Technology Application Of an Employee-Centric Workplace

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In the business world today, almost every organization is undergoing a digital transformation. Emerging technological developments such as cloud and mobile computing, the internet of things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning have created the possibility to significantly change almost every aspect of a business. With these advancements, there are numerous opportunities in harnessing the billions of connected people and ever-increasing volumes of data.

As many organizations harness the benefits of digital transformation and automation, one area that has become a point of focus for many employers is the shift in HR practices from employer-centric to digital employee experience. In an earlier blog entry, we explained how organizations can achieve better financial performance by improving their employee engagement initiatives.

Creating a digital employee-centric experience involves delivering a personalized and memorable employee experience which is human-centered and deploys the latest technologies. This requires organizations to adopt a new mindset in order to apply technology in developing modern, customer-focused HR solutions. Furthermore, it calls for a firm belief in the power of leveraging the latest consumer technologies in HR to create a social, mobile, and consumer-style experience for employees.

Digital transformation and consumer marketing are redefining the new ways to recruit, manage, train and engage employees. In this article, we look at the various ways in which you can make use of technology to deliver a compelling digital employee experience;

 

Modern corporate learning and development

In their 2015-2016 Top Insights for the World’s Leading Executives report, CEB Inc notes that 70% of training budget is going to waste due to redundancy, low quality, or out-of-date content. Consequently, organizations have resorted to transform corporate learning by use of MOOCs (Massive, Open, Online Courses) and SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses).

The MOOCs concept allows organizations to administer free online courses to a large number of geographically dispersed students. The courses are administered through online videos and discussion groups to create a community of learners who collaborate with each other and are peer reviewers. In her article, Jeanne Meister, explains how the MOOCs have emerged as disruptors to corporate learning.

On the other hand, SPOCs refer to a version of MOOC whereby the course is tailor-made for a limited number of learners. Depending on the organization’s needs SPOCS may take a blended learning approach that combines classroom teaching and online learning. In this article, Greter Sierra explores SPOCs and what they bring to employee training.  For example, our technical team at WGS has developed a SPOC solution for Sophie Paris which enables them to train their MLM members through Sophie’s e-catalogue mobile app.

MOOCs and SPOCs create a unique, memorable learning experiences rather than offering generic eLearning courses.

 

Use of consumer engagement tools

Organizations make heavy investments in order to attract and retain customers in an extremely competitive business environment. Similarly, as the competition for critical talents intensifies, a lot of importance is being placed on acquiring and retaining talents for competitive success. Most organizations are increasingly applying consumer marketing tools to create a compelling employee experience. Such tools include hackathons, design thinking and sentiment analysis and are being applied to translate winning focus on customers to their employees.

In order to achieve this, organizations are developing applications which aid them in continuously obtaining employees’ feedback on their satisfaction, engagement, and attitude as well as the factors driving these metrics. Through this feedback, organizations are able to identify value misalignment and institute a culture of fact-based decision making.

One popular way to create cohesive, productive teams is to engage them in excursion and team building activities. A project example would be a microsite for corporate gathering for Nutrifood employees that we’ve built to simplify excursion scheduling, by providing information on the various destination, allows booking of vehicles and selection of participants.

 

Internal social media for corporate new portal

An internal social media app is a crucial tool through which an organization is able to better understand their employees by helping them to connect, learn, share and grow. It breaks the generational, geographical and hierarchical communication barriers thus inspiring open, creative dialogues based on a culture of mutual respect. An example of this application would be Unilever Indonesia’s Unite an internal social media mobile apps, that connect their 6,000 employees across the island nation.

 

work from home

flexible, mobile and remote work model

 

Workplace flexibility

In their 2014 Connected World Technology Report, Cisco observed that close to two-thirds of Gen X, Gen Y and HR professionals believe that an organization that has adopted a flexible, mobile and remote work model has a competitive advantage over one that requires employees to be in the office from 9 am to 5 pm every weekday. Companies which make use of remote employees have reported increased employee engagements since they have developed a culture of performance and not face time, thus focusing on delivery of goals and not time spent in completing them.

However, to leverage the benefits of workplace flexibility due to remote access, an organization must invest in organizational culture change initiatives and the appropriate infrastructure such as remote office security solutions and the mobile devices for the employees. Additionally, there is a need to put in place standard operational procedures (SOP) to effectively operate as a flexible company.

 

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) for employee engagement

Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate a conversation through written or spoken text. By using chatbots, organizations are able to create digital HR co-workers and redefining the conversational experiences in the workplace. As noted in our earlier article, chatbots have been used in customer service and information acquisition, and the same can be extended in HR to create a unique, personalized employee experience.
 
Chatbots have the following application areas in creating a compelling digital employee experience;

  1. Recruitment: Provision of automated responses to potential job seekers on job descriptions, possible responsibility and company details
  2. Onboarding new hires: obtaining important documentation and onboarding information in a conversational manner.
  3. Sentiment Analysis; collection of feedback from employees through a series of questions instead of using forms and/or emails.
  4. Disseminating HR policy and responding to questions on such policies.

 

Gamification

In her article in forbes.com, Jeanne Meister, notes that gaming concepts have found their way into HR processes. This involves the application of gaming attributes such as fun, play, transparency, design, competition, and addiction in various real-world processes such as recruitment and learning and development. The aim of gamification of an organization’s processes is to create new ways to attract, engage, incentivize and retain employees. Examples of the usage of gamification abound in the business world with companies such as PwC and Walmart already on board.

 

Conclusion

From the foregoing, it is clear that the technology development sits at the heart of a modern, digital employee experience. As more and more millennials join the workforce following the retirement of the baby boomers, the future of the Human Resource lies in embracing the digital transformation. For more information on what opportunities are available to your organization and how you can partner with us to modernize the digital employee experience for your team, please contact our team here.



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