Virtually here: Improving culture in a digitized workforce

Culture is learned – it's a system of beliefs and values that effuse from the very core of a company's mission

Virtually here: Improving culture in a digitized workforce

Culture is learned – it’s a system of beliefs and values that effuse from the very core of a company’s mission. But as digitisation takes over our offices, and once small-scale organizations upscale to global giants, our workplace cultures can often be side-lined.

And the people who seem to suffer the most at the hands of this diminished culture? Remote and virtual employees.

HRD spoke to Rémi Malenfant, HR Transformation Services at PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software and speaker at our upcoming webinar Going Global: Improving Employee Experience for a Digital Workplace, who revealed how emerging technology can help improve your culture.

“Often, the first technology that comes to mind when we talk about engaging virtual employees is teleconferencing or other communication tools, but HR teams cannot jump onto a call every time an employee needs some support,” he told HRD.

“At scale, there’s a better way; this is what we call HR Service Delivery technology. It’s critical for virtual employees because they can’t walk into HR’s office whenever they have a problem. They don’t get to physically see HR’s presence on a daily basis to know they have support. Our recent research revealed that nearly 40% of remote workers say they never or almost never seek out the help of HR when problems arise or they need resources.* Technology that makes it easy for them to access information and request HR’s help could close that gap.”

And when you consider that 23% of the workforce works remotely at some point in their lives*, employers who actively chose to ignore this subsection of their people risk losing them all together.

Instead, Malenfant suggests leveraging new technologies to empower your HR teams and bring all of your people together under one all-encompassing culture.

“An HR Service Delivery platform helps virtual (and traditional) employees find HR-related information through a self-serve, personalized knowledgebase,” he continued. “

For example, “What are my parental benefits based on my province?” It also provides case management, so if the employee has a more complex question that can’t be answered by an article, they can submit a request to HR within the same system.”

That being said, delivering HR in these new disruptive and digital times can often be frustrating – especially if you’re still operating with the same archaic systems. Whilst many organizations are focused on hyper growth – it can come at the cost of professional and personal delivery.

“As companies grow, it becomes difficult to provide the same level of service they were able to deliver when they were smaller,” added Malenfant. “It’s not sustainable for them to respond to and manage every request by phone or email. It’s also not the best use of their time. They must be able to automate and streamline the more routine tasks so they can devote more attention to the cases that require high-touch, face-to-face service.

“Using technology to manage cases and streamline processes gives HR more time in the day for interacting with people, which is often why they went into the field of HR in the first place.”

To hear more on how you can improve your employee experience using emerging tech, sign up for Going Global: Improving Employee Experience for a Digital Workplace here.

*The Remote Workforce Becomes the Empowered Workforce: Ultimate Software’s 2019 Report on the State of Remote Work

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