Pandemic lockdowns are ending, and your company is in a testing phase to determine the best strategy for reinstituting elements of in-person work. During the lockdown, your team took advantage of remote work to cast a wider recruitment net. Now, the team is only 20% concentrated near the company’s main office. More responsibilities have also been folded into the team’s scope of work including downstream product testing in owned retail outlets. The company tests products by allocating staff to your department to speed up performance reporting and channel feedback into real-time product adjustments. You now manage a variable-sized team across changing site locations and geographies with little in-office schedule consistency.

The above scenario became more common as the pandemic pushed organizations to reorganize their resources, shift responsibilities and create jury-rigged operating structures to sustain business. For team leads, it is more important than ever to stay connected to all workers (internal and external) to keep each team member productive and ensure that communications reveal problems and lead to solutions. Lockdowns exposed a bifurcation between remote and essential work that highlighted just how different work environments can be. Sudden awareness of the differences underscored the need to keep employees connected to each other and to managers around issues, needs and success stories. A renewed focus on strengthened communications is accelerating the corporate focus on the business impact and importance of employee experience.

Feedback and open communications channels are foundational to using communications to learn about what employees need to be productive and stay connected to their work, especially as the company and teams change. IDC’s data shows that 85% of organizations lean into feedback as a measure of sentiment and understanding toward improving retention and reducing response time to problems, disruption and change. Getting the equity side right in communications, however, requires the implementation and support of a sophisticated digital infrastructure that reaches all corners of the workforce. 

By 2023, 70% of G2000 organizations will use hybrid and remote work models to answer the 82% of employees who want more work flexibility and autonomy, according to IDC. Hybrid work is more than just a combination of remote and in-person work — it involves scenarios like the one above with managers overseeing a diverse and highly variable schedule of employees coming into and out of different physical work environments. Core digital infrastructures with corporate-issued devices must go further to support network access by any means necessary to first reinforce universal team communications and then roll out resources as employees need them to engage, execute on and complete work. IDC data shows that 93% of HR and LOB managers leverage active listening tools within existing internal communications to understand and report on the complex network and digital resource needs of individual employees. Integrating feedback and communications into digital resource engagement management adds a real-time layer of information to ongoing work amidst changes in personal work habits, locations, and resource needs.  

Uncoordinated in-office scheduling across teams is more common in the hybrid work environment. Adjusting for industries that are limited in their hybrid work offerings, like manufacturing, organizations that provide maximum flexibility within the hybrid model to their employees need to be sure that teams stay collaborative and that managers maintain visibility around resource needs. Employee listening opens the door to responsive feedback but ensuring that a diverse team maximizes resource uptime, work efficiency, collaboration equity and project progress requires a more proactive approach. Underneath a good employee experience listening strategy sits an opportunity to build an IT infrastructure that leverages analytics across structured and unstructured data to pinpoint workforce resource gaps and identify who can resolve them where they are in the fastest time possible. Combining communications channels with resource use and network analytics can source gaps in digital tool sets and leverage trends to optimize the digital environment for traffic, accessibility, readiness, and capabilities around differentiated employee asks and needs.

Constant collaboration, feedback, and real-time and continuous access to communications channels requires the following:

  • Communications management tools with diversified access across digital channels and networks
  • Network analytics and insights to track network activity in support of communications uptime
  • Dedicated feedback and two-way communications channels between employees and managers
  • Feedback analytics that can handle unstructured data to source resource gaps

When redesigning their communications support infrastructure for collaboration, understanding, equity and response, organizations should:

  • Rework digital communications around a strategy that connects employees with each other and managers on time wherever they work
  • Expand analytics to source data from communications channels and leverage trending feedback into infrastructural responses at the company level
  • Redesign digital communications to expand device options and increase the diversity of connections, such as mobile and terminal network and device access and support including uptime access analysis
  • Diversify policy support for communications access to level the playing field between employees who always have access and those who may be limited by work conditions

Sponsor Call-to-Action

DXC Technology’s Modern Workplace solution empowers employees to connect, collaborate and work seamlessly and securely on any device, anywhere — accommodating today’s hybrid work environments. Workplace services are centralized to help employees access the services they need, when they need them, allowing them to stay focused on their work — not IT.

Modern Workplace enables you to harness both operational and experience data to monitor the workplace and the employee experience. Advanced analytics provide a 360-degree view of the workplace to derive insights and drive continuous improvement. DXC UPtime™, our Experience Platform, provides employees with a simple way to interact with technology and gives IT a consolidated view of systems for easier asset management and more effective service delivery.

DXC and Dell Technologies enjoy a deep and long-standing technical partnership, as evidenced by their collaboration across the "Build, Sell and Deliver" of innovative solutions. While Dell is a leading enabler of IT infrastructure, DXC assists with a critical systems integrator perspective, helping Dell meet design-to-run requirements for our joint clients to ensure a complete service delivery for our joint customers.

To hear more about DXC Modern Workplace, listen to theCUBE interview with Mike McDaniel, president, and Jeff Monaco, vice president, of DXC Modern Workplace.

About the author

Zachary Chertok is the research manager for IDC in employee experience (EX). Mr. Chertok’s core research coverage includes all aspects of employee experience management including but not limited to wellness and wellbeing, adaptive and responsive learning and development, recognition, employee engagement, corporate culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion, employee journey mapping, analytical personalization, and supporting digital and consultative services.


This blog was sponsored by DXC Technology.

Learn more about DXC Modern Workplace.