In each case, technology is necessary to support the talent strategy, giving IT leaders an essential role in helping shape the business environment. We call this collection of workplace attributes "the workforce experience," and it's built on three pillars: engagement, productivity, and impact.
1. Engagement: How Invested Are Your Employees In Business Success?
A successful workforce experience engages employees, sparking productivity, which leads to positive customer outcomes. Achieving engagement requires HR departments help executives build and steward engaging environments and IT departments that provide the tools necessary to create the necessary transparency and flexibility.
[ Do your employees know how to act on social networks? Read Bulletproof Your Social Business: Train Employees. ]
Many of our clients point to the work of Daniel Pink for inspiration for creating engaged and productive workforces. Pink says the secret to high performance and engagement is: 1) the deeply human need to direct our own lives; 2) the desire to get better at something that matters; and 3) the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves -- in short, autonomy, mastery and purpose. Let's look at each of these values more closely.
-- Autonomy. Feeling comfortable taking action on behalf of the firm without having to ask permission is a sign of trust and is empowering. And giving workers this latitude inspires belief in the company's products and services. Our workforce surveys show 64% of workers who would recommend their company's products and services believe their company encourages them to find new ways to solve new problems versus only 21% of employees who would not recommend their company's products and services.
-- Mastery. People need a path that leads to personal and professional success, and that means providing them with new skills and preparing them for the next step in their careers -- not just training them on the things you need them to do today. Be careful: paths that appear clear and transparent to leaders might not be as clear to employees.
-- Purpose. There is perhaps no stronger motivator than belief in a cause and the willingness to sacrifice to help achieve the bigger goal. To tap into this sense of purpose, you need to understand whether your employees believe that the firm's leadership is taking the company in a direction that they want to go and that their work contributes in a meaningful way to success.
Forrester's workforce studies reveal that 75% of employees who would recommend their business as a place to work say they understand how their work contributes to the company's success versus just 36% of workers who would not recommend their company as a workplace.