2022 will be the third year of the pandemic. Businesses have been through a lot-be it change in work models or digitalisation or virtual events or layoffs or the most recent Great Resignation. At this juncture, they have a rare opportunity to seize the moment for the long term taking into consideration the broader drivers of value including talent management, customer acquisition, productivity, and revenue.
The world will see both hybrid work and return to office for many in 2022. In an exclusive interaction with us, Vaibhav Jain, CEO, and Founder at Hubilo shared with us how work, engagement, and employee experience will shape up in 2022.
As we enter 2022 with a fundamentally transformed view of work, leaders are intensifying their efforts to tighten the loose ends when it comes to employee experience. How do you think that will shape up in 2022?
We are looking at three major areas:
Asynchronous work: the question of where work is done has been answered by the millions of people who now work from home. As companies realize the cost savings from doing so, the question of when works get done is at hand. For many, that will result in asynchronous work schedules so that people not only work when they are at their best, but also to make work more inclusive for employees who need flexibility because of childcare, eldercare, pet care, or other priorities.
Employee Engagement: Regardless of whether your employees are remote or in the office, engaging employees, doubling down on culture and connection will be key to retaining employees.
Collaborative technologies, gamification, and the ability of managers to create personal connections with their teams will be critical to ensuring employees are retained in one of the tightest labor markets in history.
Diversity and Inclusivity: 3 out of 4 workers report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating job offers and companies, according to Glassdoor. But diversity isn’t just about race and gender. Hiring from different stages of life, abilities, neurotypes can also enrich your company’s culture. An important part of attracting talent will be to ensure that you have the tools to hire from new talent pools and not just limit yourself to what’s near the office. Once hired, ensuring that your company celebrates diversity as a part of your company’s culture through corporate events will help to retain these employees and get the best out of them.
The crisis led to an expansion in HR’s corporate influence; ‘human resources’ was elevated to ‘humane resources’. How do you see 2022 shaping out for HR’s influence and how human resource professionals can connect communities through collaborative technologies?
With the pandemic having accelerated the adoption of the digital workplace, it’s never been clearer that a strategic HR organization that coordinates and communicates the remote worker strategy is essential. In such a crisis situation, all departments must work in lockstep to ensure that workers stay connected to an organization’s mission and values. Depending on the size of the organisation, many-to-many communications are only possible with the help of IT who are often too inundated with so many other issues that HR becomes the last priority.
For this reason, it is essential that HR departments have a stable and evergreen communication platform that engages employees (solving for ever-present video fatigue) and keeps them aligned to the organization’s quickly shifting priorities, while other departments focus on solving their own complex set of problems.
'The Great Resignation’ is a stark reminder of the importance of employee engagement or disengagement. How do you think virtual event platforms like Hubilo factor in to engage employees?
Event platforms like Hubilo redefine an organization’s ability to communicate with their employees and ensure that the message is landing as it should.
Until now, international communications consisted of a series of emails, town halls, perhaps an intranet post that no one paid attention to. With new communication platforms like Hubilo, information is not shared passively; the audience can participate while information is being communicated and this engagement can be measured and improved on as time goes on.
For our own internal events, we’ve hosted games and polls with our entire company, laughed with the clever gifs and comments the audience posts during speeches, and met in lounges after the event to talk about our thoughts and feelings on the subject that was just discussed. There are so many ways to engage, even for a company that has tens of thousands of employees.
As many companies start resuming in-office work, what do you think is the role that platforms like Hubilo will play?
HR professionals do not have the time or the inclination to be communication technology platform specialists. Our platform and our designated client experience managers enable organizers to focus on building relevant content that gets employees interested, rather than worrying about the logistics of the communication technology they are using.
What do you think are some of the changes that need to be brought about by organizations to seize the moment for the long term?
The big change that needs to be made is to realize that connection doesn’t need to be an “event”. For example, many sales kickoffs (SKOs) only happen once a year. But salespeople need support and motivation from their teams year-round, so why not turn a once-a-year networking opportunity into a quarterly or even monthly virtual/hybrid activity? The same can be said for so many teams that need to socialize information and engage teams regularly.
If organisations can cross-pollinate ideas more frequently, it will help people feel more connected to one another without ever having to leave home.