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The SMART approach to creating a smarter workplace

This age-old methodology will help your business reach its objectives.
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This age-old methodology will help your business reach its objectives whether staff are operating from the office or remote locations.

The new age of work has augmented our dependence on technology, but having the best digital tools is no guarantee for success – that will depend on how we use them. The frenzy and hype around the new wave of Cloud-based technologies and applications can feel overwhelming. But to add value, technology and staff must work hand in hand, an approach which should be underpinned by a clearly defined business strategy.

With staff working between the office, shared workspaces, and remote locations it can be all too easy for details to slip through the cracks and deadlines to be missed. The SMART framework is the ideal tool to focus minds and get staff and technology working together, while quickly identifying pain areas or blind spots.

This approach keeps minds focused, colleagues aligned, and creates accountability, crucial ingredients to success during a period of such immense disruption.

But what is the SMART methodology?

In a nutshell, a SMART goal incorporates a set of criteria that guide and help an employee or team achieve a given objective.

This framework allows business leaders to identify gap areas, be that knowledge or technology. Let’s take the example of an insurance company that wishes to reduce paper usage by 50% over the next 12 months. In this instance the SMART methodology framework would force decision makers to ask themselves one very basic question: “Do we have the necessary tools to achieve this objective?” Perhaps they lack the scanning devices necessary to convert paper documents into digital formats or Enterprise Content Management applications to manage a greater volume of digital data. Without these insights, any smarter workplace strategies will essentially be built upon sand foundations.

  • Specific: Goals must be to the point and free of ambiguity. A school aiming to eliminate colour printingacross all departments by the end of the academic year is specific. A streaming platform looking to grow itssubscriber base by 5% during Q1 is specific.
  • Measurable: This involves putting a number on your objective. For example, a hospital wishes to cut itsspending costs by 20% during the year ahead. If they spent €5,000 during 2021, then the 2022 figure will be €4,000.
  • Attainable: Be it printing costs, going paperless, or a productivity increase, your goal must be realistic. Ifyou are an organisation that depends on paper-heavy workflows, it would be unrealistic to aim for 100%paperless operations in the space of a month. Such transitions take time.
  • Relevant: Your goal should align with the overall strategic direction of the company and the outcomeshould contribute to this in some shape or form, be that full-time remote working for all staff or acompletely paperless approach to customer service.
  • Timely: Defining a deadline is crucial in order to give a shape to the overall project. By not setting aconcrete timeframe, all sense of urgency and focus can become lost, which can create a domino effectacross teams and departments.

The SMART framework is the ideal tool to focus minds.

While much of the attention during the early stages of this new age of work will rightly focus on technology, we should not overlook the importance of the fundamentals. Smarter workspaces are the result of intricate planning, they do not appear over night.Key to such planning is quality data and, as demonstrated, this is one of the spin-offbenefits of the SMART methodology.

By taking the time to assess the lay of the land, by defining your strengths and weaknesses, you can quickly identify what tools, security and knowledge gaps exist in your organisation. This is real data that paves the way for well-informed invest mentdecisions, ensuring that you do not waste valuable financial resources.

Putting goals down in black and white forces us to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. The how, when, and where we work continues to evolve but companies do not have to venture into unchartered territories alone. Whatever your vision for a smarter workspace – smaller workgroups, hybrid working, fully remote – Kyocera is atrusted partner to help you during every step of the way.

Work smarter not harder!

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