Employee experiences have changed broadly and at a rapid pace. The modern workforce finds itself suddenly affronted by a new set of challenges that pushed existing capabilities – through a VUCA environment. In such a world, preset beliefs and systems no longer hold weight. There is an increasing need to explore new options, innovate, and think on the spot. And decision-makers can adapt to that change by redefining employee experiences.
Defining Employee Experiences
Traditional definitions of employment relate to earning an income and performing preset duties as fundamentals in a job. However, times have changed, and more members of the workforce seek something “more.” A trend began long before the new normal, as more employees sought deeply fulfilling and purposeful roles at work over simply earning a paycheck.
Millennial employees, who are becoming the majority group in the modern workforce, value work-life balance above other needs. Additionally, there’s the 4th industrial revolution, where connectivity is a central and prevalent theme, resulting in complex work environments. And then there’s the disruption from the pandemic.
The employee experience has altered exponentially, and organisational leaders need to adapt to the newfound needs to maintain an engaged workforce and reduce turnover risks. In most cases, this involves evaluating and improving workplace practices right down to the bare details.
Lines between professional and personal lives begin to blur – there’s a pressing need to understand the ramifications of this phenomenon. Organisational conventions may no longer apply, and leaders will need pragmatism to function at a proactive level.
Providing the Best Tools of the Trade
The modern office requires a switch-up of software. Word processors, PowerPoint slides, and Excel spreadsheets will no longer cut it. Employers need to consider diverse aspects of the remote work climate. Studies show that workers are more motivated/engaged when provided with the right tools for the job – something that extends to WFH offices.
Communication needs to be smooth and without a hitch in the new normal and beyond. Organisational leaders can no longer rely on physical spaces for strong workplace culture. Employers should implement an online communication software that is user-friendly and suitable for all staff despite their digital literacy standards.
The solution should provide an intuitive UI/UX that supports file sharing, voice, and audio interactions. Essentially, a quality communication platform should facilitate a realistic face-to-face discussion.
With the Digital Age’s unmatched convenience comes the need for juggling multiple tasks across various platforms (i.e., phones, tablets, laptops). Employers can help significantly by adopting a mobile-friendly task management solution. Mobile app solutions can help workers stay organised without the hassle of cycling through various devices.
The New Normal has led to the normalisation of shift rotations and out-of-office teams. Modern organisations will need a reliable program that enables fuss-free, real-time tracking of attendances. Like task management applications, software should feature a mobile-friendly UI/UX that keeps employees connected while they are on-the-move.
Focusing on Employee Empowerment
VUCA situations bring more questions than answers. Employees will constantly need direction and support, turning to management and decision-makers during an unforeseen crisis. Empowered employees will feel more confident, happier, and more loyal toward the organisation.
The modern employee experience might require some organisational leaders to engage in a mental shift – where employees work with and not for the company. As such, every individual should have their voice heard – sharing unique insights, perspectives, and opinions on the issues that may emerge at the workplace.
External training workshops like LSP (Lego serious play) can help organisational teams bridge existing communication gaps. The LSP concept taps on kinesthetic expression, unlocking hidden creative thought processes in the most silent/reserved individuals at the workplace. Individual participants have the chance to express themselves – representing the impact of an organisation that engages every worker.
Moving From the Reactive to Proactive
Perhaps one of the most significant organisational changes in recent times involves anticipating and navigating the unknown. Digital technology can help a great deal by automating repetitive processes so employees can focus their efforts on value-added tasks (i.e., replacing online customer service staff with A.I. chatbots).
However, with the Digital Age comes seemingly countless data (and user access) points. Malicious actors remain a significant problem for connected workplaces, ever ready to steal precious information. Employers can optimise the digitisation process by providing workers with cybersecurity measures and digital hygiene courses to ensure maximum safety while they enjoy cyber conveniences.
A proactive organisational approach transcends digital matters. Decision-makers should conduct regular meetings where employees can collectively brainstorm for innovative ways in tackling anticipated problems -comparable to a penetrative test for organisational structure.
Enhancing Work-life Balance
Burnout and loneliness are two common risks found under WFH conditions. In the past, employees can look forward to ending a workday the moment they exit the office – something that no longer applies in many new normal circumstances.
At times, employers may need to step in to ensure the optimal well-being of remote workers. Organisational leaders may encourage work rituals, perhaps candidly sharing scheduled practices that keep them refreshed and focused.
Employers may also offer lifestyle incentives such as gym memberships, e-learning credits, or family outing packages that affirm the importance of work-life balance. Additionally, leaders should regularly check-in with WFH employees to ensure everything is okay and reminding them that they remain a valuable part of the organisation despite the distance.
Modern technology makes it possible for teams to bond remotely, with mixed reality chatrooms (i.e., VR) and Zoom escape rooms that can stimulate teamwork and creative thinking.
Employee Experiences Redefined
Every age comes with its set of unique management challenges. The modern digital age/new normal requires organisations to take on a compassionate and digitised approach that replaces reactive strategies with dynamic tactics. Agility is key.
According to McKinsey, agile companies are more decentralized and shift away from traditional top-down, command-and-control decision-making. Now’s the time to redesign procedures and protocols with employees – let them know how they can help – make them a considerable part of the process and transform uncertain situations into fresh opportunities for growth and progression.
StrengthsAsia has helped many individuals and corporate clients empower leaders throughout the region by enabling breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you wish to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, please reach out to us here.