It’s the hottest topic on the HR plate right now, and the Employee Experience Summit in Melbourne was a fantastic learning experience. The overlay of culture, technology and environment provides a complex and fascinating landscape for today’s human resources leaders. High engagement is a direct line to company performance, and with a room full of c-suite HR professionals, there was no shortage to thought-provoking discussions.
For Rob Scott, global lead, strategy & innovation at Presence of IT, the link between mental health and technology has two aspects that need consideration. The first relates to the prevailing culture and inherent expectations of how employees operate.
Rob Scott: “I've never been a fan of the term "Employee Engagement", mostly because it is a narrow view of the collective of people, teams and other contributors who constitute the total workforce. It also seems somewhat 'one-sided' with remnants of master-servant and power-mongering innuendos which evokes memories of Deming’s ‘Red Bead’ experiment where employees were subjugated under the guise of effective management systems.”
The promise was huge, an event that could deliver everything ALL IN ONE place. Everything a business professional would want to know about how technology can truly enable people to embrace the digital landscape and culture, drive business strategy and deliver results. The stuff dreams are made of. So did they deliver?
Sometimes, when we talk about workplace culture, there’s a tendency to detach ourselves from it. It’s just a general feeling or idea that “just exists” in an office or worksite, outside of anyone’s real control. There could be a charismatic leader who encourages certain kinds of behaviour, or there could be a pervading sense of “this is how we do things around here” from long-serving employees. The truth, however, is that HR is the engine that drives workplace culture.
HR has a significant role to play in the emerging digital work environment, and HR professionals must empower themselves with sufficient knowledge and understanding of developments such as machine learning to effectively guide and manage this process, writes Rob Scott.