As technology continues to permeate the business space across all functions and processes to streamline productivity, it’s critical to remember that the heart of any business is its people says industry experts. According to these companies, businesses need to start re-humanising their workforce if they are to succeed in the workplace of tomorrow.
Says Gys Kappers, CEO of Wyzetalk: “Digital is- and will- continue to democratise the workforce – breaking us free from traditional, rigidly defined jobs and the organisation of work. Digital tools we use closely resemble those we use in our everyday lives and as such, they are becoming enablers to capture, share and drive innovation, ideas and best practices and bring about an era of engagement and flexibility that was previously missing. Just look at the rise of the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon – it’s all about preferences that drive performance. Companies need to understand the extrinsic and intrinsic motivators that make up their workforce and to truly re-address productivity practices, there needs to be true engagement.”
Henry Chandler, vice-president for the African Society for Talent Development (ASTD) agrees that with the digitisation of the workplace, open models that create a culture and common purpose will be key. “The more technologically enhanced we get, the more we need to re-humanise the workplace – especially where generational diversity exists. Employees will no longer be constrained by hierarchical, functional, divisional or even organisational boundaries and will be encouraged to network with whoever they need to in order to achieve the organisations goals.
“HR stands to benefit greatly from this as new solutions are addressing old problems more effectively and efficiently, with the added benefit of greater accountability and business insights. As such, having a well-developed network of connected people will be a key success factor for future careers and the organisation’s people philosophy and structures must support this business strategy.”
In generic terms, the philosophy must aim to build a sustainable and adaptive organisation of talented, diverse, competent and inspired people, who face the future with confidence and form the foundation of the approach to leadership development. Today, and more importantly going forward, investing in the holistic advancement of talent should be considered a business imperative.
Enterprise social strategies and their enabling platforms are a radical departure from the old way of managing constituencies through specific processes and information siloes. Not only is it more effective at tackling big problems, it also exploits collective wisdom better. By its very nature enterprise social encourages innovation, because its objective is adaptation, and not repeatability and compliance, so prized by corporate processes. “Enterprise social goes a long way to driving collaboration and humanisation of an organisations’ workforce,” adds Kappers.
“Not only does it encourage and reward participation, open up information flow and communication, it creates a central place for ideas to be shared and built on and for employees to be heard – especially important to the millennial worker. For companies it’s a way for them to connect better with their global employees, check-in on sentiment and to have fun and reward people for getting involved in and contributing to solving problems or creating new opportunities in other areas of the business not linked to their job roles. It’s all about sharing knowledge, lessons learned and personal insights in a timely, authentic and benevolent way to encourage an enterprising organisational culture.”
Chandler says: “Every organisation’s culture should support high performance and talent engagement. In 5 or 10 years from now, many of the organisations currently represented on leading global stock exchanges will no longer exist. Head count is down, yet expectations are up and employers that fail to engage with workers and establish an environment that encourages the best out of people, will struggle to stay abreast of the competition tomorrow. They will be replaced by organisations whose leaders facilitate organisational behaviour that enables them to fit in a technology powered, next generational social world – while keeping people at the heart of the company. Welcome to the future.”