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Taking care of your employees in the new hybrid work environment, and how tech can help

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous and permanent impact on the business landscape.  

One of the biggest changes has been something many of us have experienced: working from home. 

 Now that vaccinations are in effect in some countries, the return to work has begun. But not as we know it. 

The hybrid workplace, a mixture of home and office-based working, is here to stay.  And according to Microsoft it’s the next great disruption.  So how do we all stay connected and productive?  

There’s a lot that needs to happen. We must embrace change, ensure staff don’t overwork (wherever they are) and invest in technology to support this new normal.  

LiveTiles Director of Technology Solutions, David Salter, shares his insights on how an effective employee experience platform (EXP) can become the essential link between all staff, no matter where they’re working. Here’s what an EXP needs to do for your company.  

The essential capabilities of an employee experience platform for your hybrid workforce 

1. Eliminate context switching

Constant context switching (logging out of one system and into another) is frustrating and wastes time.

“The way an effective EXP can solve this is not bringing together all the functionality of those disparate systems, but by carving out the discrete routines from those that are critical to a person based on their role and centralizing them in a single place.

“That could be simply linking via a deep link into that other app. Or as we’re doing with a number of our larger clients, we’re actually embedding some of those critical routines directly into our EXP platform,” David said.

“For example, we’ve got customers who are enabling their managers to approve expense claims or make leave requests without needing to go into their HR or payroll systems.”

2. Audience targeting and role-based personalization

It’s important for efficiency and currency of information to have the ability to create content once, and then disseminate it to multiple places.  

“Another thing that is essential to the EXP platform is the ability for social knowledge sharing and expertise location,” David said.  

“This is particularly important for frontline workers, so their expertise and credibility are acknowledged. An EXP platform gives them a mechanism for communicating their knowledge.” 

How do we know this? We’ve seen it in action! 

LiveTiles recently deployed an EXP solution to a large global retailer in the US. One of the things that was very topical at the time was contact tracing and keeping the workplace safe.  

“We did that through a form that was using a Microsoft form embedded into our EXP app even for those folks in the field that didn’t even have a Microsoft 365 license.  

“We’re also working with one of the world’s largest healthcare organizations where certain critical updates, be it news, clinical policies, etc. will be able to be communicated,” David said.  

“That is something that is very tangible from a compliance perspective for organizations.” 

Four critical things your EXP absolutely has to do

   1. Give a consumer grade mobile experience 

In the year 2021 expectations of the mobile experience have changed.  

“It’s very much driven by employees’ experience of apps in their consumer life like their favorite news or bank app,” David said.  

“These companies have invested enormous amounts of money to create a very slick, very simple, app experience because they know that experience equals conversion.” 

That same principle needs to apply to your enterprise apps for your workforce. 

“I would recommend when selecting an employee experience platform consumer grade, preferably app-based experience, that gives people the things they expect.  

“Things like push alerts that the individual can subscribe to and manage, and the ability for users to personalize their view of information,” David said.  

“The combination of great content that’s useful and meaningful with a great consumer grade app-based experience will lead to the adoption of the app. Then you’re going to get that return on investment.” 

2. Publish to where your people are

If your corporate or firstline workers are licensed with Microsoft for Teams, it’s critical that you can get that information out to them in Teams. 

If your firstline workers don’t have a Microsoft 365 license, you can publish an independent app or web application independent app.  

“Microsoft have recently announced Viva connections that is going to be another interface through which LiveTiles will be outputting content; the features and the functionality are created in our app,” David said.  

3. Give a great communicators’ experience 

It’s essential that you can create a targeted channel-based experience for your people. This is done through two critical concepts. The first is groups, the target audience that will see the content. The second is channels, which can be assigned to particular groups.  

“You can then make decisions about whether a channel appears in a certain group, whether it’s going to be mandatory or default, so will you allow the employee to opt in or out.  

“The reason why this targeting capability matters is relevance. You could have a great app with great content, but if there’s too much of it and people log in and they’re overwhelmed, they’re going to switch off,” David said. 

“Then you’re going to have lower adoption and a lower return on investment in the platform.” 

4. Easy language translations

This is particularly relevant for global multinational companies.

“If I go into my settings, I’ve got the ability to change my preferred content language into over 60 different languages that we support through Microsoft language Translation service delivered by Microsoft Azure,” David said.

“The business reasons why this is important is not just so that people can read it in their preferred language, which is obviously going to be more effective, but it’s also about efficiency.

“We work with clients that spend an enormous amount of money paying for manual translations, and we believe that the quality of automated translations now is so good that much of it, if not all, can be done manually,” David said.

“It’s also about the currency of information. If you have a critical message to get out, but you need to wait 24, 48 hours for a translation, the impact of that information can be lost.”

Find out more about LiveTiles’ employee experience platform here.

Have questions? Our experts are ready to help you.

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