Technology has changed the way we live our lives. With each passing day, there is some new change that we have to adapt to, and accept as a norm. We are dependent on our computers; leave alone pen and paper, to get our work done. Even operations that have traditionally required human interaction, paper work, analysis and number crunching, have eventually moved towards digital technology.
As a function, Human Resources has quietly and unassumingly transformed itself, to better our work lives. It may have started with something as simple as a Leave Management System. But now, HR teams from all over the world are leveraging the power of digital technology to help companies create an admirable work culture. An initiative that entices future employees, while fulfilling the professional and personal needs of the current ones. Concepts such as employee engagement, employer branding, work-life blend, workplace flexibility, have evolved into necessities. Cultural changes have mandated that company policies, welfare programs and benefits, reflect our new progressive world. The interlinks between technology, lifestyle, and culture are undeniable. The fusion of these vital elements has resulted into a dynamic workforce that has needs and demands – much more evolved and complex than the generations before.
Technological advancement and the ever evolving world that we live in, means that the company’s approach toward work culture and employee happiness has to change to keep up with the changes in the personal lives of the employees. The parameters of ascertaining a company’s health are no longer just a set of numbers. A company’s ability to provide a healthy work environment, retain talent, and stay updated are constantly being evaluated by not only the employees, but also the industry, and above all, its consumers. Having an employer branding strategy, crafting an employee value proposition, and working towards the right work culture have become important more than ever today. Leveraging technology to take the right steps is the only way forward.
Managing Employee Life Cycle and Milestones
Planning for the employee life cycle is not as simple as it used to be. Beyond the usual, one needs to consider factors like driving force and plan learning, development and training programs accordingly. Understanding employee motivation is also a great way to plan for incentives, benefits, welfare policies, and many other initiatives.
An employee who has been working for more than five years may want a refresher course to update his skills. A new employee may need frequent coaching to understand company values. An employee who has been in the company for a long duration may be due for deserved recognition.
With the help of technology, keeping track of such milestones and providing the relevant support to employees has not only become possible, it has also become easy to deploy and customize. This investment can help a company avoid attrition due to reasons such as lack of growth, lack of recognition and absence of a support system at work among others.
Creating an Alliance
Employee Engagement is no longer just about creating an activity calendar, sending out employee communication, or planning an offsite. It is using these as tools to inculcate a sense of community and oneness among the employees. Helping them identify with the company, its values and objectives, should become the priority. When the employees’ values and beliefs align with that of the company, retention and employee happiness become easier goals.
Using a tool can serve a bigger purpose as well. Investing in employee productivity and measuring it subsequently can enhance productivity and interpersonal relationships amongst colleagues. It doesn’t end at that, employee engagement through internal communications can help a company avoid many potential problems. It should be used as a medium of creating transparency and open channels of communication between the management and employees. This is where having an active and engaging internal system works wonders. Introducing a common platform that makes the work environment socially acceptable, technology has helped enhance the one-to-one bonding amidst employees.
Culture that goes beyond values
A lot of effort should be dedicated towards designing the right culture in every company. It takes persistent efforts to ensure that this culture gets ‘actually adopted’ throughout the company. But it is also prudent to note that culture is not a static phenomenon. While you as a company may make all efforts to keep it the same, it is affected by elements outside the company as well.
There are cultural movements and constant innovations in areas such as workplace design that bring new concepts to the forefront. Active efforts towards employer branding and digital media ensure that there is constant information about your competition in the news. This creates a comparison every step. Today’s fluid communication channels ensure real time sharing. It is practical to adapt to these changes while they are taking place, as opposed to addressing them as an after-thought.
From work timing flexibility, to welfare programs, to health benefits, keep a tab on what your employees want through active and seek out real time feedback programs. Use technology to design solutions that will seamlessly sync with your company’s values, vision and goals.
Is dedicating all this effort and investment the end of it all? Absolutely not! While you use technology to create these changes in your organization, make use of technology to measure and determine the effectiveness of your efforts as well. Nothing matters more than evaluating if the company’s efforts are in sync with that of the employee’s requirements, and vice versa.
Employee happiness and company health is a collaboration between the two parties at every step. Make this collaboration effective and successful by using new-age tools and data analytics to get it right at every step.
This article first appeared on The Smart Manager magazine. To know more about Happiness at work, click here.