We need to talk about technology. After all, New Work isn’t just about employees being able to work from outside the office. Accordingly, technological change isn’t just about secure data connections to the employees’ homes or collaborative work in the cloud. This is just the beginning, which has been highlighted by the pandemic. But the pandemic will end, possibly (hopefully) soon. Anyone who is then still pondering the question “work from home or not?” risks leaving the really important questions unanswered. For example, how companies will position themselves internally in the future in the areas that have the greatest impact on them. That have the greatest impact while promoting progress.
Which areas are these?
One in particular: employee development. Whereas in the industrial society, standards, standardized processes, and fixed routines were still considered a guarantee for good products and success, in the digitally driven knowledge society in which we live and work today, other things promise the greatest progress, above all the ability to think and find creative solutions to complex problems. This is the area that companies must fully tap into and promote, with full dedication, energy, and supported by good technology. The goal must be to use tech to change the way employees think, act and learn, away from routines and blueprints and toward work that is largely self-directed and autonomous.
Bring on a good employee experience!
Companies need to offer something better than they currently do: better opportunities for employees to develop and contribute, better conditions for shaping the way they work, and greater immediate benefits from all this for each individual. In the long run, it is not enough to just change routines and norms (IT infrastructure to work from home). The world has moved on. Good technology has what it takes to change the employee experience in companies from the ground up.
How can such “people technology” help companies transform and become more progressive?
1. People Tech promotes community performance…
Nothing is more complex than human interactions within a community. Technology can make this tangible, so that the encounter of diverse skills, experiences, and behaviors results in the ability to solve problems. The external norm (work from home or company office) no longer plays a role if the performance achieved together is right. Good people tech promotes this by networking employees and bringing people together based on their skills and experience to form the best possible teams for solving a task.
2. … and individuality
In addition to the community, what the individual can and wants to accomplish is just as important, even among thousands of employees in the company. Technology can give everyone the visibility and self-efficacy they need to work well and achieve their goals. When employees do their best and use new technology to reach their objectives, it can and should benefit them directly. Wolf Lotter put it very nicely in his book (in German) “Strengt euch an!”: “Wouldn’t that be exactly what everyone wants? To be recognized and seen – and therefore respected – as a human being with his or her abilities? Isn’t that the secret happiness of people who make an effort?” We agree wholeheartedly!
3. People tech shifts key figures
How well are employees connected? How many successful job-sharing tandems are there in the company? How many employees were able to take over important positions through reskilling? How do employee experience and customer experience interact? How many managers work part-time successfully? How many employees are involved as mentors? Or offer their own learning units? – New corporate cultures need new key figures. Ones that show if and how problems are being solved and that reflect real progress. People tech provides a valuable database.
People Tech in companies: Change without leaving your people behind
When introducing new technologies, the most important thing is to involve employees from the start. With the help of pilot projects, companies can initially test whether employees can work with new tools and whether they have a positive effect on their work. Technology must be usable for everyone, even for colleagues who are less digitally inclined. While managers can sometimes delegate tasks that exceed their digital competencies, other employees are forced to familiarize themselves with newly implemented tools. Bottom-up software, such as the talent marketplace by Tandemploy, increases acceptance and the fun of use, especially if it meets the needs of the employees. These needs can be very different – and so can the expectations of the software:
New Leadership: Leading better with good data
Understanding the different needs of employees is the job of HR leaders. Getting to know them is a gargantuan task, especially in large corporations, that can be simplified with the help of People Tech. Although the software does not replace direct contact between managers and employees, it does provide a reliable data-based overview of learning and development needs in the workforce.
New Work and People Tech belong together
Community and individuality, self-efficacy and support from others, career options without the traditional hierarchy, appreciation for what is and a desire for what is to come – the new world of work is developing between these juxtapositions. Companies can no longer afford not to be part of this development. Many have come to realize this. This is reflected in the increasing demand for our talent marketplace: in 2021, we doubled our revenue and acquired more customers in December alone than in the previous eleven months combined. Companies that have yet to develop a digital strategy for their talent management need to catch up now. It’s high time for them to open up: to the people who are already there and to new technology that has come to stay.