2020 was all about “work from home,” while 2021 was the year of hybrid working. So, what’s in store for 2022? Forrester predicts that, “2022 will go down as the year executives were forced to care about employee experience.” Employees will expect technology to enable their success at work, not hinder it. Yet, most organizations lack the insights into employee experience that help them spot areas for improvement.
Here at Scalable, we’ve come up with three New Year’s resolutions that businesses can make to boost the success of their hybrid model – and how workforce analytics will help.
Organizations have increased their IT outlay to get hybrid employees set up, with spending on enterprise software increasing 13.2% in 2021. Yet, many assets left in place now serve duplicating functions. Communication applications are one example; Microsoft Teams has 145 million daily active users, while Zoom has 300 million daily meeting participants. Countless other applications with “bolted on” communication functions are also in use.
A problem occurs when organizations try to standardize on one of these tools, but individual teams continue using other platforms. Duplicate tools hinder the adoption of the corporate standard technology, and this has a knock-on effect on the flow of communication – causing ineffective collaboration with too many silos.
To identify unused and duplicate applications to drive better digital adoption and optimize ROI, IT needs to understand what assets are deployed across the estate and how those assets are used. This is where workforce analytics helps – by surfacing data that lets IT leaders identify unused software, align license type to usage, and show where unused or limited use licenses can be moved from paid to free versions.
User journeys are central to the employee experience and to driving greater productivity. To provide a seamless hybrid experience, IT teams need to understand the interaction between employees and the tools they depend on to do their jobs. However, spotting digital friction is difficult with a distributed workforce. Equally, asking employees for their feedback isn’t effective, because often users have been doing a process for so long that it has become semi-automatic – they don’t think of it as inefficient.
Workforce analytics tackles this problem by using data to objectively evaluate employees’ user journeys and find the points of digital friction so IT can remove them. For example, looking at application switching can highlight opportunities to improve productivity.
At one Scalable customer, its frontline services team was using a spreadsheet to make calculations the in-house system did not provide. Each individual was spending a couple of minutes switching out of the system to use the spreadsheet before switching back. This was inefficient and frustrating. Without workforce analytics, the problem wouldn’t have been spotted. Scalable’s Acumen platform alerted the IT team so they could incorporate the process into a single workflow. This eliminated the friction point to improve both employee experience and efficiency.
Companies know that a happy workforce is more productive. Yet, 2021 saw a huge spike in employee demand for mental health support. In the UK alone, 92% of GPs reported a rise in patients seeking help for work-related stress since the onset of COVID-19.
It is more challenging for businesses to see if employees are feeling isolated or stressed when individuals are not always working in the same physical location. Examples may include if an employee working predominantly at home has stopped communicating with colleagues as often as they used to, or if they are working excessive hours.
Workforce analytics give organizations insight into employees’ working patterns and communication habits. Furthermore, platforms with relational analytics built in offer an even deeper understanding of how hybrid working may have changed team and individual dynamics. They do this by mapping out communications pathways between individuals to provide data points on collaboration across the workforce. This allows organizations to take action and safeguard well-being when they need to.
As 2022 gets underway, we encourage organizations to take a step back and reflect on how their working model has changed in recent years. Identify the software that is no longer needed, eliminate the friction points impacting productivity, and support the well-being of staff. With these resolutions, organizations will create employee experiences fit for the hybrid working world.