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Keep it Simple: Three Practical Tips for Managing Employees in the Digital Age
Paul Burrin

According to a recent survey of Canadian businesses by Express, more than three-quarters of respondents said it was “difficult” to recruit and fill positions. The war for talent is not new: job candidates have long been demanding more from their workplace and their employers.

Paul Burrin
Today’s HR challenges can be daunting to tackle in this atmosphere. Effective talent recruitment and retention strategies are constantly evolving, while creating and maintaining positive working experiences is becoming a major driver in attracting today’s top talent.

With over a third of employees admitting to being productive for less than 30 hours per week, investing in workforce experiences to improve productivity is integral to not only people leaders but is fundamental to company growth overall. These 3 practical tips will help you to work with your employees to be their best selves in the workplace.

1. Elevating workforce experiences

Companies will usually focus their time and resources on improving the customer experience, but often fail to put in the same effort towards their employees. In a recent survey, almost 50% of employees said they’d never been asked by their employer on how they can improve their working experiences, and only 12 percent of employees were asked on a regular basis.

Providing great employee experiences is more than having pizza lunches on Thursdays or buying a new ping pong table for the office. Organizations need to be proactive in listening to and engaging with their employees. Organizations should regularly listen to employees’ concerns and act on them to bring positive change to their everyday working environment. This can only happen when there is a consistent flow of feedback and insights.

2. HR’s shifting role from administrative to strategic

There are many misconceptions about HR, including the assumption that they’re just around for performance reviews or when someone has done something wrong. When HR departments are segregated from other business units, a barrier can be created between HR and the rest of the office that can impede genuine engagement. Having HR and people teams better integrated will help motivate a growth-centric mentality amongst the workforce.

HR is transforming from being simply transactional to a new focus on People Science; a data-driven approach to understanding the interactions between people, their behaviours, organizational systems and performance. People Science enables companies to extract actionable knowledge from people data, so they can make better people decisions.

The key phrase here is ‘actionable knowledge'. It is so much more than simply gathering and reviewing data. It is about understanding people and their behaviours within the context of business goals and strategy, knowing how to attract, engage, develop and retain critical talent.

Leveraging this data-driven approach allows HR to focus on what employees need and can inspire greater workforce engagement and productivity. These changes ultimately improve the business as a whole.

3. Encourage employee ownership

HR departments have traditionally kept employee information locked away from the rest of the office. However, with employees becoming accustomed to tracking health stats and banking openly on their phones, it is expected that employees will also want to take greater ownership of their HR data - they want to interact with business systems like they do with personal systems.

By giving employees greater control over their own information and enabling them to manage their own HR and administrative tasks whenever and wherever, HR departments can more effectively keep their staff engaged and invested in the success of the company. This will not only contribute to better workforce experiences but will also improve overall productivity and lead to stronger business growth.

Paul Burrin is a work trends expert, self-proclaimed People Geek and Vice President at Sage Business Cloud People, a global cloud HR and People system that helps organizations around the world to acquire, retain, manage and engage their workforce.

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