As much as everyone wants to forget about 2020, the lessons learned along the way cannot be discounted. We discovered that the boundaries of our resilience, ingenuity, and problem-solving runs deeper and further than anyone thought. But most importantly, the human experiences that fuel these capabilities are now at the forefront of how organizations evolve.
Wave after wave, unrelenting change and uncertainty has become the shared experience for most businesses. As priorities shift and new challenges arise, employees must acquire the right skills and tools to make meaningful decisions on a global scale while addressing local business needs. Yet, any hint of complexity in processes, applications, and collaboration points only undermines the full impact of their work.
But next-generation tools, high volumes of data, and modern processes alone can’t bridge this gap. Significant shifts in the employee experience must also be considered and accommodated – whether employees work in the office, on the plant floor, or through a remote connection.
For business leaders, exercising empathy, building the culture, and fostering inclusion can make the difference. Empathy creates fair policies and flexible work schedules that fuel high productivity, while people feel safer and are more willing to stay and develop their skills. Culture fosters boundaryless collaboration and engagement. Inclusiveness proves the value of every person, highlighting how everyone contributes to the company’s success.
It’s time for a more human experience at work
Although widely discussed, empathy, culture, and inclusiveness are not traditionally adopted and leveraged well to build human connections and relationships at work. Why not? It takes a genuine digital transformation supported by a well-defined vision of business goals, desired outcomes, and a clear road map to guide the way.
It may be difficult to imagine how technology, connected collaboration, and fast access to intelligent insights can lead to the type of work experiences that employees demand. However, when combined, they can provide the fuel needed to unify the workforce, preparing every employee to take on any challenge and risk with precision and speed.
Many businesses gain such an edge by using cloud technology that supports critical areas of human experience management. From recruiting, onboarding, and core HR processes to learning, development, and succession, HR leaders can strategically evolve how employees experience work by governing compliance, supporting operational continuity, and measuring their programs’ value.
The technology brings pockets of employees together, across organizations, roles, and locations, to foster open dialogue and interaction – giving every person a voice to share feedback, ideas, and experiences. This level of transparency and communication allows business areas to understand the value they provide to each other, as well as the customer and overall business. Meanwhile, business leaders gain the insight they need to identify gaps that need to be addressed, recognize success that should be rewarded, and find talent that should be further developed.
Such a human experience does not have to be lost on new hires acclimating themselves to the organization and the business culture. In most cases, laptops and resources are shipped to employees’ physical location; HR managers share the business’s mission, vision, and brand; and a virtual tour of the office is given. But even these experiences don’t go far enough to give employees a sense of the work culture and infuse a connection with their assigned team.
With a cloud mindset, HR organizations can design processes and systems that influence how colleagues across the entire organization work together – from new hires to employees who have been with the company since the beginning. They can tap modern capabilities, such as machine learning, intelligent services, data visualization, chatbots, and process automation, that allow everyone to identify and share opportunities, alert when risks arise, and make decisions to address them.
The future of work is an evolving journey
Managing employee experiences is not about pinpointing a single event or moment. The future of work is a journey that is continuously redefined as employees discover better ways to get their job done and find balance in their lives.
While no one knows for sure what the future of work will look like, technology, connected collaboration, and fast access to intelligent insights will undoubtedly play significant roles. And for business leaders, this brings a critical opportunity to listen, collect feedback, and deliver promises that matter most to their employees.
Exploring or just getting started in your HR transformation? SAP can provide the innovation, expertise, technologies, and insights you need to bring to life a human experience to your employees. Learn how in our HR transformation best practice eBook, “Accelerating Workplace Readiness for Cloud Transformation.”