The past two years have changed everything, including where we work, how we work, why we work, and who we work with. Organizations and employees have been forced to adapt to situations out of their control, finding strategies to stay afloat, retain top talent, and keep the seclusion of social distancing at bay.
As we move into 2022, employees are hungry to regain control of their futures, reevaluating what success means to them. According to the AI@Work: Global 2021 Study, 88% of respondents said the meaning of success has changed. Organizations that don’t evolve alongside employees’ pursuit of success risk losing their most valuable resource—their employees.
In honor of National Career Development Month, it is only appropriate to explore what success means to today’s workforce and how organizations can connect with, engage, and empower their employees to help support personal success efforts.
Success means achieving work-life balance
As our commutes and watercooler chit-chats disappeared, we spent much of the extra time not into our own lives but onto Slack messages and Zoom meetings. As the line blurred between work and home, work took over. It’s no surprise that the number of people who felt little to no control over their lives doubled since the start of the pandemic.
Allowing employees to have flexible workdays or hours is a critical way to encourage a healthy work-life balance. Creating adaptable work environments helps to build resilient teams and stave off employee burnout. The latest HCM technologies can also help the human experience in work. Conversational interfaces can help employees find answers to their questions faster and more humanly than conventional intranet pages. AI-powered analytics can identify risk patterns across staff to alert managers to potential situations that might impact an employee’s well-being. Finally, automation can streamline repetitive tasks, freeing up time for employees to spend on more fulfilling, value-adding tasks.
Success means prioritizing mental health
Mental health has become one of the biggest challenges for employees and employers to manage with the continuously evolving work dynamic.
We know mental health challenges do not discriminate, affecting everyone regardless of professional standing, generation, or geography. Calls for employers to protect employee well-being have also increased, with 76% of workers believing their employers should do more to protect their mental health.
HR leaders can support employees by adopting programs that improve their well-being in a holistic approach that includes mental and physical wellness. As the business world grows and evolves, more tools become readily available to HR leaders to support, with technology like AI having the power to be transformative. Exploring this emerging technology by leveraging Oracle AI and Oracle Digital Assistant, HR can also help your organization achieve success while improving the mental well-being of your people. The Digital Assistant gives employees an easy way to ask questions about benefits that support their physical and mental health. The questions can be conveyed via Slack, SMS, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp, or can be spoken in natural language. The Digital Assistant then directs them to the best resources or contact.
Success means having flexibility
87% of people believe their organization should be doing more to listen to the needs of their workforce. One of those needs is flexibility, and employees don’t want to feel chained to their desks, forced to work extra hours, or be afraid to use their paid time off.
Offering more flexibility is a top way to help employees reach the elusive work-life balance. While some may think that flexible working is synonymous with allowing employees to continue to do their jobs from home post-pandemic, it’s about trusting employees and giving them more control over how, when, and where they work.
To keep employees happy and engaged, organizations need to innovate and modernize continuously. For instance, employees must access mission-critical applications and tools through their smartphones and remotely tap into their talent management system for career development, learning opportunities, and a marketplace for job postings or volunteering options. With Oracle Talent Management, you can support employee career growth, develop your talent, and improve decisions. Another way to support organizational flexibility is by leveraging cloud-based performance management solutions that give organizations the flexibility to tailor performance evaluations and other vital processes to their needs.
The tools for success
Eager to regain control over their lives and careers, people are turning to technology to help define their future. Organizations should provide tools to help their workforce navigate the future of work and their quest for personal success. With the right tools provided by a cloud-based HCM solution, HR leaders can help employees regain control of their careers. Organizations that are early adopters will not only be more innovative and supportive; they’ll also be giving employees what they need to be at their personal and professional best.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Shapiro is a product marketing director within human capital management at Oracle. Her mission is to evangelize the power of Cloud HCM as a critical tool for organizations to modernize their HR practices and transform their workforce. Prior to Oracle, Shapiro worked most notably at Fiserv and Hyland Software, where she drove the adoption of digital automation strategies within financial institutions.