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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Smartphone Dominance Requires A Smart Approach

Smartphones have become a disruptive technology in the workplace as well as in the rest of life.

And if you look at a couple of current articles on the phenomenon, both employers and employees are unhappy about the way it's all going.

Many organizations, it turns out, don't like the fact that employees use their smartphones to leak information from meetings to other employees or the outside world -- even before the meeting his over, many times.

At the same time, a growing number of employees are resisting the fact that their smartphones have become essentially a digital leash by which employers can squeeze more work out of them when they're not supposed to be working.

We believe there are ways for organizations and their employees to use smart phones to the advantage of both companies and of the people who work for them, to advance both organizational and individual objectives -- as extensions of a holistic approach to employee engagement that is plenty big enough to handle this latest challenge posed by modern technology.

Here's our advice. Call it CHRIS for short:

Collaborate: With employees scattered, perhaps some inside the building and some in the far corners of the market, smartphones can be the ideal platform for sharing and collaboration.

Harness: Smartphone use can be a way to empower employees to contribute more easily to content and thought leadership that moves great organizations forward.

Research: PDAs can be effective instruments for conducting market intelligence and researching competitors. Some of the same stealth skills that management so dislikes when employees are Tweeting during meetings can benefit the corporate cause if they're used in the field.

Innovate: Because mobile platforms have risen to the top of the pecking order for every kind of computing application these days, they are the locus of innovation inside companies when it comes to sharing, learning and gamification.

Share: Widespread employee use of smartphones and, now, tablets -- about one-third of full-time workers own them, according to Pew Research -- powerfully enables them to share and hash over fresh ideas with their peers.

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