Gaining valuable insights from models that improve customer experience, companies are more convinced than ever before about the sweeping impact of technology on improving employee experience. Aware that better employee engagement translates to improved business outcomes, they are treating employees as customers. In fact, a good number of companies are looking at a holistic approach to create a digital workspace. After all, a happy employee is a productive employee.
The big business trends on the horizon :
Automation : Routine, mundane and clerical jobs are being moved to machines, opening up more creative, collaborative and intelligent jobs to the workforce. PwC estimates that 38 percent of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation in the next 15 years. With Artificial Intelligence and machine learning growing in leaps and bounds, companies are at the crux of a transition to being digitally empowered.
Big Data : There’s an increasing availability of data about an individual. Social networks are reliable aggregators of individual preferences, interests and demographics. Google already has a rich repository of search history of people. There is a lot more context that can be culled about a person on the internet. This will equip companies to make data-driven decisions. When combined with the power of Internet of Things (IOT), Big Data is poised to transform the way data sources talk to one another.
Mobility : According to Statista, 64 percent of the U.S. population used a smartphone in 2016. Smartphone has transformed the way people interact with brands, products, services and also with one another. So much so that it has now become an extension of their lives. There is an untold and unmet expectation of business tools going to be used just like other apps.
Outsourcing : Businesses are outsourcing not just clerical and back office jobs to the developing world – they are now taking advantage of the creative insights from these countries. Globalization means that they can source their talent from anywhere in the world – all they need to do is leverage technology.
The evolution of digital workspaces :
Businesses are now aware that they can reap a rich ROI by leveraging technology effectively. The multidimensional advantages offered by technology can be used to create a multi-faceted approach in the way they manage their resources and opportunities. Many companies have already embarked on the transition to creating a digital workspace, but using a piecemeal strategy. With the big business trends on the horizon, however, businesses realise the need to have a paradigm shift in their approach to effectively use what their new ecosystem offers. So, businesses, especially those that belong to the traditional mould, are facing a challenge to change what’s at their kernel – their culture of working. And, they are quickly learning.
According to a Gallup study poll, more than 50% of employees are not engaged by their companies.
A key learning is that keeping employees happy is prime for the success of a company. After all, a company is invested in him and counts on him on its journey. Plus, he is the best source of word-of-mouth about a company’s brand. There has been a shift in perspective in recent times from ensuring job satisfaction to active pursuit of employee engagement. And technology is enabling this shift. But, just having a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is no longer sufficient to ensure that employees are a happy and productive lot.
According to the PGi Telework Week survey, 82% of workers who ‘telecommute’ experience less stress, while 80% have higher morale, and 69% missed fewer days of work.
Employees today want a seamless transition from their life to work.Just like social media platforms give them a chance to share and communicate, they expect a social collaboration platform at work that helps them discuss ideas. Just like apps give them control over their life, they expect businesses to design apps for them to work with various teams effortlessly. And just like websites storing their information and soliciting feedback, they expect core business functions of the company to be automated.
Since the millennial generation is used to transacting with companies leading the data revolution, they want their performance managed by data rather than ad hoc reviews and intuitive decisions. As a talent pool used to gaming and visualisation, they are more likely to retain training content when delivered through gamification. Likely to be aware of the Internet of Things, they are going to seek association with companies which facilitate an IOT environment – after all, it helps them focus on the critical tasks and let the IOT take care of the mundane. More, they want the flexibility to work from a virtual office set up at home or a cafe.
Let’s take a look at how technology is being leveraged in the industry:
- Enterprise Collaboration Platform: SBAB, a government owned Swedish bank, was able to increase their efficiency by 10% using a socially powered enterprise collaboration platform. In a span of five months, they estimated that they saved four hours per employee, per week by moving communication activities (document collaboration, wikis, blogs, instant messages, etc.) to the platform.
- Gamified Training: Going by TechnologyAdvice, SAP implemented a gamification platform including badges, points, and leaderboards. When the results of the new system were compared to the performance of previous trainees, they found that the training program increased awareness about the company and its products by 75%. The tool helped them remove four classroom training sessions, created a 70 percent savings in senior management coaching time, and a 60 percent reduction in administration costs.
- Simulated Training: Boeing used Augmented Reality (AR) to conduct its business training and they found that it reduced time for task completion by 30% and a 90% increase in first time quality when compared to desktop based training. They identified that there was a better grasp of the material and a huge potential for improvement in productivity.
- HR Recruitment Solution: Tesero, a Fortune 100 oil refining company, has implemented our HR recruitment and employee training solution that uses gamification to simulate their process and explains oil refining better to their employees. It has been found that it improved their retention scores to a big extent.
“Recruiters spend 60% of their time reading CVs,” says Juergen Mueller, SAP’s chief innovation officer. “Why should a person read 300 resumes if a machine can propose the top 10?”
Today, IT companies are churning out Artificial Intelligence software that stores everything about an employee – down to a careless keystroke. There’s data available about his whereabouts and AI tools even have an ear to the ground of his email and chat conversations. Negative emotions are easily picked up, which can be used to mentor the employee in time, before he makes a decision to leave the organization. On the flipside, if there’s a considerable time spent on Facebook or Amazon, it would be flagged.
So, what’s the upshot?
People are the most important resource of a company. The best of its potential employees seek to be employed with companies with an engaging, technologically-advanced and innovative culture. So, it is a good time for businesses to reassess their digital maturity and seek out the right places of investment in tune with the big trends in technology. It is key to staying relevant in the game, outlasting the competition and reaping benefits like improved productivity, increased profits and even better stock prices.