We live in a world where every imaginable product or service is customisable and experiences become increasingly personalised. Wouldn’t employees therefore expect the same in their workplace?
We believe that the overarching trend of radical personalisation will have a profound impact on the work experience, and by extension on your employer brand.
We have suggested four specific areas of the employee experience most impacted by personalisation that your company may want to consider.
The physical workspace has a tremendous impact on a company’s work culture and needs to be deliberately designed to represent a company’s purpose and values, as well as enable and empower employees to do their best work and stay engaged.
“You are at the office more than you are with your family or in your abode. So it needs to engage me in a way that makes me want to go there, continue to go there and enjoy going there.”
-Workplace: The Connected Space Documentary. R/DA
The last decade has seen many organisations move to an open-plan hot-desk approach. This means employees not having an assigned desk and sharing desk space with colleagues. It can have great benefits in terms of cost-savings and overheads, and has been touted as increasing social interaction and collaboration - but a recent Harvard study actually found the opposite to be true.
Customisable workspaces seek to provide personalisation, without giving up the benefits of hot desking. By using mobile furniture, for example, a project or activity-based approach to work becomes more natural, as people can physically move closer to those they work with, without forfeiting their own space.
Another example of customising workspace are companies who, instead of providing employees with standard furniture, offer a set budget or a range of options to individuals or teams to empower them to choose the furniture and tools that best suits their needs.
When was the last time you complained about technology you use at work? Today, employees have access to the latest quality consumer technology in their private lives, which means that they expect the same fast and intuitive experience at work.
Enterprise-grade technology is generally perceived as slow, complicated, and unsophisticated compared to what we are used to at home. Organisations are trying to respond to this demand by introducing tools that emulate customer-grade technology - for example, Facebook at Work and G Suite - whilst at the same time allowing them to collaborate in a more intuitive way.
Another strategy is introducing a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. While coming with its own set of challenges (security being key here), you can considerably reduce your employees’ pain points. By letting them choose the device they want to work with, you empower them to select what best suits their needs and skill level, you increase their satisfaction and effectively increase productivity by eliminating the need to master a new operating system they may not be familiar with.
Workplace tech impacts not only the experience of your current employees, but of prospective employees too. In fact, a study by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services of 250 business executives, managers and consultants at U.S. companies revealed that a majority believe their company’s workplace tech plays an important part in the decision made by applicants about whether to join.
New joiners are usually offered employee benefits that generally will not vary much from one employee to another. Such benefits might include health offers, pension plans, time off, etc.
However, as we move away from standardised solutions in other key aspects of the employee experience, compensation and benefits are another area ripe for customisation.
Understandably, giving employees completely free rein when it comes to benefits is not an option for most organisations. Through a combination of people analytics and qualitative research, employee personas can be used to determine what type of benefits may suit your employees. Giving them the opportunity to tailor-make a benefit package based on their needs increases their autonomy, sense of empowerment and positively impacts their employee experience.
When we look at the pace of change and advancements made in virtually any professional field, it is hardly surprising that offering relevant, high-impact learning experiences can be a key differentiating factor for a company to attract and retain talent.
Personalised learning experiences are made possible by the fact that a big portion of content is now accessible online. Using sophisticated learning management systems, modules can be delivered to employees where and when they need them - taking into account different learning styles and paces.
Some employees may find that corporate learning offers do not provide enough cutting-edge content for them stay on top of developments in their field. Employees are becoming more aware to actively look for their own learning opportunities, both inside their organisation as well as outside and expect their employers to encourage and support those endeavours.
These are only a few areas of the employee experience potentially impacted by radical personalisation. The appropriate measures to implement will be guided by what is most relevant to your employees, competitive in your industry and truly authentic to your culture. This is where a strong employer brand can guide you to create a consistent employee experience.
How could you personalise your organisation’s employee experience to gain competitive advantage to attract and retain top talent?
By Michèle Richner, Strategist
Get in touch to talk about your Employer Brand.