‘Seize the hybrid opportunity, connect the disconnected and think forward’ say DWG award winners

March 8, 2022 Updated: April 5, 2022 by

In a vibrant 2021 DWG awards season, the top awards were scooped by Adobe (Digital Workplace of the Year), DBS Bank (Modern Intranet of the Year) and Linda Lee of DBS Bank (Digital Workplace Leader of the Year). With entries from around the world and across industries, there was also a grand total of 17 special category awards acknowledging specific areas of practice, such as hybrid enablement, employee wellbeing and simplifying employees’ lives. 

As well as telling us about the digital ecosystems at their organizations, our entrants also share some of their top tips for other teams running digital workplaces and intranets. These six pieces of advice from 2020 are still very relevant – and now we can add some more sage advice from the 2021 winners too: 

Hybrid is an opportunity

Digital Workplace of the Year 2021 winner, Adobe, was fast out of the gates with an exceptional experience for hybrid workers in the form of the Adobe Life app. The lesson learned from Adobe, as well as from some of the category winners, was most definitely to seize the moment in terms of the shift to hybrid working and view this as an opportunity to revolutionize the digital employee experience. Enabling staff productivity and wellbeing in the hybrid workplace was a keynote for several winning entries. 

EX for CX

No question about it, the winning teams are teams that listen. They listen deeply and carefully to what people need and how they work. They also understand that treating employees as customers and providing a great digital employee experience is an essential ingredient in also delivering a great customer experience. Modern Intranet of the Year 2021 winners, DBS Bank, make a clear link from EX to CX, with the employee strapline ‘Make work joyful’ seen as a key enabler for the organizational goal of ‘Make banking joyful’, a link that is manifest in the way it delivers digital workplace tools. 

Connect the disconnected

Over the years we’ve seen some great examples of the difference teams can make when previously digitally disenfranchised frontline workers are brought within the circle of the digital workplace. Connecting the disconnected can be complex, and success in this area means taking a deep dive into how people work beyond the office and the jobs they are trying to get done, as well as the pain points they experience. Getting this right was exemplified by Modern Intranet of the Year 2021 category winner John Lewis Partnership, which was acknowledged by the judges for its partnership with its employees. 

Content Zero

Some of the 2020 entrants really emphasized the importance of content strategy – and the cohort of 2021 were also strong advocates for getting tough with content. This included taking a ‘Content Zero’ approach to migration, or at least making very significant cuts to migrated content. It also encompassed good content practices, such as annual review cycles, persona-drive content creation and thoughtful targeting of content. 

Can-do attitude

Our Digital Workplace of the Leader award specifically celebrates the passionate and persistent leaders at the helm of high-performing digital workplaces. Right across the 2021 awards we saw the difference that a positive, can-do attitude can make in terms of problem-solving to overcome barriers and the determination to bring projects to fruition during challenges circumstances. 

Think forward

The top teams in our industry are thinking beyond the needs and pain points of today. They are focused on pushing innovation beyond what is known today, challenging what we currently think is possible and good, and imagining the ways in which people will want to work in the future. Thinking forward in these ways was exemplified by Modern Intranet of the Year 2021 winner, DBS Bank, which has a relentless focus on understanding how the digital employee experience can evolve to meet workers’ needs today and in the future. This kind of future focus gave DBS Bank a high level of readiness for out of office working when the pandemic hit. 

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The awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate those organizations and practitioners who have excelled at creating well-executed, high-performing digital workplace environments. 

They provide the perfect opportunity for you and your organization to share your digital workplace achievements with peers and to gain global industry recognition. 

For 2022 there are three categories: 

  • Digital Workplace of the Year (awarded to an organization) – open to submission by any organization, with one overall winner and several track awards. 
  • Digital Workplace Leader of the Year (awarded to an individual) – nominated by peer experts, with one overall winner and several track awards. 
  • Modern Intranet of the Year (awarded to an organization) – open to submission by any organization, with one overall winner and several track awards.  

The deadline to submit your entry for any of the awards is April 19, 2022 at midnight (BST). The winners will be announced in a Live Tour special on June 7, 2022 from 08.00 PDT / 11.00 EDT / 16.00 BST / 17.00 CEST. 

For full details of the award categories and entry criteria, and to start your entry, please visit the Digital Workplace of the Year Awards website. 

If you have any questions about the awards, please email: dwawards@digitalworkplacegroup.com

Categorised in: Digital Workplace of the Year Awards

Elizabeth Marsh

Director of Research

Elizabeth Marsh is DWG’s Director of Research and author of its latest report ‘Digital workplace overload: How to reduce employee technostress’ (available free on our website). She’s worked as a practitioner, researcher and consultant in the digital workplace field for over 20 years and is a strong advocate for digital literacy and digital wellbeing at work. Elizabeth is currently doing a PhD at the University of Nottingham focusing on employee technostress and the potential of mindfulness to help reduce it. She also co-authored – with Paul Miller – the book ‘The Digital Renaissance of Work: Delivering digital workplaces fit for the future’.

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