The pandemic, remote work, and digital technology solutions have changed the paradigm of how to think about work, where we work, and how to elevate employee experiences. Today’s new paradigm is to provide the technology, space, and time required for employees to be effective and productive, resulting in strong employee engagement.
In recent years, the “employee experience” became the buzz words for pundits. Buying technology and streamlining workflows were recommended over the sanctity of HR or IT processes and their regiments. In recruiting, companies were encouraged to simplify the job application process to allow employees to complete it in five minutes, not the previous standard of an hour. In the work of teams — the heartbeat of any entity — companies invested in collaboration tools, chat messaging, video conferencing, and shared work.
The shock of the pandemic pole-vaulted remote work and digital transformation by at least five years into today's workspace. Fast forward, digital technology solutions are now providing employees the information and face-to-face casual experiences they needed to stay emotionally connected and engaged to their companies and teams.
According to Pew Research, after a year since the pandemic began, working from home surveys indicate that employees became more productive, had more time to work (no commute times), and in most cases, had more time for their personal lives. They also felt more engaged with their employers, yet more uneasy about their experiences and future.
Before the pandemic, the empirical research showed that the best performing teams were predicated predominately on one emotion: Trust. Trust is both an emotion we feel and a logic we act upon. To be sure, effective teams need clarity on goals and milestones, shared operating norms, and smart and dedicated people. But trust is the number one factor driving productivity. When people trust their team (and their managers), they will expose their vulnerabilities. At work, this means they feel emboldened to ask questions, develop their skills, and suggest improvements.
Can trust be replicated through video calls, like Zoom/Teams? Research by Tsedal Neeley at Harvard describes the traits of highly effective global teams (before the pandemic) and provided a resounding “yes” answer. If global teams can be highly effective before the pandemic, domestic virtual teams can be effective after the pandemic. After all, most have fewer nationality, language, and time-zone barriers to overcome.
Some of Neeley's recommendations include clarity on goals and operating norms, empathy to build trust, preventing dominance, and being there for people. She also strongly recommends the use of digital technology such as videoconferencing and chat tools to enhance communications.
Contrary to what some pundits would have you believe, the Pew Research report shows that remote workers are happy using video conferencing, instant messaging, and chatbot platforms to keep in touch with their managers and coworkers. Two-thirds report that they are not fatigued by ZOOM conference calls.
In the new paradigm of enabling the space, time and technology teams need to be effective, operating norms and digital technology hold the key.
MeBeBot's AI-powered Intelligent Assistant is one such solution that empowers employees, builds trust with consistent answers to their HR, IT and Operations questions, and it provides a new communication channel for real-time notifications and reminders. It is also useful in easing the onboarding process and making it easier during mergers for newly acquired employees to quickly transition into the new company.
MeBeBot seamlessly installs in collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, and company Intranets to gain the instant support they need (24/7). MeBeBot’s curated database of questions are easy to update and edit, allowing companies to be up and running with an AI Chatbot in two to four weeks (not months), providing a rapid time-to-value and exceptional return on investment.
MeBeBot clients report a 75 percent drop of questions coming into HR and IT and an answer accuracy rate above 90 percent, reducing employee frustration and improving their work satisfaction. Cloud hosted and managed (with supervised human and machine learning), MeBeBot's AI continually “learns” and refines answers, tracks data, and can even alert HR and IT to any issues and opportunities to grow and scale the solution.
Are you ready to take the next step in improving your employees' experiences and redefining work's new paradigm? Contact us today for a demonstration and price quote.