As we begin 2019, our careers look very different to how they did a decade ago and the pace of change is accelerating rapidly.
Our routine work activities are increasingly being automated, allowing us to focus on the non-routine and more complex activities that have human impact. Australian organisations are increasingly embracing agile working, structuring themselves into multi-discipline squads or teams and looking at taking advantage of the gig economy. This enables them to bring in new talent and skills on a project-by-project basis.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a quarter of the workforce are now casual workers and many predict this figure will continue to grow. These trends indicate traditional jobs and career paths may become the minority in the near future.
The new world will require people to adopt a growth mindset by becoming increasingly flexible, ready to quickly pick up new skills and adapt to changing roles or projects.
Focus on better employee experiences
These changing dynamics also have an impact on organisations. They will need to focus on streamlining their hiring and onboarding processes to rapidly get the best value out of new joiners. Further, they will have to continue to focus on attracting and retaining talent as well as learning and development, as the workforce becomes more mobile and the battle for key skills intensifies.
Great employee experience – the ease with which employees learn how to operate in new and changing environments, get work done, find people, establish new networks and collaborate – is not just good for morale or staff retention (although it is that too); it can have a profound effect on customer experiences and ultimately, organisational performance.
Link between employee experience and high performance
Research from MIT’s Sloan Centre found that organisations focusing on employee experience were more innovative, profitable and had higher levels of customer satisfaction.
The MIT study also found that top-performing companies prioritised outstanding employee experiences. They identified some key necessary conditions that include true mobility (work from wherever is best suited for the activity or need), the ability for employees to find people and knowledge anywhere within the organisation and effective collaboration within virtual teams. They also invested in middle management to generate support for new ways of working.
Although some of these elements are reliant on technology, it’s not just a CIO’s job. There is a vital role for Human Resources and other business leaders to play here.
In leading organisations, executives have realised they must come together to drive change where it matters most, putting employees at the centre. We are also seeing that they have achieved substantial returns on their investments in workplace platforms as employees adopt, connect, engage and collaborate more effectively.
These organisations have had success through teamwork between HR, facilities, operations, IT and business unit leaders. They have adopted holistic workplace transformation strategies, touching everyone in the organisation and aligning them back to the broader organisation’s strategic objectives.
It is fitting that the most successful way to build truly integrated, people-first employee experiences is through teamwork.
Nathan Boddam-Whetham is Director, Digital Workplace, at Avanade Australia. Avanade is the leading provider of innovative digital and cloud services, business solutions and design-led experiences delivered through the power of people and the Microsoft ecosystem.
Avanade has 35,000 digitally connected people across 24 countries, bringing clients the best thinking through a collaborative culture that honours diversity and reflects the communities in which we operate. Majority owned by Accenture, Avanade was founded in 2000 by Accenture LLP and Microsoft Corporation. Learn more at www.avanade.com.
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