When companies are growing and fighting on many different battlefronts, they sometimes forget how hard it can be for their employees to get work done every day. All too often, discussion about how to improve the employee experience happens among the HR and IT leaders who are typically tasked with creating that experience. But what about the employee perspective? What do they say about what’s blocking their productivity or holding them back? What do they want more of? What do they want changed?
HR teams must lead broad employee reskilling efforts, but many need skill upgrades themselves. “People analytics” is the HR skill in top demand. HR teams also need to double down on soft skills and business acumen.
I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the need for companies to take into account what their employees’ needs are when rolling out new technologies. Many new technology initiatives fail because employees aren’t involved in the process at some level — whether it’s helping design a solution to their problems or providing regular feedback to their leadership teams on what’s working and what they need to be successful.
Two-thirds of human resources executives today agree that HR is undergoing digital transformation, according to a recent study. Yet many organizations are finding that even after these costly initiatives are complete, employee engagement —a critical measure of HR effectiveness— isn’t moving in the right direction. And the broader challenge is a big one: Engaged employees represent just 34% of U.S. workers, according to Gallup’s latest annual survey.
It’s likely that you’ve heard the term design thinking used in a business or product context this year. Applying design thinking is in vogue; but what is design thinking, anyway? And does it apply only in product development, or can it be used in the business world?