From Flintstones to Jetsons: 4 Trends Set to Advance the Employee Experience for the Modern Workplace
It wasn’t so long ago that we relied on the phone book, fax machines and dial-up internet to find information and connect with one another. But now, everything we need is at our fingertips. There’s no need to find a payphone to call 411 when you can open your smartphone and get answers instantaneously. At least, that’s how life operates on the consumer side. In the workplace, it’s a different story, with disparate solutions making the employee experience harder, not easier.
Unlike how we use our smartphones and other devices, employees have to track down what they need to know now across interfaces, costing them valuable time and causing frustration. According to research from McKinsey, a 1000-employee company will have an average of 254 technologies in their ecosystem. Think about that in scale, 5,000 employees, 10,000 employees. It is no wonder employee apathy is at an all-time high when there are that many systems to navigate, even when we drill down further and see that less than half of employees engage with existing enterprise applications resulting in SaaS waste for employers.
So, what can we do? During the recent HR Tech Virtual Conference, the team from Socrates.ai took a look at advancing the employee experience from Flintstones to Jetsons, which for anyone reading who isn’t familiar, means moving from the Stone Age to the year 2062. That’s a big gap, but we have the technology needed to bridge it. Here’s what you need to know about the trends poised to disrupt the old style of management:
- Increased Connectivity: Connectivity has already disrupted our lives, from Siri and Alexa to voice-operated dishwashers. Even so, the original org chart is over 200 years old, and the pressure to change has been building for years, even before the pandemic and ensuing Great Resignation. Companies have started to go off-kilter, little by little, but too much of that outdated thinking remains the same. As organizations, we move too slow, too bogged down by complicated matrix structures, too bureaucratic given the world’s interconnectedness today.
- Unprecedented Automation: Everything is smarter in 2022. We benefit from the convenience of automation without even realizing it. That’s because automation has increased exponentially to anything else we’ve seen. What slows us down are internal politics and external friction, like the divide between analog native Baby Boomers digital natives Millennials. We are in a completely different environment than we were before.
- Fundamental Societal Shifts: Likewise, in terms of employee experience, expectations are changing. Employees are more socially engaged because of both the experiences they have as consumers and the amount of information they process on a daily basis. That directly impacts career mobility and not necessarily in the traditional, hierarchal org chart fashion. Organizations need to have solutions for this, and those solutions need to address how the workplace is evolving with the workforce.
- Lower Transaction Costs: There was a time when it seemed impossible to connect technologies in a way that streamlined the user experience. Each solution had a purpose, and the end-user had to work how the technology worked. The barriers to entry and costs to achieve scale are evaporating, and the sooner organizations can address the first three points, the sooner they can make their systems support the end-user or employee. One of the ways Socrates.ai does this is by normalizing and transforming all the data and information these solutions contain to make it easily accessible to employees.
There is ample reason to change how we interact and engage employees, and what’s more, most of what we need already exists. It’s a matter of shifting to a holistic approach that better reflects how life functions outside of work, and there’s no need to replicate man’s journey from Flintstones to Jetsons. We’re here. We’re in the moment, ready and able to advance the employee experience and maximize all the systems at play, whether that’s in 254 or 2540.