[Column] Berenice Chassagne: Engaged Employee Experience: Balancing human and technology
09-05-2022 13:31:00 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 2820 | Tags:

Employee engagement is a key driver of the overall performance of a business. Positioned as a Leader for the sixth consecutive year by Gartner in its February 2022 Magic Quadrant for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services (ODWS), our goal is to create a revolutionary new intersection between technology, people, and things.

Enabling every employee wherever they may be based, to benefit from a personalized way of working underpinned by innovative and holistic engaged employee experience technologies.

Performance, not productivity is key to a strong, resilient, and healthy organization across the board – financially, creatively, and competitively. We must think beyond productivity and create organizations that thrive because they allow their employees to thrive. In a highly competitive world, engaging and empowering employees has become critical for attracting and retaining talent and for driving operational excellence throughout organizations in an exclusive interview with Berenice Chassagne – Head of Atos Growing Markets (Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Major Events)

Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotization, Edge Computing. All these things will impact productivity in its traditional sense. But unlike in the 80’s we do not need to ship the adoption of these tools around the world, if we create engaged employees who do not fear these changes but embrace them then we will open new doors for growth and performance.

And to bring performance I think we need inclusive productivity and engagement because we have reached a point where; as we automate more and more, productivity is no longer enough. We need to be more inclusive. Recognize diversity in all its forms: from gender equity, through cultural differences, those with disabilities, and our seniors. And in doing so create a wholly accessible workplace where diversity leads to creative solutions. Imagine for a minute a world where solutions are not one size fits all, but all manner of shapes and sizes enabling anyone to access them. That will engage people like never before because they will have a personal stake in the work.

Engagement & profitability

At the beginning of the pandemic, Atos predicted that 40% of the workforce would work from home. That prediction appears to have been spot on, as in a recent report from Statista, 30% of respondents stated everyone at their company was working from home with another 15% stating that they could work from home “as needed”. That situation though has changed a lot with lockdowns and restrictions loosening up as infections went down and vaccinations went up.

What the pandemic has shown overall though, is the need for clear hybrid strategies, organizations must now focus on rebounding stronger, more resilient, and sustainably than ever before. We should not just dream of that. Because embracing it allows us to tackle some of the critical challenges of our age. If we can dramatically change the way we approach work – especially presence at the office, we can make some meaningful impacts toward decarbonization. For example, if everyone in the world worked from home one day a week, we would save 24 million tons of carbon emissions. We should dare to believe in a world where this is not just made possible by organizations, but employees understand and buy into their individual roles.

 Giving them personal accountability and ownership of their Carbon footprint within organizations. Making an employee aware of the impact of his decisions on commute, travel, on workstations, on storage, … gives him the opportunity to align his values with his acts. In the Atos Great Place to Work survey, 84% of employees said it was important to work for a company that embraces social and environmental responsibility as a core value.

If we can create the same engaged employees we do on-site from anywhere; we can employ the best talent from around the world, we can prevent burnout, we can make work fun. Gallup tells us that employees who feel highly engaged lead to 10% more engaged customers, other studies mention 81% lower absenteeism and 23% higher profitability.

If we can put more power in the hands of our employees to design their processes, if we can create frictionless work, we can automate the mundane and free our people to do what they do best, solve problems. Anywhere could be a workplace.

Also, telecom service providers play important role in providing an efficient, mobile, and hyper-connected work environment.

For eg: Vodafone Spain launched ‘Vodafone Infinity Workplace, a new Digital Workplace offering that aims to provide a highly secure digital workplace with universal remote access, available anytime, anywhere, and from a variety of devices and operating systems, with optimum security on a subscription basis to all business profiles, from large corporations to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and freelancers.

Orange bank, the 100% mobile bank of the telco operator Orange created a cloud-based advanced Digital Workplace solution to provide Orange Bank employees with a new unified work experience, regardless of their location or device.

To add on WINDTRE, a leading mobile operator in Italy is adapting to innovative internet-based Modern Management solutions, making it easier to manage devices and update applications for 360° management, allowing employees to work more smoothly and efficiently, without compromising safety and performance.

Employees who feel they are heard are 4.6 times more engaged. Creating a caring environment for our people creates a caring environment for our clients, and their clients, and ultimately a more caring, equal society.

Indeed, it’s very much about caring for the employees, providing vision and purpose, and building trust.

