Specialists in the fields of industrial-organizational psychology—often referred to as “efficiency experts” by business leaders who employ their services—are essentially charged with creating happier, healthier, and more effective workplace environments. According to SIOP (or the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology), “industrial-organizational psychology helps develop strategies that build better organizations,” through “staffing, workforce development, and workplace climate issues.”
Enterprise Content Management and Industrial Organizational Psychology
In many ways, document management technologies mesh perfectly with the overall goals of industrial-organizational psychologists. In particular, ECM (or enterprise content management) caters as much to the needs of individual workers as it does to the needs of an organization. In most cases, ECM software—which is expensive and often complicated to implement—is purchased by company decision-makers because it can improve the organization’s efficiency and create superior customer service capability. In other words, when they invest in an enterprise content management system, business leaders are probably thinking of the organization first, the customers or clients second, and their individual employees third.
Still, while ECM might not be aimed specifically at increasing worker happiness, it can have such an impact nevertheless. Indeed, by simplifying and speeding up the process of document management, ECM can also boost employee performance, productivity, and sense of achievement. These factors are ones that industrial-organizational psychologists have consistently deemed important to employee retention, long-term satisfaction, and personal growth through work. Thus, ECM and document management are important items for efficiency experts to consider while making recommendations to human resources for increased worker productivity and contentment.
How ECM Boosts Employee Morale
So how can enterprise content management help to boost employee morale within an organization? An ECM system is essentially a high-powered DMS, capable of organizing and managing text documents, images, graphics, websites, videos, emails, and much more. As a result, they put essentially all of an organization’s digital assets at the fingertips of employees, easily searchable and manageable for maximum worker productivity. This instant access to content even spans to mobile platforms, which make it possible for employees to get more work done, more quickly, no matter where they are. This facet automatically leads to a more efficient and effective workforce, which can boost the feeling of accomplishment within the workplace.
ECM systems are also capable of analyzing content independently and automating processes for directing where that content should go, where it should be filed, or when it should be archived to be deleted. This intelligent automation processing cuts down on the menial tasks of manual document management and file routing that could otherwise clog up an employee’s day, leaving extra time for more engaging, hands-on projects.
Enterprise content management systems are often implemented and utilized by organizations working in high-risk industries. Such industries—which include healthcare, law, and university administration—can be a stressful place to work, due to the number of risk minimization policies on the books and the number of strict governmental regulations that need to be followed. The intelligent digital asset management features of ECM systems, in addition to cutting down on manual work, also help to provide continuity on risk-management issues. With state-of-the-art web security and built-in compliance to many government laws and regulatory packages, enterprise content management systems help to take the strain of working in a risk-based environment off the shoulders of individual employees. Lower levels of stress, in turn, lead to a happier, more at ease workplace—the kind of workplace that tends to retain employees longer than offices that consistently utilize white-knuckle tension to drive professional achievement and results.
Lastly, ECM helps to foster a more social, collaborative mentality in many workplaces. With document management features that allow different members of the organization to create files and collaborate on them together, enterprise content management provides an efficient, electronic way for teams to see their shared projects through to completion. Coupled with social computing and collaboration (or SC&C) tools, ECM’s document management features help boost overall office productivity by bringing everyone together once more.
On their website, SIOP shines a light on many of the auxiliary goals that organizational-industrial psychologists might try to reach while working with an organization. Most of these goals have to do with hiring the best people or learning how to keep them happy in their jobs—from keeping employee retention rates up to minimizing absenteeism. Fostering a team environment is also a core focus.
All of these goals can be met or furthered through use of enterprise content management technology. By emphasizing collaboration, ECM fosters a team environment; by reducing stress, ECM reduces absenteeism and improves employee retention. Also, by making digital assets easily accessible and by automating menial tasks, ECM helps to create a more motivated, accomplished, and qualified workplace. While usually a technology used for improving a company’s bottom line or bettering the customer experience, there is little doubt that enterprise content management also brings huge and varied benefits to the table for employees.