General , Hrms , Strategies
Shraddha, an IT professional, always chooses Subway to buy her breakfast from. The reason is simple - they let her customize her wrap. She can eat what she wants, the way she wants. Can she do the same at office? Work the way she wants? She wishes she could. After all it is the age of customization. So why not let your employees customize their work at office?
If you are thinking customization at work would lead to a bunch of lazy employees, you are wrong. In fact it makes them love what they do, leading to greater productivity, lower turnover, higher levels of engagement, better job satisfaction, and of course, outstanding results. Many leading companies today have started customizing work experiences according to the talents and interests of their employees.
When you customize learning, jobs, and rewards as per the interests of individuals, you bring in greater motivation and better results, aligning their work tasks with their actual strengths in a better way. You can even customize your recruiting practices to improve your ability to acquire top talent in the industry.
Employee experience is as important as customer experience for any business. It can make or break retention. The mantra is simple – if your employees enjoy working in your organization, they will stay. Nevertheless, making them enjoy their work is not as easy as you think.
Offering your employees a personalized experience at work is crucial if you want your employees to stay. Every employee wants to feel special. Treating your employees as just a number in the books won’t work anymore – not in today’s highly competitive world. As an employer, you will have to find out how each and every employee of yours prefers to be treated. Also, you have to put in efforts to make sure they are treated the way they want to.
Four Approaches to Customization
There are many ways you can adopt to customize your employee experiences. However, if you want to enjoy maximum benefits of such customization, you will have to do it in a scalable and manageable way. We have compiled four approaches to customization that many organizations are already pursuing. You can choose any of these or even a combination of these to achieve your goal.
Segmenting the Workforce
Segmenting your workforce is very similar to segmenting your target audience. You group your employees based on their needs and preferences, such as their roles, generation, and the value that they add to the company. Once you are done, you can start tailoring people practices for each of these groups.
You can leverage the advancements in business intelligence and analytics to come up with more meaningful segmentation schemes such as learning styles, personalities, mobility, behavioral patterns, communication and networking styles, and wellness profiles. One of the ways Accenture follows to group its employees is their overall well-being. Considering aspects such as number of vacation days taken and the length of time they spend on a project, the HR team at Accenture figures out which of its employees can cope up with high levels of stress and who may be at the risk for leaving.
Offering Modular Choices
An easier way to customize your employee experiences is to offer them predefined options so that they can configure and customize their own work experiences. This is exactly what Microsoft and Capital One do. People who work here are offered a lot of mix and match workplace options to choose from. They can make their choices as per their changing work tasks and individual needs.
Defining broad and simple rules
Flexibility at work is the key to the success of every company. Having rigid rules is not going to work here. You will have to keep them really simple and broad enough so that they can flexibly be interpreted in different ways. Best buy, for instance, is one company that has set such a broad rule – Get Results. How the employees want to accomplish these results is left to them. The headquarters personnel can choose where and when they want to work, as long as the job gets done.
Fostering Employee-defined Personalization
Many consumers today are creating their own content using YouTube, the video-sharing site, and Wikipedia, the volunteer-written reference site. In the same way you can let your employees define their personal ways of work either through their job experiences or via Wikis, YouTube, Blogs, and Facebook-like applications. You can then decide which practices you want to monitor, support and foster through your technologies, incentives, and processes. The employees in the US Navy use an online job auction website to set their compensation levels in hard-to-fill jobs.
Connecting with your employees as people and establishing strong relationships with them can take you a long way towards success. Add a human element to your culture. Talk to your employees about their kids. Go through their blogs now and then. Get details about their hobbies and interests. Host fun get-togethers outside office; Make sure they enjoy working with you. After all it is happy employees that lead to happier customers.
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