The workforce is changing. No one knows that better than HR. The larger (and more important) questions are: how is the workforce changing, and what can HR do to recruit and retain employees. That’s exactly what the ADP Research Institute aimed to find out with a survey of 2,400 employees around the world. By addressing the top employee needs identified in the survey, HR professionals will be well-positioned to attract key talent in 2017.
“The workplace is radically changing, and understanding these five growing human-centric needs can help organizations and employers stay ahead of the curve,” says Ahu Yildirmaz, Vice President and Head of the ADP Research Institute. Those five “human-centric” needs are freedom, knowledge, stability, self-management and meaning. Let’s look at how HR can meet each of them.
Employee Need #1: Freedom
Employees want “the ability to control and enjoy one’s time,” writes Scott Bowen for Forbes.com. That means enabling flexible work schedules so that employees can work when and where they prefer. However, to be effective, remote work requires more than an Internet connection. HR must ensure that employees remain connected to their teams and can effectively collaborate regardless of distance.
An enterprise-grade video collaboration solution can help. With video, employees can work anywhere and still be just a click away from meeting face-to-face with peers or their manager. At the same time, video gives HR professionals the flexibility and freedom to recruit faster, and to attract a broader, global and more talented pool of candidates. You’re no longer limited to candidates in the immediate area or those willing to relocate, but can interview candidates around the globe.
Employee Need #2: Knowledge
“Maximum and free access to information, tools and resources to improve job performance (to meet employer demand) and to develop new skills will be a standard employee expectation,” writes Bowen.
Increasing access to information doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your training budget. HR professionals and managers can use video to create training videos, as well as enable employees to share lessons learned with their peers. This helps reduce the amount of time required to hold separate training sessions across geographies and time zones. It also helps ensure consistent communication so you can be sure that every employee receives the same high quality training and learns how to complete certain tasks the same way.
Employee Need #3: Stability
“Through global-connected technology, employees will be able to tap a much larger pool of potential work than if limited to one geographic area. That will help to create a steady, stable stream of work,” explains Bowen.
With video, employees can tap into the entire organization regardless of location. This helps facilitate cross-functional collaboration, but it also enables employees to better understand different parts of the business. As a result, HR professionals may realize opportunities to reassign high-value employees to roles that better suit their talents, rather than lose them to the competition.
Employee Need #4: Self-management
Employees want less oversight and micro-managing but more individual attention—two needs seemingly at odds with one another. However, with video employees can work independently and get real-time, face-to-face feedback as needed, when it’s needed. Employees and managers can easily meet for a scheduled or impromptu video call and share content in real time. Meanwhile, HR departments can increase employee retention rates and create a more open culture by encouraging employees to be honest with their managers, especially when they hit roadblocks.
Employee Need #5: Meaning
Employees want more from work than a paycheck. They want engagement—a factor that benefits HR professionals as well as it does employees.
Workplace collaboration has a direct impact on employee engagement. You can make work more meaningful for employees by giving them the tools to collaborate with their peers. Compared to a phone call, video enables employees to more quickly and easily build rapport with one another and create a safe space in which to share ideas and collaborate.
The job market will grow increasingly competitive as HR professionals hire for those skills that will give their companies a competitive advantage. By directly addressing human-centric employee needs, HR not only creates an attractive workplace but also facilitates their ability to hire faster and better.