Employee Experience and Future of Work

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Employee Experience and Future of Work
Employee experience is not just an HR function. It should be responsibility of the business leaders to facilitate the study, listening and learning about what employees are doing everyday. It is important that this experience is applied to all levels of employees and across functions.

Change is happening at an accelerated pace. It is no longer employee engagement but employee experience.

What is employee experience?

Employee experience is not just about employee satisfaction or how an employee feels about the organization. It is cumulative of various perceptions and experiences employees have of their organization.

It is not what the organization views or what happened actually; but an experience purely from an employee’s perspective.

Organizations have been too busy measuring employee engagement once a year and enough may not have been done to improve the engagement ratio because the factors driving the engagement have not been understood. Employee experience is the most important factor for developing a satisfactory work culture..

Factors influencing the employee experience

Culture: Is defined as how an employee feels about what is expected of him/her on regular basis.

Technological: The tools that an employee needs which enable him to do his job. This could be remote working. Evolving ways which help facilitate communication and make data actionable.

Physical: It is everything to do about the physical environment, for example seating space. The physical environment should be such that it is motivating and promotes productivity.

“Employee First” Principle

Customer experience has always been the driving factor for the business all this while and marketing teams have become highly skilled at creating gripping customer experiences. However, Richard Branson’s philosophy is that If Employees are the priority followed by customers then everything is taken care of. In other words, successful customer experiences depend on putting “Employee First” and not just customers.

Employee experience is not just an HR function. It should be responsibility of the business leaders to facilitate the study, listening and learning about what employees are doing everyday. It is important that this experience is applied to all levels of employees and across functions.

And finally, it is important to measure it. Bring the frequency up from annual and bi- annual surveys to regular pulse surveys. Have the ear on the ground when it comes to candidate interviews, performance management meetings and exit interviews. A consolidation of all these should give cumulative single employee experience score.

Going Forward 2018 – Future of Work

Employee Experience Design: EX will be a priority for the companies. Restructuring the policies and schemes which matter to employees will be a differentiator in helping increase the employee ratings. Replicating customer experience to employee experience will be the need of the hour. It will no longer be “Master/Slave” relationship.

Wellness and Health: Stress Relief, life management, financial management, health improvement and mindfulness approach to your life, work and relationships will continue being important in 2018.

A New Work Ethic: From safe jobs to gig economy, there may be few jobs but no shortage of work. The millennials will continue to redefine the work ethic from work being a duty and binding to passion and fulfilment. The approach to work will be more value system based than monetary

Agile Staffing and Compensation: Companies will not be having straight forward hiring policies where people with skills are hired to fit in certain requirements.

Now it will be all about finding right mix of skills and matching them to business requirements by sourcing from a global, virtual and probably a temporary pool. This will mean more virtual, decentralized and distributed workforce requiring collaboration.

Compensation will involve more continuous processes where employees receive different types of rewards throughout the year from different sources rather than annual pay-out.

The software teams use Agile methodology for developing software and this methodology will be used for HR functions for hiring and developing employees.

As we automate, we will depend on creative skills: Technology advancing faster than world can adapt and adopt. Machine learning and AI will continue to penetrate the work world to compensate for the developing and honing uniquely human skills and capabilities It will be important to develop skills like ideation, critical and creative problem-solving. Soft skills like emotional intelligence and active listening will be of prime importance.

The employee will have to be life-long learner. With the kind of changes happening at workplace, a degree earned early in life may not be relevant now. Those with strongest ability to learn new skills and evolve dynamically and bring in value to an employer will be successful at the future workplace.

Diversity and Inclusion will be non-negotiable: Companies have identified the need for more diverse workforce but have not given the priority it deserves. However, the recent events have shown that a critical point has been reached where in equal treatment based on gender and ethnicity is openly acknowledged and companies who will design the practices based on diversity and inclusion will be successful.

AI and impact on jobs: A lot of discussion has been done on the dynamics between technology and jobs.

AI has been used in most of the sectors already.  Robots in manufacturing are already known. A lot of AI has to do with big data analysis and identifying patterns. Thus, AI is used in data security, financial trading, fraud detection. AI in health care is used for everything from subjects for clinical trials to speeding drug discovery to creating personalized treatment plans.

How does all this infiltration influence the jobs scenario?

While it may have taken up some jobs which were done by humans earlier but there is another side to coin.

People are doing some jobs currently which did not have an existence about 30 years back due to lack of technology then. For example: Need for computer operators came up because of computers even though some jobs were made redundant because of computers. Similarly, AI and automation may spring up some different types of jobs which don’t exist currently, but question is that are we ready for them?

Finally, Baby Boomers and Retirement: Coming year will show a different shift for baby boomers. As people are living longer and they are more productive, it is important that organizations understand the need to retain this skilled workforce. Here the shift will be from full-time to part time or use them as a probationer for completely new setup like it was shown in the movie “The Intern (2015)”

As Socrates has said – “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”

So, let us look forward to an exciting & enriching time in 2018!

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