With the U.S. economy chugging along, unemployment is at historic low levels. Good, right? It’s great for the workforce, but for employers maybe not so much. Low unemployment numbers translate to talent shortages, and in an environment where the next great job is right around the corner, attracting—and keeping—labor of all types and at all levels can become problematic.
Every employer wants to be that “best place to work.” The question is, how do you get your scores up so that people want to stay with you? Increasingly, it means providing a better employee experience, just as companies strive to give their customers the best possible experience when shopping online, in person, or at a kiosk.
Today, no single department can provide the X factor—the bag of tricks that keeps employees motivated, helps employers retain the right talent, and keeps companies on industry “best place to work” lists. Just as IT has become the core powering business units, so too the CIO and IT must team up with the human side of the business to enable employees to tailor IT to their personality, so employees get what they want—a consumerized, BYOD-enabled, tablet-friendly user experience. That’s a far cry from handing them a Nokia phone and a Mac, and making it clear that no other technology would be supported by IT.
IT and HR need to partner in other ways to accommodate employee choice of device, place of work and style of work. An increasingly mobile and task-driven workforce want to hot-desk and to share workspaces with smart whiteboards that are instantly collaborative, sharing data between team members—and even to have technology that knows who is on which team, eliminating the need for employees to maintain group lists for emails, texts, and other work products. Today’s intelligent workspaces help enable and empower employees.
Employee experience starts with onboarding—and how long it takes to get a new team member productively up and running. For many, it means flexibility, such as being able to work remotely from any device, anywhere, anytime or choose a schedule that integrates better with home life. It takes an average of 8 – 12 weeks for an employee to be fully productive. Some of the impediments are gaining access to all the apps, learning complex new HR or travel systems and navigating the organization- What if an organization could reduce the time for new employee productivity to one week? Intelligent Workspaces can help present a unified environment with all apps and data so that employees have access to the right information from day one.
What is the future of work? Sprawl beyond any traditional boundaries. Time of day and place of work will mean different things to each employee. Device diversity will expand beyond today’s handheld, tablet, laptop and desktop to form factors that we haven’t invented yet. Enterprise cloud footprints will grow broader, relying on multiple, differentiated clouds for changing needs. And security and governance will further challenge IT, as they do today. What HR and employees will expect is a singular, consistent end-user experience across devices, clouds and landscapes. Imagine how more productive employees and teams would be—and how much happier everyone would be—if security and policy challenges could be removed from applications and handled in the workspace instead? Consistency, simplicity, and security? That is the workspace reality that will leave an impression on new hires and veterans alike.
IT and HR must team up to deliver a better employee experience. By working together to grant employees a seamless, user-friendly IT experience, retention can be elevated from art form to science, and employee retention can become a strategic differentiator—all by making simple, yet dramatic IT adjustments. The results will speak for themselves—a better employee experience that at the end of the day simplifies work by streamlining access to applications and data.