As part of a new series looking at the impact of tech in 2020, we spoke with Denise Willett from global employee engagement specialists Achievers to look at how the workforce can best manage the challenges ahead.
1) What will the major challenges be?
Digital technology has changed the way we work, play and live. As a result, today’s employees face a workplace like no others before. Speed, collaboration, innovation and engagement are no longer ‘nice-to-haves’ but necessities as the always-on mentality prevails. Leaders are now held accountable for creating workplace environments that help all employees thrive.
Constant change is the norm and those who like to sit in the same seat at the same desk, working on the same project may find the pace of work surpasses their comfort zone. Employees who are used to being experts in a single area may feel challenged to pursue new skills and reconsider how to add value. Technological and process changes may render some jobs obsolete and employees and leaders must determine how (or if) to redistribute those affected.
2) What tech is going to dominate?
As we continue building workplaces that are constantly adapting to new technology and experience flux, employee engagement becomes an ever-crucial tool, regardless of industry or size. Engagement is going to be about implementing tools that are customisable to fit the needs of each individual working for your organisation – these people are united by shared challenges and opportunities. The digital effect has an impact on employees both professionally and personally.
Companies that want to attract and retain employees, and keep them engaged and healthy, must look beyond generational stereotypes and technology to create employee-centred experiences that help people do their best work.
3) What tech can people in professional services not live without?
With these digital advances come huge changes in how we work. Thanks to big data, employees have access to more information than ever before. Through AI, the data can be mined and presented in useful forms. Employees can share information with teams distributed across the globe in nanoseconds, an unprecedented event 20 years ago.
4) What are the drivers of this technology?
Employees are increasingly at ease with technology because they’re personal consumers of it. Online shopping, internet surfing, social media updating, gaming and texting have made people of all generations digital converts. This spills over into the work environment, where employees expect to be able to use intuitive, consumer-focused tech in their jobs. It’s no secret that many companies’ legacy technology systems are clunky and outdated.
And as the technology employees use outside of work continues to advance, workplaces need to keep up. Today’s employees expect to connect with colleagues on platforms similar to Facebook, because they’re comfortable with that technology. They expect to have access to workplace chat and texting tools, because that’s how they connect with friends and family during off-hours. They utilise platforms like LinkedIn inside and outside of work to reference professional profiles, chat and stay up-to-date on relevant events.
5) Who is already using this tech and what has the impact been?
Achievers has designed and executed engagement & recognition programmes for over 250 companies -with between 800 and 200,000+ employees. We help our customers achieve business success and ROI through strategic use of the Achievers platform.
Bridgestone EMEA is a leader in mobility solutions and a recent addition to the Achievers fold. The organisation employs over 18,300 people across the region, including the industry’s leading chemists, engineers and data scientists.
Commentary from Denise Willett, General Manager EMEA, Achievers.