Today’s workforce is experiencing especially turbulent and uncertain times. A global health crisis has exacerbated an already dynamic and volatile environment for both workers and companies. Unforeseen changes to the workplace, remote work, and heightened pressure to deliver under challenging conditions are just some of the obstacles enterprises and their employees face. As human resource departments and talent managers everywhere attempt to meet this new reality, it will become clear that investing in a positive employee experience must be a top priority for companies fighting to preserve productivity and growth.
Companies that invest in the employee experience will create a more productive, future-proof workforce that can ultimately benefit both the company and its employees. While that has always been true, the current ongoing global pandemic has made it a necessity. Even before the crisis, 67% of employees said they were not engaged at work. In recent weeks, the workforce of every small, medium, and large company has been disrupted and, now more than ever, enterprises will need to increase employee engagement to close the gap between the broad business functions and the employees that power them. Investing in the employee experience, career development, and providing flexibility will make enterprises more agile and better prepared to handle challenges of the future.
Employee engagement has become a critical business function
Employee engagement and development have become critical business functions. By creating an environment where employees feel valued and are given opportunities to grow, companies will be able to maximize the workforce they already have while establishing a culture of upward mobility. According to a LinkedIn survey, 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career. People want to feel in control of their own careers and, by providing internal opportunities for growth and skill development, managers and HR executives are empowering their employees to do just that.
The real question is how to accomplish it in a world where executives are having to redeploy, juggle, and in some instances, furlough, millions of employees across time zones and geographies in unprecedented ways. Organizations must find ways to move talent within the company, reallocate staff, gain visibility into the skills their employees already hold, and even proactively match employees with internal projects. Technology - specifically artificial intelligence - has the ability to enhance that process and play an integral role by analyzing data, skill-sets, and opportunities to suggest optimized paths for the employees’ experience.
Companies need to learn to reallocate talent at speed and move people around internally to high priority roles. This requires quickly identifying and assigning people to preeminent areas of the business while trying to optimize areas that might be struggling. By improving communication across teams and geographical locations, companies can source talent from within and quickly access in-house skills instead of being forced to use contractors or third party vendors. This allows businesses to unlock the internal capacity to compensate for a lack of external resources and budget while empowering employees to set career goals and creating paths for upward mobility within the company.
AI is the future of HR
AI is the future of HR - not just to the benefit of companies, but workers as well. For example, Schneider Electric, a Gloat client, has mandated internal hiring and all open full-time positions are automatically pulled into Gloat’s AI-powered platform and matched to relevant employees. Internal personnel is Schneider Electric’s first source for talent, creating an upward funnel that motivates and empowers employees to grow. In addition, Schneider Electric is focused on unlocking internal capacity by seeking talent for part-time projects internally to reduce third party budgets. In one instance, a business unit at Schneider Electric identified a gap in resources to fulfill their business goals, requiring a new role and a new hire. Due to budget constraints, the hiring manager could not hire a full-time resource for that role and decided to split this full-time role into 5 different part-time experiences which she filled with 5 existing employees from other teams. This is the future of work.
Traditionally, new hiring and opportunities for internal growth and development have been treated as separate endeavors - often because managers are unaware of the skills or ambitions that their existing employees hold. This can lead to a stagnant and unengaged workforce. But when hiring and internal career and skill development are treated as part of a holistic strategy, it improves the employee experience and benefits the company as a whole.
The current state of our world requires executives to ensure the wellbeing of their employees, rapidly adapt to changing workforce conditions, make sure their employees remain connected to and engaged with the enterprise, and continue to support their customers and partners while navigating uncertain short term and long term economic conditions.
In an ever-changing world, this is all about making sure each and every person is prepared for what the future holds. Nearly everyone is concerned about what skills they currently possess and that they are constantly learning and developing themselves. When enterprises can quickly optimize their employee bases, reallocate talent, unlock capacity, provide flexibility and future-proof their workforce, they, in turn, future-proof the organization as a whole, no matter what challenges they may face.