Give your employees the facts – and then listen to their responses
People-focused organizations have never been more driven by facts, with technologies continually providing more insights into how they do business.
But are facts alone the answer to commercial success? No. Data provides a black-and-white picture of what is happening within an organization, but information alone does not drive results. Better ways of doing things are possible when employees are empowered by relevant statistics and develop responses from their creative, spontaneous and unique minds.
To truly enable change, innovate and solve problems, businesses need to combine the unique and diverse capabilities of people with the trend-finding power of technology.
Seen but not heard?
Most organizations are culturally better at giving orders than listening, so they don’t always dedicate adequate time to considering potentially valuable employee feedback. Research independently conducted on behalf of Unit4 in late 2019 found that 83 percent of workers believe they have no say in the running of their company, while 37 percent of employers rarely or never seek the view of their employees.
How can businesses work at their innovative best if they’re not consulting employees on the next great idea or improvement? Ideally, they should be combining a data-driven business model with the creative feedback of people.
Adopting a democratic approach to company strategy can have a powerful impact on employee wellbeing, as people are, of course, more motivated when they feel part of the decision-making process.
Technology can help employees get the most out of their role, and not just by giving them the data insights to plan their next move.
Next-generation software is becoming more effective at automating daily tasks, which is enabling people to redefine their roles within an organization while creating new opportunities to re-skill and up-skill. Employees don’t have to waste time on arbitrary process and administration; they can identify where the real value lies in their contribution, evolving their role to fit the changing needs of both their department and the company as a whole.
And the best part of this approach is that it’s employee-driven, so business leaders are not enforcing change from the top down. Instead, people across an organization can, without the weight of administration, employ the creativity which technology can’t deliver, to make a difference.
Listening to employee feedback doesn’t have to be constrained to people’s immediate job role, either. More than just democratizing decision-making, the rise of holistic technology has enabled information from any part of an organization to be shared and considered, meaning everyone can take responsibility for change in every part of the business.
Today’s engagement software makes it easy to assess and identify good leadership behaviour and map people’s key skills and strengths. This way, the best people for each job are determined by capability rather than department, and every employee is given the chance to shine at relevant tasks.
Facts alone are not the answer
Nobody is disputing the power of insight in business performance, and we’re lucky enough to operate at a time when technology can provide more sophisticated data analytics than ever before. But companies must consider how information can empower employees by listening to them, ensuring that people and platforms work together for maximum impact and merit-based decision-making.
By adopting this approach, organizations encourage a climate of new ideas, which can generate cost-savings, operational efficiencies and competitive advantages, which ultimately translate to both happier employees and a better customer experience.