By Octavio Ballesta
On Tuesday we published the first part of the following article "The Digital Revolution at the Service of Managing Well-Being and Engagement ". Now let’s analyse some senarios where the implementation of next-generation technologies has contributed to wellbeing and engagement among people.
- Technologies create a services centre distributed by HR
The new generation of systems that automate and integrate various HR functions free up analysts from the tyranny of having to dedicate a fair part of their time to resolving administrative and transactional needs. Even though such needs are relevant in different areas of people management, they bring little business value.
From the point of view of the users who need HR services, their satisfaction is increased when information on their holidays, salary package or development plan, to name a few, is accessible at all times from anywhere through various devices. In particular, without requiring any direct mediation with one or more HR analysts for handling straightforward issues and actions
With the facilities for distributed people management services, HR is well positioned to take on an advisory role to business areas. They can provide valuable adviceon developing leaders, training people, acquiring talent, analyzing salary market trends, and developing new roles and job descriptions.
Upon off-loading a heavy transactional and administration legacy within Personnel Administration departments, HR can devote time and resources to boosting employee well-being and engagement in a company sensitised to the value of people. Only this way will this HR function, traditionally subordinated to the mandates and influence of other management directives such as Finance, Operations and Marketing, be able to raise its profile as a key business partner and agent of business transformation.
- Technologies for boosting employer brand
For boosting the company’s receptiveness to using social technologies, the company develops new channels to strengthen the prestige of their brand as a superb employer and a great place to work. The company’s well-earned prestige, when reinforced by positive opinions from happy employees on the job and committed to their organisation, multiplies the effectiveness of the message the company transmits to its community of business partners, internal and external customers, and potential candidates.
Using Facebook and LinkedIn, the organisation fosters two-way communication and spread the values, mission and vision of a company that recognises value and respect people deserve. This way the company promotes their strategic projects, highlighting corporate social responsibility activities. Likewise it publishes their portfolio of products and services, and advertises their job offers.
Analysing the impressiona company stirs on Twitter or Glassdoor, it is possible to get a relatively realistic perception of what others say and talk about the company. Upon positively correlating companies that stand out as great places to work, as listed on the Best Workplaces index, with their satisfaction ratings on Glassdoor and their outstanding financial performance, such analyses are important for fine-tuning practices, policies and tactics that facilitate the company’s transition to an organisation with heart and soul, where the best talent want to work and develop professionally.
- Social and collaborative technologies for creating a culture of innovation
Less motivated by a competitive salary, a talented professional will instead feel more inspired and committed to their company by the challenge to give of their best. This occurs more effectively when such talented professionals are grouped into high-performing teams assigned to projects noteworthy for their potential to generate new products and services.
Opening up the company to free and full access to collective intelligence begins with overcoming the challenge of orthodox management practices and styles. Through mechanisms of blind obedience and control, these inhibit the expression of individual creativity, generate deep dissatisfaction among particularly talented employees, introduce toxic factors into the working environment, and undermine the company’s productivity.Managing knowledge trapped in functional silos attributed to rigid organisational structures is not the way to stimulate productivity and the potential for innovation in teams that should be multidisciplinary and inspired by a business vision of significance both to the company as well as leaders and team members.
This calls for shaping a new organisational architecture, where agility, dynamism and flexibility facilitate the expression of individual creativity and fuels within people the desire to experience new ideas and concepts. These crystallize in the development of new projects bringing potential business value. The creation of a culture of innovation starts with firm commitment from executives and business leaders in favour of transforming processes, systems and structures, as part of the transformation initiatives. With an obvious impact on corporate culture, these initiatives are important to improving the competitive profile of the company that sets stakes to become a leader in the knowledge era.
The organisation that learns from the environment leads transformations which energize markets and surprise clients. Likewise, it expands access to experiences, practices and knowledge outside the physical boundaries of the company, through intensive and extensive use of social technologies and next-generation collaboration.
Organisations that complement a functional structure, made up of well-integrated operational and business processes, with communities of practices, innovation ecosystems and discussion groups arising from social technologies spreading out into all areas of the company. Such organisations will succeed in forming collaborative working environments where it makes sense to work, learn and develop professionally.
- Technologies for attracting and retaining the best talent
In highly competitive markets it is essential that the organisation demonstrates superior capacities to attract, connect, and retain the best talent available in the labour market. Also increasingly more competitive, the labour market transcends the economic environment with perceptible sustained recovery.
Just as important as making certain that people to be hired provide evidence of skills and competencies specific to the role, it is a must to ensure the values, interests and personality traits of prospective candidates are as compatible as possible with the unique and defining elements of the corporate culture.
A traditional recruitment and selection process will place emphasis on capturing active candidates, who usually comply with the profile requirements of a predefined position. In organisations with a toxic working environment and a high attrition rate, the recruitment and selection process recurs again and again by focusing on fast and just-in-time hiring of the candidate needed for a vacancy, rather than on hiring the best available candidate for the position.
Using social media, recruitment analysts with good communication skills and proven abilities in using various technologies, will arrange deep conversations with both active and passive candidates, regardless of whether a new position is open or not.
Analysts and leaders who contact such candidates through different social channels will have a golden opportunity to build a rough impression of their abilities, interests and skills. They will fail if they have to forcibly gamble to make a hire decision based on past experiences of questionable value which may be distorted by cognitive bias of the leader who interviews candidates once in a while and whose cunning and insight may distort the process for recruiting new talent.
An outstanding employer brand usually draws the attention of outstanding talent, those who have committed time and resources to build an exceptional personal brand. When both come together, an employment relationship of highest mutual benefit is likely to emerge, where the most attractive professional the market has to offer ultimately embraces the golden opportunity to put their talents and skills to use in the company. Besides enjoying the best opportunities for growth and development within the company, such professionals add more value to the business.
- Technologies for managing employee satisfaction, engagement and happiness
With social technologies deployed throughout the entire organisation, and through explicit support from inspiring and influential leaders, every initiative to promote the company’s reputation as a good employer and an excellent work place will have an important impact on the minds and hearts of sensitive employees eager to work for a company where important and meaningful professional roles are abound.
The management style favoured makes public the leadership’s honest and generous recognition of those people who stand out for work well done. The values, mission and vision are emphasized and oriented towards the individual’s development in order to strengthen the notion of corporate citizenship. The company’s operational and business results are reported transparently and frequent exposure of the corporate leaders to social media is encouraged. This way a strong sense of belonging to the company is nurtured among employees willing to demonstrate their commitment to devoting efforts required for achieving excellent operational and business outcomes.
Access to cloud systems and corporate applications on any device, anytime and from anywhere helps to develop guidelines for flexible working hours to the benefit of various groups of employees. People with elderly parents who require medical care or mothers with young children of school age need to reconcile their particular needs for time, to resolve their specific personal issues, with their work goals to achieve.
For an average individual to fully reconcile their personal, social and family responsibilities with those linked to their role as an employee in a company aware of the trust and respect that responsible people deserve, it is right to create cordial, inclusive and flexible work environments, where intelligent deployment of next-generation technology applications plays a top role.