Is your organization the tortoise or the here?

Planning for Tomorrow’s Workplace… Today

In HR Technology, Pulse Surveys, Recognition and Engagement by Lori McKnight

Are you the tortoise or the hare?

Tomorrow’s Workplace… Today

One of the most interesting insights to come out of Deloitte’s 5th annual Global Human Capital Trends report is that while individuals are adopting new technologies relatively quickly, organizations are moving at a slower pace.

Deloitte surveyed more than 10,000 respondents from 140 countries on a variety of topics relating to the current workplace and the workplace of the future. What they found (and it’s backed up by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics) is that productivity in the United States is rising only by about 1 percent annually, even as employees are working more hours.

Business productivity is not keeping pace with technological progress.

We’re all experiencing the rapid pace of change both in our personal and business lives. Just when you think you’ve figured out a new technology tool, the interface changes, features are removed or younger colleagues tell you it’s on the way out. It’s unnerving and research shows that employees and organizations are more overwhelmed than ever.

If it’s any consolation…this acceleration of all things new isn’t without precedent. Those of us who are middle agers and above will recall the advent of personal computers, the first cell phone, your first voice mail service (remember those long instruction manuals!?), ATMs, Atari and email. We embraced those digital advancements in the 1980s and the world will adapt to the current era of digital disruption.

80s New Tech

The trick is for HR and business leaders to consider new ways of thinking as times are less predictable and more competitive. Attracting and retaining top talent and optimizing productivity is going to require using platforms, processes and tools to simplify things in exciting ways that improve the overall employee and customer experience.

Given this gap between technological disruption and productivity, the great minds at Deloitte developed a number of ways you can close the gap to lead, organize, motivate, manage, and engage a 21st-century workforce.

Here are some things you can do today to create a strong workplace tomorrow.

1. Agility and Collaboration are key to success in tomorrow’s workplace

With a workforce more likely to work from home, more technologically adept and social media-savvy, the need for agility and collaboration has never been more important. Agile, diverse, (and in some cases younger) leaders and employees are needed to help organizations thrive in a rapidly changing landscape.

The Startup Way by Eric Ries (author of The Lean Startup) is out this month and explains how companies – big and small – can incorporate “entrepreneurial management” principles to cultivate innovation and grow faster.

STAT: Only 12 percent of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 are still in business, and 26 percent of these companies fell off the Fortune 500 list last year. Combine this with only 11% of Deloitte’s survey respondents saying they understand how to build the organization of the future and you see the problem.

What you can do now: Re-organization efforts should not be primarily on cost cutting and building efficiencies. Focus on building networks of teams who can form and take action rapidly – project-based teams with different specialties will give organizations the edge getting to market and staying competitive. Think less about past hierarchal structures and more about the skills and people needed to respond quickly to opportunities.

Hackathons are not just for IT anymore. Progressive companies are now bringing diverse groups of people together to solve a problem and develop deeper cross functional skills.

2. Emphasize importance of Continuous Learning

Deloitte calls this “always-on” learning. Ask a Millennial or Gen Zer how they prefer to learn and chances are they’ll mention a video they watched.

STAT: According to Glassdoor, only a third of Millennials believe their organizations are using their skills well, and 42 percent say they are likely to leave because they are not learning.

What you can do now: Invest in training and resources that allow employees to build their skills quickly, easily and on their own terms… and on mobile-friendly platforms.

3. A positive “brand” is your best weapon

Don’t underestimate the Employee Experience. Communicate what your company stands for and promote the great things you are doing. A positive employer brand will improve talent acquisition and retention.

As an example, CSI STARS’ client Associated Grocers streams a video feed of nominations and awards through their warehouse and lobby. This serves the double purpose of recognizing people every day and reinforcing the things employees are doing that reflect their CARE program – the core values vital to their success.

What you can do now: Use new HR technologies like recognition dashboards to promote the great things employees are doing every day that contribute to your success.

Use videos during the interview process to promote positive employee experiences and to communicate key messages that reinforce your value proposition to the workforce – from orientation until retirement.

Leverage social media to enhance your brand profile as an employer of choice. What are the things you do that set you apart from the competition?

4. Use technology to simplify work practices

Social media has driven our demand for frequent feedback. With more project-based teams, new work tools are critical to collaborate, communicate, set goals and share metrics. Incorporating these social tools moves the organization towards a more innovative culture.

STAT: Fifty-six percent of companies Deloitte surveyed are redesigning their HR programs to leverage digital and mobile tools.

What you can do now: HR can be the catalyst for change. CSI STARS online, mobile-friendly platform provides a dashboard that serves as a hub for both recognition and performance programs. Recognition, Safety, Wellness and Performance objectives (and results) are accessible from one place reinforcing goals, promoting results and rewarding success. Mini challenges, goal tracking and sharing congratulations all help build a sense of “team”.

These tools are not just for employees as they also provide metrics on how well management is participating in initiatives/sharing praise.

Incorporating pulse survey tools allow HR to poll employees (on team or company level) on topics of interest, such as workload, morale, onboarding, your brand, etc. AND solicit feedback so you can understand and improve upon the employee experience. These real-time metrics on engagement, recruiting, turnover, and other measures help business leaders make decisions more quickly.

5. Recognize that the nature of work is changing

AI systems, robotics, and cognitive tools are driving the redesign of almost every job, as well as a new way of thinking about workforce planning and the nature of work. Organizations must be willing to adapt to change while keeping people at the center of every strategy. Technology does not dictate success, how you use it to connect and communicate effectively with employees will be the key to building a workplace for the future.

STAT: Only 17 percent of global executives report they are ready to manage a workforce with people, robots, and AI working side by side—the lowest readiness level for a trend in the years of Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends survey.

What you can do now:

  1. Build a digital HR team to evaluate new vendor/technology solutions.
  2. Rethink your HR organization model to focus on the employee experience, analytics, culture, and the new world of learning. Provide tools so teams can collaborate and learn from one another.
  3. Upgrade your technology with online, mobile-friendly tools that are easy for employees to use, help with people management and enhance your employee experience.

With CSI STARS employees can access all recognition programs (Service, Safety, Wellness, Performance) from one platform with one sign-on, anywhere in the world. You choose the tools you’re ready for today, allowing you to build the workplace of tomorrow.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

Author: Lori McKnight

Lori McKnight
Lori is the VP of Recognition for CSI International Inc. She has a MBA with a minor in Human Resources, is a Certified Recognition Professional and member of the SHRM blog squad. Prior to joining CSI STARS, she worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Youthography, a youth market research agency. Connect with CSI STARS on LinkedIn to learn how we cultivate a workforce that loves coming to work.