WNDYR CEO Claire Haidar shares her thoughts on the required mental shifts workers will need to make to meet the future challenges of doing work.
Traditionally, Human Resources and Operations have been seen as distant cousins, planets circling the same star but on different orbits. HR is about soft stuff like employee morale and vacation days, while Operations is all trucks, pipes, and flow charts, right?
Truth is, those stereotypes never told the whole story. Plans need engaged people to carry them out. People need human-friendly processes and tools to get their work done. Now more than ever, that interrelationship is impossible to deny. The virtual environment demands new approaches to measuring employee work performance and increasing employee productivity in the workplace. And that means HR and Ops are the hottest new power couple in town.
A key future-of-work trend: Employee Experience Design
The emerging discipline of EX design applies design thinking to work. It takes a holistic, full-spectrum view of every dimension of the employee experience, from technology and workplace(s) to relationships and processes.
Employee experience design brings the walls between those silos crashing down, especially in the hybrid-work age. How do digital platforms affect the social dimension of your workforce? What processes can be automated without eliminating the human factor? For digital transformation to be successful in engaging and retaining staff, Ops and HR need to put their heads together like never before.
Employee productivity monitoring with a remote workforce
Another urgent question that Ops and HR need to team up to solve: finding new ways to measure the performance of every employee when they might be working across the globe, in different time zones, with different levels of exposure to management. Now that managers can't walk the floor for a gut check of who's doing what, some 60% of managers suspect lower productivity from remote workers. Old habits die hard.
The truth, of course, is that remote teams can be even more productive than in the office. And today's people work data is better at measuring productivity and engagement than the old eyeball test. In any case, talent is voting with their feet: only 12% of knowledge workers want to work in an office full time. Any organization that clings to the past out of productivity fears will lose out on 7/8ths of the available talent.
So HR and Ops have to take the lead on implementing systems that really capture the productivity data and the employee engagement insights that will satisfy management and keep staff happy. The key is strong ongoing communication, so everyone in the organization understands how productivity is measured and what operational blockers might be hindering it. That takes a village.
How to improve team efficiency: get everybody on the same page
The sudden imposition of remote work in 2020 sent companies scrambling to a jumble of digital platforms, tools, and communication channels. The result: the average 500-to-2000-person organization now uses more than 800 cloud-based apps. This panic-mode adoption had predictable results: poor uptake, time drains, security gaps, and millions of dollars wasted.
This chaos has human costs, too. One study found that difficulty in locating necessary knowledge translated to lower trust between employees. Another estimates that 60% of a worker's time is spent on work coordination like chasing approvals and finding information, with a further 13% spent on repetitive tasks. That means most knowledge workers spend only about 1/4th of their work time doing their actual jobs.
Now take a deep breath. How do your tools work together, if at all? What processes can be automated to eliminate rote, repetitive, time-wasting drudgery? In short, it's time for a digital transformation strategy. With human and operational factors inextricably linked, it's up to HR and Operations to get together and lead the way.
Finding your digital transformation partner
A big job, right? But you're not alone. WNDYR has been at the edge of the future of work since long before COVID. We've helped build success stories for hundreds of thousands of employees. We've also seen the mistakes companies make over and over. We know there's no one-size-fits-all digital transformation. And we're ready to work together with you every step of the way. If you're ready to join us where humanity meets technology, reach out to WNDYR today.