Raconteur

Personalisation 2020

Issue link: https://raconteur.uberflip.com/i/1205415

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 11 of 15

P E R S O N A L I S A T I O N 12 Moneypenny HR apps can identify experts in the workplace, unlock rich intelligence and uncover upskilling opportunities for individual employees Consumers expect targeted services and offers, so why should it be any different in a working environment? t Moneypenny, a tele- phone-answering service for businesses, employees are made to feel special: they have their own desk area that they can personalise and a budget for a desk lamp of their choice. "Staff ideas form the design of our office, hence why there is a pub, a treehouse and an allot - ment," says chief executive Joanna Swash. "Our core belief has always been happy staff equals happy cli- ents and a company that doesn't believe this on some level puts itself at risk." Progressive organisations like this are arming employees with personalised tools, recognising these are now imperative to attract and retain talent. And dialling up personalisation can transform a business, boost - ing employee engagement and job satisfaction while engendering a staff-led workplace culture. So says Jason Fowler, human resources director in Europe for multina- tional information technology giant Fujitsu, which has more than 140,000 employees. "Personalised offerings pro- vide a greater sense of connection between the employee and the organisation," he says. "By foster- ing a relationship that suits the employee's circumstances, and an environment where the employer cares about these things, it means individuals can better focus on their work in a more engaged and committed way." Personalised tools level up employee engagement, working life and organisational success, and they enable individualised learning and development, accord - ing to Liz Sebag-Montefiore, direc- tor and co-founder of career man- agement specialist 10Eighty. However, she warns: "Your work- force is not a single thing and one size does not fit all when it comes to personalised tools. Think of employees as customers; consider their values, needs and prefer- ences. Consider that an organisa- tion's ability to make employees more employable will become a point of competitive advantage." Oliver Muhr, chief executive at Starmind, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to leverage the collective human intelligence inside businesses, agrees. "HR apps that use human plus AI can identify experts in the workplace, unlock rich intelligence and uncover upskilling opportunities for individual employees," he says. Further, personalised tools in the workplace are critical because data-hungry millennials and Gen - eration Zs, who together make up 60 per cent of the global workforce, are "wired differently" to previous generations, says Charlie John- son, founder and chief executive of BrighterBox, a London-based recruitment firm that places grad- uates with startups. "Their attention spans are shorter, and their ability to con- sume information across multiple channels and platforms is excep- tional," he says. "Keeping them engaged is becoming an ever-in- creasing challenge. Allowing them more control over their working style, tech toolkit and office setup is key." Johnson cites GoCardless as an example of how a personalised workplace boosts workforce engage- ment. "From workspace assessment for pregnant mothers to tailored re-onboarding programmes after maternity leave, changing tables and kids' activities, they are deter- mined to make everyone feel spe- cial," he says. For Saurav Chopra, co-founder and chief executive of Perkbox, a platform designed to enrich the employee experience, gain- ing knowledge about individuals' personal goals and interests, and allowing them to pursue their aims, precipitates a "win-win" situation. "Giving employees a voice to be heard is a vital way of personalising their workplace experience, espe- cially when it comes to culture and values, and particularly as a com- pany grows and evolves," he says. Chopra is concerned, though, that some organisations may be becoming over-reliant on digital personalised tools, such as apps or online learning portals, thereby dehumanising employees. He Moneypenny's office in Wrexham Frank Recruitment Group, a global leader in information technology recruitment, employs almost 2,000 people in its 19 offices, spanning nine countries and four continents. Therefore, when the organisation, headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, upgraded its workplace personalisation last year it had to be perfect. Zoë Morris, Frank Recruitment Group president, is delighted with the results. "We implemented a highly engaging human resources platform – Hive – and have seen a spike in employee involvement," she says. "In particular, we've seen a very positive response to self-serve elements, such as inputting personal details, booking annual leave and viewing payslips. "On Hive, staff can quickly check their eligibility for certain benefits and schemes, while their wider profile is catered for thanks to the data they share about themselves." There have been additional benefits to this personalised approach, not least an element of healthy competition. "The introduction of customisable, sales-friendly dashboards have been a big hit, both in the businesses and vendors we work with and among our internal workforce," says Morris. "We've seen first hand the effect this can have when it comes to things like sales leaderboards, where employees provide valuable data at a glance for executives before and during meetings." Self-service personalisation CASE STUDY Oliver Pickup A Why workplaces should celebrate individualism E M P L O Y E E S urges HR leaders to strike the right balance, ensuring all personali- sation initiatives introduced in a company improve the workplace experience rather than overcom- plicating it. He adds: "Online platforms should enhance human interactions, not replace them." What does the future hold? Gamifi- cation will have a big part to play in workplace personalisation, specif- ically around health and mindful- ness, Johnson believes. "Companies like Yulife are combining benefits like life insurance and rewards with gamified incentives linked to how many steps you take and how often you meditate," he says. James Longworth, workplace technology consultant at leading IT solutions provider Insight UK, predicts workplace personalisa - tion tools will continue to become more like consumer services. "Company news will be curated to fit individuals' specific interests, the software applications an indi- vidual needs to do their job will be at their fingertips and collabora- tion software will make sure those people you deal with the most are the easiest to contact," he says. Gamification, tailored news, employer engagement, career pro- gression, having a voice. The mod- ern workplace sounds stimulating and fun, and that's the point.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Raconteur - Personalisation 2020