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Empowering the Modern Workforce During the Economic Recovery
Economic uncertainties caused by the upheaval of the pandemic continue to impact the business landscape, which, in turn, has changed hiring, retention, and overall employee turnover. This has resulted in employers focusing on delivering a better employee experience which is diverse, distributed, demanding, spanning multiple generations, skill levels, and work preferences.
While the employee experience is defined by a number of characteristics, there should be greater focus on utilising technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) platforms to support the entire employee life cycle experience. This includes onboarding through retirement as well as empowering the modern workforce to be engaging and creative.
When looking at the modern workforce, it is more digital and self-sufficient than ever before. Employees would much rather do things for themselves than consult a secondary resource or use multiple tools. This is particularly true for the younger generation of workers who were born and raised digitally and rely not just on their PCs, but also their mobile phones, tablets, and wearables.
How to become more competitive as an employer
To meet employees at their point of preference, enterprises should offer personalised, consumerised, and intuitive experiences that are consistent and easy to use. This should apply to employees whether they are using their phones to check work email, logging into a virtual private network (VPN) from their laptops, or accessing shared files on a tablet to present during a virtual meeting.
By giving workers intelligent self-service options for aspects such as resetting passwords, form requests, device set-up and connection and app troubleshooting, through any channel or a conversational virtual agent, they can get in, get out and get back to work faster.
The importance of retaining institutional knowledge
It is important to not only address the larger employee experience, but also the developers working behind the scenes to create the apps and infrastructure that keep the business and its customers’ businesses satisfied.
IT skills shortages related to the developer experience can cause a ripple effect. For example, delaying product releases and reducing customer satisfaction will inevitably lead to a loss of business. That is a skills shortage that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later as individuals switch jobs more often. It is detrimental for organisations to lose the long-haul “heroes” who know the most about the business and take their institutional knowledge with them when they resign or retire. Those experts are hard, if not impossible, to replace.
How to improve the developer experience
When an organisation expands self-service options to developers by leveraging technology such as AI/ML, automation, and DevOps, it supports the “shift-left” approach. This reduces the need for mundane tasks that impact job satisfaction and performance, while also empowering traditional support teams such as IT and new innovation teams like DevOps to coexist and collaborate. By doing so, the company can achieve new levels of satisfaction, efficiency, and innovation all while satisfying customers and meeting service level agreements (SLAs) and new market challenges.
Expanding to lines of business
It is also important to cascade those new technologies across the organisation to lines of business (LOBs) such as human resources (HR), customer service, and facilities management, to name a few. When an organisation provides all of its LOBs and business units with the same tool set, customised for each unique need, it delivers a unified, company-wide experience for knowledge sharing, services, cross-business unit (BU) collaboration and automated workflows.
Aligning LOBs on a single platform simplifies end-to-end fulfilment across BUs to delight employees with speed, quality, and an overall great experience. Onboarding new employees requires cross-collaboration with IT, facilities, and other LOBs, so that new hires are impressed from day one. Even before that first day, their technology experience can set the tone for how they view their employer. Smooth, easy, automated, and frictionless fulfilment of the whole process, from equipment to badges to application access, is a must-have, rather than just a nice-to-have.
Some companies use such a platform as part of the customer service onboarding activities. In comparison, other businesses can take around 30 days after onboarding before a new hire to ensure they have everything they need to take calls, such as application access, training, and company orientation. If new hires have a robust, companywide solution in place, they are ready to take calls and be an integral part of the team in less than a week. This process transformation is a win for the employer, as well as the customer, who minimised the impact of attrition and streamlined the activities required to get the new hire up to speed.
With the employee experience more important for organisations than ever before, it is an essential component of operational and investment planning. Essentially, happy employees are the best brand ambassadors for the business, so by giving them simple, fast, personalised digital experiences that offer intelligent self-service, increased collaboration, and automated workflows, the organisation is in a much better position to recruit, retain and empower a modern workforce. This will result in more flexibility and scalability to respond to business challenges as they emerge. It’s a winning combination for everyone.