The past year has fundamentally changed the way we work. It has encouraged us to reimagine our workspaces as community hubs to accommodate a more hybrid workstyle. Regardless of how companies work post-pandemic, virtual, in-person, or a combination of both, the employee experience will largely be defined by the technologies that power them.
Hybrid working arrangements offer opportunities to boost levels of productivity and flexibility. They also entail certain challenges, particularly to avoid risk of employee burnout. To reimagine the employee experience, business leaders must have three key priorities.
1) Improve the quality of life for employees in the digital world
Just as technology can be used to create great consumer experiences, more than ever companies need to create more relevant and engaging employee experiences wherever they are. To do this, they should consider how to leverage tools such as chatbots to remind employees to take a break from their screen, or to make it easy to access resources.
Companies can also encourage managers to be more selective about when to hold video meetings and provide employees a choice about whether they keep their video on during calls. Just as data can help leaders make faster and smarter decisions to benefit customers, intelligence gained through surveys and other forms of engagement can assist in implementing initiatives that prioritise wellbeing.
Technology has the ability to leverage multiple communication channels, whilst also ensuring that the comms are day at a time and in a way that respects the employees work hours.
2) Cultivate a culture of continual learning
Just as the all-digital world we live in presents employers an opportunity to transcend traditional boundaries and tap into new pools of talent, it also requires organisations to further invest in hard and soft skills. Business leaders must ensure they give employees easy access to opportunities to develop. The more they can feel ownership over their own career path, the more engaged they will be.
It’s imperative that reskilling and growth opportunities are easily accessible. If an employee has to spend excessive time finding what and how to learn, it’s more likely it won’t happen. This also means offering more visibility into open roles at the company. To get the best out of people, leaders need to cultivate a workforce culture of continual learning and development in line with business needs.
3) Encourage flexibility, and prioritise security
Prioritising employee experience in the digital age will require the expertise of both HR and IT. Employers must trust employees to get the job done during the schedule that works best for them and offer flexible options. As teams become more distributed, leading with empathy and understanding will become even more important.
Employee experience also depends on the right connections. HR needs to connect employees with opportunities and other people to manage their wellbeing, development, and safety, and to improve their service and engagement. IT needs to keep employees connected to the right devices and resources to make them successful. Both teams need to be connected on reliability, security, ease of access, and privacy.
To smooth the transition to a post-pandemic workplace, the root of success lies in effectively managing the employee experience — with the right tools, approaches, and mindset that will create a positive ripple effect on businesses.
By: Robin Fisher, Senior Area Vice President,Salesforce Emerging Markets