“To win the marketplace you must first win the workplace.”
Doug Conant, American businessman
Employees form one of the most important stakeholders for any business. They are the driving force behind customer satisfaction and can directly impact operational efficiency. Even though most businesses realize this, very few have been able to act appropriately to uphold the desired standards of employee engagement.
Employee engagement is not limited to offering in-office entertainment facilities or flexibility in work hours but is a much wider concept. It needs to be more holistic with the end objective of making the employee feel comfortable and enhance the sense of belongingness towards the company.
As modern workplaces become more dynamic after the Covid-19 pandemic, a higher percentage of the workforce will work remotely. Digital modes of communication will be extensively used. This will contribute to making employee engagement an even more challenging process to implement. Businesses will have to take a structured approach to ensure that the critical pillars defining the future of work are stronger than ever.
Three critical pillars of future of work
The company culture, physical surroundings and technology form the three elements that define future of a workplace. Businesses must balance the weights of all three elements to ensure employee engagement is at its peak.
- Company culture
Every modern business strives to build a unique company culture. Having a culture gives the business a personality and helps employees relate better to the what the business is striving for. It gives them a sense of purpose and keeps them excited about the value that company brings to society. On top of this, the company culture can also act as a filter while recruiting new talent. Hiring managers can aim to align personalities to find ‘good fits’, thus developing better working relationships, boosting employee engagement.
2. Physical environment
The immediate working environment plays an important role in stimulating superior employee engagement. It may include the sobriety of the workplace, required tools and supplies. A more comfortable physical setting contributes to employee wellness, satisfaction, productivity and motivation. In the post-Covid-19 era, the share of remote working employees is bound to grow. Businesses must take additional measures while onboarding them to ensure they are working in a suitable physical setting.
The most important element impacting the future of work is technology. Businesses must leverage innovative tech like Cloud, AI and Automation to enable superior employee experience. The immediate takeaways of implementing these technologies include simpler processes, higher degree of collaboration and trust, tightly integrated training and development programs and wellness of teams, both in-office and at-home. Technology will act as the glue that binds together business organisations and processes, with a positive long-term impact.
The future of work is uncertain and challenging. In the gig economy, as employees demand more from their employers, employee engagement is becoming an imperative. If done efficiently, it will help businesses disrupt the notion that work and play are mutually exclusive things. Eventually, it will contribute to better productivity, lower attrition and overall employee wellbeing.