how it might help them in managing the digital workplace, as well as the role they can play in supporting BI. I think this is an area we’re going to hear more about in 2023.
2022 has been another good year for the DWG Institute, holding a number of Technology Exchanges, in which organizations can learn from and about technology providers in a safe, non-sales environment designed to build trust and understanding.
This post covers one of the best Technology Exchanges to take place this year, with DWG Institute partner Unily, and includes a recording and accompanying notes. In the session, Unily’s Kaz Hassan explored the world of employee onboarding, a high-value process that positively impacts employee experience and retention. Traditionally, this process has been mainly in-person, but now many teams are having to transition to remote or hybrid models. Kaz talks about how Unily carries out its own employee onboarding and has designed capabilities into the Unily platform that have now been baked into the product. This is a great session for anyone thinking about their own employee onboarding process and the kinds of approach and technology that can support it.
10. DWG Institute Technology Exchange recording: Integrating apps in your digital workplace with Workgrid
In November we held another insightful Technology Exchange, in which Workgrid’s Linnae Selinga talked about the pervasive problem of digital friction, a serious issue that is negatively impacting employee experience. Many digital workplace teams will recognize the combination of application and information overload, as well as the digital noise pollution that wastes time and impedes focus; consequently, many teams are trying to integrate applications into one experience to reduce friction. The session recording and accompanying notes included in the blog post reveal some eye-opening statistics as well as demonstrating how the Workgrid team are helping to enable teams to integrate applications in a single employee experience layer. The session also includes some useful, real-world insights into the challenges of maintaining integrations (not as easy as it might seem), as well as a demo of an interesting no-code app builder feature in the Workgrid platform.
See you in 2023!
And that’s a wrap for our top blogs of 2022. We’ll see you in 2023 for more insightful expert blogs on the digital workplace and employee experience.
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Categorised in: Business intelligence, Communications, Content management, Digital communications, Digital employee experience, Digital Workplace of the Year Awards, Employee experience, Hybrid working, Intranets