Secure Collaborative Environment

Giving end users power requires us to securely open data, in privacy-protecting ways to enable rather than penalize. Data can unlock people’s potential and boost business performance, but these are not prizes worth having if they diminish the fairness and trust, upon which engagement relies. Productivity is not enough post-covid, it will not happen without employees.

While Telco over Cloud (ToC) and Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) enable advanced features tied to distributed digital workplace management, organizations see the rising need to implement flawless security control in real-time. From a telco perspective, these security requirements span across all the IT and Network domains that are undergoing an unprecedented digital transformation journey.

From the outset of the early consulting steps to its META telco customers over this new paradigm, Atos has built key security offerings unleashing Trusted Digital Identities and Data Protection from any access. Such unfailing capabilities, coming alongside a secured Digital Workplace ecosystem, provide ways to proactively mitigate the new set of security risks brought in by multiple accesses, ineffective BYOD policies, shadow IT systems, and unsecured networks border gateways.

Virtual Only Future

In fact, according to Frost and Sullivan, 28% of all businesses surveyed said they would be 100% remote and virtual in the future. These organizations have determined that they can create an engaged workforce wherever they are. That in itself may change the shape of other organizations that come to different conclusions.

Our approach to this new frontier of work is called “Engaged Employee Experience”. It is a program of investment and focuses that we believe will make Atos the leading enabler of this new frontier of work. I want us to be more than the leader in Digital Workplace, I want us to create a revolutionary new intersection between technology, people, and things, by combining Digital Workplace with Employee Experience.

From productivity to performance, make technology work for your employees

We have launched a revolutionary new approach with some leading partners and vendors that will enable our clients to go beyond Digital Workplace,

-              With Voice of the Employee technology: we’re giving clients the ability to measure, analyze and manage the employee experience in real-time from anywhere. Giving them the power to make tangible decisions to improve the experience for all.

-              On Citizen Development: we’re giving clients and users the low and no-code platforms to rebuild processes, and tailor them to individual needs. With fully integrated training and adoption services to make the most of the platforms, both reducing pressure on IT teams and freeing the diversity of potential for all.

-              When it comes to Smart Working, we are building on the consulting work we have been doing during COVID-19 to go beyond safe workplaces. Creating smart spaces deeply integrated into the heart of next-generation workplaces will give us new collaborative and social experiences. The workplace is no longer a 9 to 5 but a hub for creativity and collaboration. But also, connecting those hubs to the rest of the world, through immersive technologies like Augmented Reality, or biometrics to connect clinicians with patient data safely and securely. Smart working is no longer just about being able to book your desk in real-time. It’s an era-defining shift in where, when, and how we work.

-              For Accessibility we are bringing forward technology to make workplaces easier to use for everyone. From tooling to support visual changes to technologies that aid interactivity. We’re working with vendors to enable all our technologies for accessibility. Plus, more accurate data facilitate the interoperability of assistive technologies with mainstream tech.

-              On the vitally important topic of Mental Health, we are enabling employees with embedded analysis tools to set boundaries and better balance their work-life. Also, with sentiment analysis tools we could help clients to measure the emotional state of employees and trigger remediation measures again in real-time. In doing so, we can help organizations to become increasingly pro-active about mental health, thus preventing stress, burnout, and worse for their employees and create a safe and healthy workplace where people can be their personal best.

-              With Training –we’re enabling new approaches to Micro-Learning, building on the lessons of the consumer lead revolution in Massive Open Online Courses or MOOC’s. With new gamified micro-learning approaches we’re helping clients and users prevent a digital divide in the workplace. Giving people the skills to succeed with the host of new technologies they will be using in the future.

-              Finally new HR consulting capabilities with partners will join the dots between technology and people, so we take the lessons of design thinking alongside the cultural challenges of individual organizations to build the best solutions for clients and end-users every time.

We believe this to be the most comprehensive, intersectional set of services on the market today. A paradigm shift in the focus on either technology OR experience towards technology AND experience, and performance AND experience. It is our ambition to lead this space just as we have done with Digital Workplace before it. By creating this new engagement- and human-focused work environment, we will transform our clients’ organizations. One human-centric desktop at a time!

Berenice Chassagne is the Head of Atos Growing Markets, Middle East, Turkey, Africa, and Major Events