Is this period one of the most important step changes for organisations in their ability to engage their employees?
The BTN, in partnership with Cornerstone, brought together some of the leading people executives from around the World for an insightful interactive conversation around creating personalised learning experiences for employees across large, complex organisations.
The conversation brought about the following key takeaways:
Engagement should be Reimagined not Readjusted
2020 and 2021 have reimagined the role of employee engagement and the employee experience in a way that could never have been pre-empted. Whether ‘the big resignation’ occurs or not, organisations need to be changing their engagement tactics and change things for the future. The group discussed the ways that employee engagement has changed, whereby historical data gathering was done on mass with it now becoming focused on the employee voice through an agile and pulse approach. There was agreement that the shift from a large-scale annual survey to regular engagement pieces has galvanised the employee voice across the year.
The accelerated use of communication tools (Teams, Yamma, Slack, etc) have helped to continue the conversation online throughout the past 18 months, yet the group admitted that some of the comms & engagement strategy was very reactive, for obvious reasons, yet there is now more of a plan to their proactive communications strategy.
Learning in the flow of life, rather than just work
Employees have started looking at themselves a lot more in the current climate with employees who maybe didn’t care about their personal development before as much, now wanting to understand what their evolution in the workplace looks like. People are juggling more than they have ever had so we as people leaders need to optimise their employee experience from a pure learning point of view.
Learning should become surfaced at the right time and that right time can only be determined by the employee themselves. We should be always upskilling for the job they want next and what the organisation is going to need in the future.
If our staff can only find 5 minutes in their day to focus on learning, then this needs to be used in the most effective way. There was the belief within the group that if you force a curriculum on someone, they will reject it but if they feel empowered and have a choice, then it will become part of their day-to-day routine.
Make your technology seamless & hyper-personalised
Netflix knows what we want to watch next, how can we similarly offer learning based on an individual's own needs, wants and preferences?
If we want our people to be engaged, we need to offer a single system of usage for our employees. And with the world being overwhelmed by workplace and private technology applications, being able to surface content and learning in those technologies and applications your people are already using.
In the modern workplace, what do employees actually want from their people development plans? How can we become more topic-specific with our data gathering? The utilisation of cultural health tracking can enable us to understand what exactly is going on within our organisation right now and creates an ‘in the moment’ engagement journey to allow leaders to truly understand expectations, for example, on blended working.
We should be building great habits into our learning plan and creating conversation-led performance management.
Managers should focus on not just performance-driven conversations, but also on really meaningful career and development conversations.
For many organisations, the technology we have in the workplace is not the same level that we have at home so we need to constantly strive to improve the experience and reduce the dissonance towards learning at inception. The more technology evolves at home, the more challenging it will become for leaders at work to keep up. We must get slicker at integrating technology and creating world-class employee experiences.
The gateway to employee performance is through how our employees are feeling. The quicker we as an organisation understand that and the more effective our leaders in the organisations built this into their day-to-day management, the more effective our organisations will become.
Everyone is on a journey which has been accelerated so much so that there is now a junction for that next step. We must focus on ensuring the next step is still within our organisations.