Future State Chief Operations Officer Kathy Krumpe shares how her company uses Simpplr to unite a far-flung workforce and enhance efficiency.
As a people-centered management consulting firm, Future State makes decisions about its operations with the well-being of its employees in mind. That’s part of why the Oakland-based firm—a certified B Corporation—has been honored on the B Lab “Best for the World” list in the Workers category for the past two years. And it’s part of the reason the women-led, employee-owned company enables its team members to work from remote locations across the globe. This benefits the bottom line by enabling the nimble team to join clients across the planet, and it also allows its world-class staff to live more balanced lives that emphasize quality of life and personal time alongside financial success.
Despite the many positives, managing wide-ranging workforces isn’t without its challenges. Future State recently solved several employee connectivity problems by implementing Simpplr.
I sat down with Future State COO Kathy Krumpe to talk about how choosing Simpplr helped her organization increase team unity, enhance efficiency, and drive bottom-line benefits. Kathy has been with Future State for more than 14 years. She supports day-to-day strategic operations working on everything from end user analysis to change management strategy. Here’s what she had to say:
￼Q: What were some of the pain points Future State was encountering before implementing Simpplr?
With more than 100 active projects at any one time and a focus on global organizations, our team needed a streamlined, efficient communication platform and a high level of cohesion throughout the workforce.
We had amazing, dedicated team members but because we didn’t have the right technology, we were struggling to be the connected, efficient, purposeful company we’d been working so hard to grow into.
Before Simpplr, we didn’t have a single platform where team members could find key content, onboarding materials, toolkits, and other core information. It was word-of-mouth, frustrating content searches, and wading through emails. We needed a platform to provide the context and communication around our core materials. And we needed a way for new and veteran consultants to find best practices, share information, and tap into the collective knowledge of our team.
Q: Once you realized you needed a program like Simpplr, what were some of your primary requirements?
We knew that if we wanted to grow, we had to get rid of our disjointed employee apps and find a way to make the most of our limited in-house IT resources. We knew the secret to becoming a more efficient organization was to focus on connection and collaboration.
With this in mind, one of the first things we did was enlist a cross-functional team of specialists, including communication experts, graphic designers and a Salesforce administrator. Together, this team worked to help us develop a more intelligent software structure and to integrate our company’s existing content with Simpplr.
￼Ultimately, we were looking for a modern platform that would allow us to onboard employees quickly, enable all our consultants to easily collaborate on projects and be easy to implement, since Future State does not have a dedicated IT team.
After a short evaluation process, we selected Simpplr because of its ease-of-use and implementation, and strong integration with the other enterprise systems we were already using like Salesforce, Box and OneLogin.
Q: 98% of Future State’s employees work remotely some or all of the time. What special considerations should be made for telecommuters when looking at a digital workplace strategy?
If you’re going to develop a digital workplace strategy that works for a remote workforce, you’ve got to have the right technology to support your people. The Simpplr intranet allowed us to encourage collaboration and connection, while also reducing our support-related email communication, distribution-list emails, IT overhead, and and HR costs across the board.
While many brands view technology as a way to enhance the bottom line or drive sales, the right software platform will do lots of jobs at once. Think about everything from improving employee morale and boosting collaboration to developing internal creativity and promoting a more humanized workforce.
Q: When the CEO asks how the initiative is working, how do you answer?
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Within weeks, our scattered workforce was efficiently onboarding and collaborating on various projects. We saw several major outcomes – increased efficiency, faster onboarding, closer employee relationships. The new collaborative structure enabled a 25% increase in our efficiency and a huge spike in employee productivity. Because the application simplified the process of connecting people and accessing resources, it was easier for us to offer new and existing employees the quick links and FAQs they needed to grow their knowledge and dive in with us, decreasing employee onboarding time.
Simpplr also had a remarkably personal impact on our employees and their relationships with one another. As many employers know, it’s not uncommon for widely distributed workforces to have trouble developing connections and friendships. Using Simpplr helped us solve this problem, though. Because it made it so easy for employees to connect, they started using it to share things like personal stories and images. Pretty soon, they started to build friendships and close bonds, which inherently created a stronger and more creative team.
The Wrap Up
Successful intranets develop organically and make positive impacts on employee engagement as well as company performance. Talking with Kathy Krumpe, it was easy to see that Future State’s new intranet had really opened the lines of communication. With Simpplr, they have established a strategic narrative – a strategic advantage – that will continue to evolve and grow with their company.