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What's Next: Using technology to engage employees and build businesses

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Never before has technology been such an enabler for people and teams as it has since the COVID-19 crisis. While remote working is not new for many organisations, the extent and time is, which businesses are anticipating workforces to be completely virtual. How people engage virtually with each other sits at the heart of business recovery and future business continuity planning.

Published in: Marketing

What's Next: Using technology to engage employees and build businesses

  1. 1. Powered by What’s Next: Using technology to engage employees and build businesses
  2. 2. Emma Nicol Client Partner Head of Employee Engagement Practice Dan Hocking Head of Programme Management and Delivery Welcome Dayoán Daumont Consulting Partner, EMEA Ogilvy Consulting
  3. 3. What’s the weather like in your city? Tell us where you are dialing in from
  4. 4. Do you want this deck? It will be available for download shortly after the webinar on: slideshare.net/socialogilvy And the recording up on facebook.com/OgilvyConsulting
  5. 5. Today’s session will cover • How do we foster the behaviours of collaboration, creativity and sharing to continue to drive productivity in a virtual environment? • What about our teams who are unfamiliar with remote working for extended periods – how do we keep them engaged? • How do we encourage positive behaviours to thrive in spite of technology restrictions? • When there are technology limitations, what pragmatic solutions can we put in place in the moment to support teams? • How do we balance enterprise technology requirements and restrictions with the need for speed?
  6. 6. Employees: why do they matter?
  7. 7. Future business success will be achieved by utilising technological innovations to increase productivity while simultaneously complementing important traits of human nature – creativity, empathy, innovation, and imagination. World Economic Forum – The Fourth Industrial Revolution
  8. 8. 22% Of leaders feel prepared to operate in a highly digital environment 53% Of employees believe a company pays attention to people’s needs when introducing new technology 93% Of our communication is non-verbal Communicating and collaborating in a virtual world is going to be challenging
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. Normal ways of working are being disrupted Change is happening fast Experiences are being distanced Voices are being dispersed
  11. 11. How do we build and maintain a connected and collaborative virtual workforce
  12. 12. • Virtual leadership • Building trust • Team cohesion and identity • Inclusion and isolation • Performance management 13 Challenges to long-term virtual working
  13. 13. 15 Virtual leadership Leadership has always been about more than the singular and highly visible heroic individual. Leadership must be upheld as much more of a shared and multi-dimensional endeavour.
  14. 14. Clarity: • Prioritise development of clear boundaries and guidelines • Consider sharing new metrics of success • Clarify and re-clarify roles Communication: • Provide support to adjust and respond to new psychological pressure • Encourage team members’ responsibility • Recognise own cognitive biases Connection • Avoid being exclusively task-focused • Maintain regular cadence of meetings; embrace video • Build a virtual office Virtual leadership Immediate steps
  15. 15. As your team’s digital maturity evolves, leadership will start to take on these characteristics: • ‘Network leadership’ to nurture strong connections, robust flows and shared value with shallower hierarchy • Convening and weaving behaviours • Integrating technology deeply into ways of working • Rethinking learning cultures – beyond ‘doing virtual’ to ‘being virtual’ • Managing of psychological pressure Virtual leadership Future state
  16. 16. 18 Building trust It’s critical to use technology not just in a transactional way, but also to help build a strong culture focused on remote staff. With the right technology, employees can be more productive working remotely. In order to maintain a sense of unity within a dispersed and remote workforce, it can’t all be about work.
  17. 17. Trust-building behaviour • Dependability and reliability o Construct teams with careful thought based on skill sets, personality traits, and communication styles • Consistency o Sign off for approvals are documented and implemented [especially helpful if attrition becomes an issue] • Reciprocity • Host 15min think tank sessions to solve one employees issue on the understanding favour would be returned when needed in the future • Confidence o Praise and reward individual achievements with a focus on how these contribute to critical group success • Accountability o Share demonstrable progress from members and give under- performing members individual coaching to help them get back on track • Transparency o Share information openly with the team. Work schedules, project progress, and task status should be available to all members anytime Building trust Immediate steps
  18. 18. • Authenticity is a default for leaders • Employees are trusted and respected to manage themselves to deliver • Value is placed on outcomes not time spent. Workplace is fundamentally fair • Technology not just for transactional use but to build culture Build on values of: • Independence • Mastery and autonomy • Communication • Balance • Impact Building trust Future state
  19. 19. 21 Team cohesion and identity The critical factor in virtual teamwork is people, not the technology used. State-of-the-art technology is no guarantee of high trust or fruitful collaboration. Virtual team members must feel valued for who they are, what they can contribute and the personal bonds they have with one another.
  20. 20. • Remind team members of shared purpose • Empathy helps reduce social distance • Provide feedback on everyday behaviour • Build small talk into meetings • Embrace conflict instead of letting it go Other considerations: • Learning from one another • Local language and engagement gap • Personal identity and the mismatch of perceptions Team cohesion and identity Immediate steps + future state
  21. 21. 23 Inclusion and isolation As leaders, we are able to shape a universal employee experience and ensure our workplaces are consciously inclusive. When intra-team cohesion is working well, employees feel more engaged with their work. Engagement is critical to maintaining morale and preventing feelings of isolation.
