Employee Enrichment is the True Benchmark of Media & Entertainment Transformation
Automation might ultimately lead to a new age of enlightenment for the workforce, where the concept of work shifts away from process and repetition to inspired action and human fulfillment.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, famously said “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Employee Enrichment should be a primary strategy for any business.
There is a lot of talk today about how robots and developing AI technology will completely disrupt the established workforce in the coming years, displacing the majority of good paying jobs being performed by humans today. Indeed, the forces of automation will continue to march forward, eliminating many tasks previously performed by humans. However, this trend might ultimately lead to a new age of enlightenment for the workforce, where the concept of work shifts away from process and repetition to inspired action and human fulfillment.
Digital technology will be the prime catalyst for this change. For Media & Entertainment incumbents in particular, it starts with where work gets performed, the tools available to do great things and, ultimately, leads to a new sense of vocational self-actualization. Here then are the three key components of digitally enabled Employee Enrichment:
Self-actualization at work
Perhaps the most obvious change we have seen with regard to work in the digital age is not the HOW of work but the WHERE. It was not too long ago that one had to go to a physical office to gain access to company systems and information and interact with colleagues. But today, the virtual workspace allows employees to be productive just about anywhere. A Gallup poll found that 37% of American workers have worked remotely in their careers, a four-fold increase since 1995. This growing trend has been driven by advances in digitally enabled communications and collaborative tools such as Google Drive for shared documents and cloud-based apps like Salesforce Chatter that break down organizational boundaries and fuel engagement.
Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients. – Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group
Today, providing this level of work flexibility drives a range of business benefits. Reduced costs for office space, equipment and furniture are obvious benefits, but the value extends well beyond these savings. A study by Stanford University found that remote employees were 13 % more productive than their office-bound counterparts. Moreover, despite attempts at office space redesign over the last couple decades, many contemporary offices favor an open architectural layout conducive to the work habits of extroverts but less appreciated by the many introverts whose work excels in more private environments. With the freedom to work where you want, the virtual workspace renders this issue obsolete while adding personalization to the employee experience. And finally, the notion of the digitally enabled remote worker has also become a critically important benefit to attract and retain employees. This same Stanford study found home-based workers were more satisfied and less inclined to leave, which results in lower talent acquisition and training costs.
Millennials—identified as the generation born after 1982—now represent the largest segment of the workforce. Much has been written and studied about this group, but there are two important considerations regarding the millennial generation that require enterprises to take note. The first consideration relates to millennials’ use of technology. As “digital natives,” millennials have led the way in adopting new forms of communication and information access. Over the years, consumer technology companies have delivered amazing new services that provide intuitive, instant access to information and services. These same expectations are now firmly planted in the workplace. The new generation of employees will simply not tolerate slow, outdated tools with which to perform their work. The digital fluency that informs their everyday lives also demands an employee experience that is simple, seamless, intuitive and productive.
In the race to attract and retain talent, outdated computer interfaces have become a flashpoint issue. Not only are these legacy systems a major source of customer frustration (and attrition), but they represent real costs to a business that must constantly hire and train new employees. This leads to another key consideration for millennial employees – the majority are willing to switch jobs if a company is not meeting their needs. Globally, 67 % of millennials are expected to change jobs by 2020. Replacing lost employees costs 21 % of base pay on average – not to mention the loss of experience and the incremental costs of new hire training. These costs are especially impactful in job segments such as customer service and operations, where turnover is already high.
Vlocity is at the forefront of bringing modern, digital tools to an ever-increasing number of enterprises. We have Media & Entertainment customers who have improved their employee NPS by more than 40 % after deploying new agent consoles in the contact center. But the most rewarding part of measuring employee satisfaction with Vlocity is reading the verbatims we regularly get from front-line employees using our tools.
Some of the key design considerations critical to deploying modern, digital tools for employees include:
● Ensuring a guided flow to execute transactions and let the user know precisely where they are in the process
● Integrating key data sources, and bringing this information to employees in a rapid, contextual way (in other words, do not force employees to go to multiple data sources, do not make them wait, and do not make them re-key information)
● Allowing employees to do their work anywhere and on any device
● Emphasizing data visualization to provide rapid insight
Digital leaders put human experience at the center of decision-making, and this thinking must be reflected for both customers and the employees who serve them.
Self-Actualization at Work
Research from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) suggests that 60 % of all occupations could have at least 30 % of their activities automated by using technologies available today. As the cost of automation declines and the innovations in robotics and artificial intelligence increase, we will continue to see a migration of tasks from human to machine.
Make no mistake about it, automation threatens the status quo of employment. The World Economic Forum projects that 7.1 million jobs will be lost to redundancy, automation and disintermediation in the coming years, two-thirds of which are concentrated in the Office and Administrative job family. However, savvy companies seeking to leverage new technologies and human value are taking a more proactive and thoughtful approach to automation, focusing on building the skills needed for success in the digital age. Accenture, for example, eliminated 17,000 back-office roles in the last 18 months through automation, but nobody actually lost their job. Instead, the company found that by reducing menial, repetitive and mundane tasks, employees were actually freed up to pursue more productive, higher-value work. In parallel, the company also provided new IT training to 72,000 employees to help keep pace with a rapidly changing technology environment. As we can see, lower-value tasks were indeed replaced by digital automation, but employees were then liberated to assume new, higher-value duties. The benefit was two-fold: It provided the employees with a more enriching, human-centered work experience, while also revitalizing the company workforce with a newly minted set of IT skills necessary for success in the digital age.
Research from the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that 60% of all occupations could have at least 30% of their activities automated by using technologies available today.
The promise of digital transformation for the employee is creating an environment where workers can start acting less like, well, robots, and more like humans. In the coming years, roles will migrate towards those activities that are uniquely human, such as creative design and expression, social interaction and empathy.
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