Economic uncertainty and the rapid adoption of technology have drastically transformed how we work. The rise of remote work and hybrid work arrangements has led to a more distributed workforce, with employees working from home, coffee shops, and anywhere else they have an Internet connection. This seismic shift has created a disconnect between employers and employees. Employers may still be thinking about working in a traditional office setting, while employees are embracing the flexibility and freedom of a remote or hybrid work arrangement. Apparently, there is no going back.
To bridge the disconnect, it is more important than ever for employers to understand their workforce. This means understanding how employees work, their preferences, and how their productivity can impact business. Fortunately, new innovations and technical measures can help organizations bridge this gap and create a collaborative and productive work environment that embraces the digitally connected, distributed workforce and realigns employees to business priorities, giving them a sense of belonging in the organization. Some of the technology measures include:
1: Utilizing learning and development tools
Organizations need to harness technology to facilitate the acquisition of new skills and knowledge by employees. An efficient e-learning and development platform aggregates training and resources from various digital platforms to provide efficient and effective learning experiences, enabling employees to stay updated and relevant in their respective fields. By leveraging e-learning platforms, employees can access various online courses, tutorials, and training materials, tailored to their specific needs and interests. Additionally, technology-enabled tools such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can create immersive learning experiences, allowing employees to practice and apply new skills in simulated environments. Furthermore, webinars, video conferencing, and online collaborative platforms enable remote learning and foster knowledge sharing among employees, regardless of geographical constraints. Overall, technology-driven learning and development tools are crucial in empowering employees to enhance their skills, adapt to emerging trends, and contribute effectively to their organizations’ success. One example of such a technology solution is Microsoft Viva.
Microsoft Viva offers a range of tools designed to enhance the employee experience. Viva Pulse enables managers and team leads to gather regular and confidential feedback on their team’s experience, providing actionable insights for improvement. Viva Amplify empowers employee communications teams and leaders to deliver impactful messages and centralize communication campaigns. Viva Engage fosters digital community building and includes features like Leadership Corner, where employees can directly interact with leaders. People in Viva utilizes AI to unlock insights and facilitate collaboration across teams and interests. Microsoft Viva comprises of the following modules:
- Viva Connections: Provides a centralized platform enabling employees to easily access company news, information, and resources, thereby fostering engagement and communication.
- Viva Engage: Delivers a platform for employee recognition, feedback, and collaboration, thus promoting a positive and inclusive work culture.
- Viva Topics: Organizes and connects employees to knowledge and expertise they require to succeed, enables employees to easily discover and share information, fostering collaboration and improving productivity.
2: Implementing performance management tools
Implementing performance management tools is crucial for organizations to track employee performance and identify areas for improvement. These tools provide valuable insights and enable employers to create a more effective and efficient workplace. Two examples of performance management tools that come along with Microsoft Viva are:
- Viva Insights: Viva Insights is a tool that provides data-driven insights on employee well-being, productivity, and collaboration. By analyzing data from various sources such as emails, calendars, and collaboration platforms, Viva Insights helps employers gain a deeper understanding of how their employees work and what factors impact their productivity. This enables informed decision-making and allows employers to provide support and resources to enhance employee success.
- Viva Goals: Viva Goals is a tool that facilitates goal setting and alignment. It helps employers align individual and team goals with the organizational objectives, fostering clarity, transparency, and accountability in goal setting and achievement. Viva Goals enables employees to set measurable and trackable goals, track their progress, and receive feedback and recognition for their achievements. This tool promotes a goal-oriented culture within the organization and ensures that everyone is working towards common objectives.
By implementing performance management tools like Viva Insights and Viva Goals, employers can gain valuable insights into employee performance, promote goal alignment, and create a more productive and engaged workforce. These tools support data-driven decision-making, enhance clarity and transparency in goal setting, and contribute to the overall success of the organization.
3: Empowering Employee Self-service Bots
Employee self-service Chatbots bridge the gap between employers and employees by providing instant access to information, 24X7 availability, and personalized support. These AI-powered virtual assistants allow employees to find answers to frequently asked questions, access company policies and benefits information, and seek assistance at any time, regardless of location or working hours. By empowering employees to find information independently and tailoring responses based on individual profiles, self-service bots enhance efficiency, improve the employee experience, and promote seamless communication between employers and employees. One example of such a technology solution is Azure Bot Service.
With intelligent Chatbots built on the Azure platform, employees can easily access information and receive assistance anytime, eliminating the need for human support. Chatbots can quickly answer frequently asked questions, provide guidance on company policies and procedures, and offer personalized recommendations. By empowering employees with instant and convenient support, Azure Bot Service boosts productivity, reduces frustration, and enhances overall satisfaction in the workplace.
These new-gen technologies and platforms offer a comprehensive set of tools to enhance communication, collaboration, knowledge sharing, productivity, and performance management within organizations. Employers can leverage these technologies to bridge the gap with their employees, foster a collaborative work environment, and drive overall efficiency and success. These measures not only enhance productivity but also create a sense of connection and belonging within the organization. As the future of work continues to evolve, embracing technology and innovative solutions will be crucial for organizations to thrive in the digital age and build strong relationships with their employees.