We know that to recruit and retain top talent today, companies must enable employees with collaborative, user-centric technologies. Forcing outdated legacy infrastructures on workers won’t fly in an age in which employee needs come first. Nothing is more frustrating to an employee than wasting their time jumping from system to disparate system, or drowning in a sea of databases and folders to do their job. (If you’re nodding your head right now it’s because this describes your current situation, or you’re thinking back to an old job where that was your life on a daily basis. For your sake, I hope it’s the latter.)
But while shifting to new, more user-centric technologies will provide a big boost to employee engagement, productivity, and morale, simply making that move won’t ensure a complete Worker Experience transformation. Change management is essential to helping people fully understand how to use those technologies and how to leverage them to work better and faster. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), information is just as important as technology: “…the IT function will have to shed its enterprise IT mindset and embrace a user-centric view of the world. Perhaps this is the time, at last, that the ‘I’ in CIO gets the attention and focus it deserves.”
Package new technology with a new culture
To fully shed their old legacy technology skin, organizations need to embrace a new culture — one that fits in with the new way of working. Collaborative tools are only useful if employees actually know how to collaborate. Part of breaking down technology barriers includes breaking down silos within the organization. HBR says that leaders need to champion this by creating a culture in which employees are empowered to positively impact individual, team, and company performance. They call this “the power to know, share, and act.” In this type of culture, employees are encouraged to be honest, truthful, and transparent, and to unashamedly learn from their mistakes and failures. To achieve this, workers at all levels must build trust to share individual and collective knowledge and be proactive in discovering and using that knowledge to impact performance. Technology can help facilitate change, but it’s up to a change in culture and mindset for it to come to fruition.
Instill passion in your people
Creating an engaged workforce is an important stepping stone on the road to a Worker Experience transformation. But to really create employee advocates for your company, you want people who are passionate about what they do and why they do it. In an article for Fast Company, Barry Saltzman writes, “You need to hire people who genuinely fall in love with everything about your company — your brand, your services, your products, your passion.”
Millennials in particular strive for jobs that make a difference; they want to feel that their work is meaningful, and that the company they work for encourages and reflects this. Whether it’s through philanthropy, company values, or simply providing quality products or services to customers, employees today need something of which to be proud. The more someone believes in what they do, the more likely they are to be an advocate for their company, and encourage other talented individuals to come aboard.