  22. 22. • Design inclusive virtual workplaces and meetings (consider technology and participation) • Create spaces to mimic everyday office life • Have frequent, short interactions rather than long, infrequent ones • Ensure consistent information sharing • Prioritise face-to-face communications • Actively mentor and coach Inclusion and isolation Immediate steps
  23. 23. • Intentionally design employee experience with remote workers as a priority • Infuse inclusion into working culture and prioritise it across your whole brand • Reassess how unconscious bias manifests in a remote environment Inclusion and isolation Future state
  24. 24. 26 Performance management Our teams are successful when people have positive experiences in the workplace. The essence of performance management remains the same whether employees are remote or not.
  25. 25. • Adjust performance metrics to reflect remote working circumstances • Benchmark performance objectively across people performing similar roles o Competency-based rather than practice-based • Gather behaviour-based feedback • Ask for self-evaluation • Create a feedback rhythm Performance management Immediate steps
  26. 26. • Build and optimise teams aligned with employee strengths • Develop a standardised yet flexible system of goal- setting o Broad terms of evaluation aligned to expected behaviours • Increase observed behavioural assessments • Introduce seamless online HR systems o Single sign on, fully integrated self-service platform • Workforce creation and candidate selection based on suitability for mobile and remote working Performance management Future state
  27. 27. 29 Finding the most appropriate technology for your remote teams
  28. 28. Select tech that solves real world problems for employees and teams, and consider some key questions about how you operate: • How do your people need to get their jobs done? • What is your working rhythm? • How complicated is it for you to access your infrastructure? • What are you or your teams using already? Does it work? Finding the best type of collaborative technology for your teams
  29. 29. 31 Asynchronous comms Synchronous comms What When you send a message without expecting an immediate response When you send a message and the recipient processes the information and responds immediately Example You send an email. I open and respond to the email several hours later Meetings, phone calls, video conferences Benefits • Gives recipient greater control over scheduling • Enables more considered responses • Enables deep work as default • Provides automatic documentation and greater transparency • Drives a more inclusive workplace • Builds rapport • Provides prompt and/or critical feedback • Enables brainstorming of unknowns or evaluation of different ideas and solutions • Brings everyone together quickly • Enables crisis management Pitfalls • Communication is slower • Those constantly responding may wrestle control over the narrative • Relies on technology integration and management • Does not provide the human touch • Leads to constant interruptions • Prioritises being connected over being productive • Can create unnecessary stress • Can lead to lower quality discussions and suboptimal solutions Example providers Types of tech communication Asynchronous and Synchronous comms
  30. 30. 32 Category Example Tool In case of emergency All hands meeting, employee ideation, crowdsourcing in real time Regular 1:1, ad hoc meetings to discuss complex issues In context comments on projects Central Hub (intranet), announcements, ideas, feedback, updates, watercooler Assess your requirements Synchronous Asynchronous Immediate need Infrequent need
  31. 31. 33 … and your gaps
  32. 32. 34 Don’t forget some of your core software
  33. 33. 35 So what do we use? Category Tool Emergency comms and immediate response All hands meeting, external meetings and heavyweight video conferencing 1:1, internal meetings, and team/project work discussion Project Management and Project Tracking Central Hub (intranet), announcements, ideas, documents
  34. 34. In order to ensure alignment between your remote working strategy and your technology landscape, we recommend that you: • Focus on the problem you are solving, not the tech • Partner with technology team to ensure understanding of business need • Identify and prioritise the most important features to the users per requirement • Avoid jumping on the latest tool – is there ‘consumer’ tech to implement in interim e.g. WhatsApp • Work with IT security to assess suitability • Ensure interoperability and compatibility with other software set (if possible) • Be flexible Introducing pragmatic solutions
  35. 35. When you introduce new technology, you are really asking employees to change their behaviour
  36. 36. Putting it into practice
  37. 37. Remember the ‘Brilliant Basics’ • Build and maintain a connected and collaborative team o Create clarity, communication and connection o Clarify goals and roles, not just tasks and processes o Focus on trust building behaviour o Remind teams of shared purpose o Build empathy and foster shared understanding - supported by deliberate moments to connect o Infuse inclusion into working culture and prioritise it across your whole brand o Design inclusive virtual workplaces and interactions • Ensure alignment between your remote working strategy and technology requirements • Leverage technology according to the problem you are solving • Encourage staff to adopt a mentality that welcomes the notion of perpetual change • Introduce new technology via a participative approach that engages everyone affected
  38. 38. This is your chance to turn disruption into opportunity • Observe how your team’s behaviours are changing as a result of technology • Assess the changing relationship your employees have with technology and with each other • Assess and implement appropriate ‘immediate steps’ initiatives for your organisation • Define your future state • Identify gaps between current behaviours and your desired future state • Implement (model) future initiatives
  39. 39. Questions? This presentation will be available for download on: slideshare.net/socialogilvy And the recording up on facebook.com/OgilvyConsulting
  40. 40. Thank you.

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