Article

The business imperative of supporting your people

HR teams have a pivotal role to play as companies navigate profound changes to their workplaces and workforces. But 1 in 4 say they don’t have the tools they need to succeed.

By Maggie Mazzetti, Staff Writer

Published July 21, 2021
Last updated August 26, 2021

 

   

     

It’s no secret that the workplace has changed quite a bit over the past year. And the reality is that the future of how teams collaborate, communicate and connect is still very much in flux. As companies navigate the uncertainty around reopening and tackle big questions when it comes to how and where they want to work, there’s a lot on the table:

  • What is the new role of the office?
  • What does collaboration and innovation look like in this new environment?
  • How do they engage employees and keep teams connected, now and in the future?
  • How have employee needs changed?

The answers, likely still forming, will look different for every company. According to PwC Research, 83% of employers believe that remote work has been successful for their company. And while only 1 in 5 executives want to return to a pre-pandemic style of office, a mere 13% want to get rid of the office entirely.

As companies reimagine what they want their workplaces and workforces to look like, one thing is certain: HR teams have a pivotal role to play.

As companies reimagine what they want their workplaces and workforces to look like, one thing is certain: HR teams have a pivotal role to play. The productivity, efficiency and wellbeing of employees will directly impact how successfully a company can respond to the uncertainty of today and the inevitable change still to come.

It’s a simple equation: investments in your HR teams are direct investments in your people and your business. But in Zendesk research, 1 in 4 help desk agents said they don’t have the right tools in place to work remotely, whether that’s the technology needed to connect with employees or the processes in place to work better as a team.

Why investments in your people benefit your business, too

It’s in every business’s best interest to prioritise the wellbeing and support of their people. Why? Numerous studies have shown that happier humans make better employees. And the benefits trickle down to other parts of your business, too.

Providing top-notch employee support requires consistent nurturing, re-evaluation and responsiveness to feedback.

“This not only impacts your relationship with your employees, but it trickles down to impact your relationship with customers”, says Brandon Tidd, at 729 Solutions, a custom development shop and Zendesk implementation partner. “Customers can pick up on whether employees are satisfied in their role, if their emotional wellbeing is being accounted for and that’s so important to the bottom line.”

As with customers, providing top-notch employee support requires consistent nurturing, re-evaluation and responsiveness to feedback. And beyond providing better support for employees, investments in technology or better processes can free up HR resources to focus on much larger strategic questions, such as:

  • How will the culture of the organisation evolve post-COVID, particularly if not all employees return to the office?
  • What is the organisation’s strategy when it comes to the location of teams and individuals?
  • What’s the offering around benefits and what more do employees need?

“There are so many strategic things we need our people teams to tackle”, says Fidelma Butler, Vice President of Talent and Organisation Development at Zendesk. “Using technology to take away some of the more repetitive tasks frees them up for this complex, important work.”

Fortunately, companies are beginning to realise that investment in EX is a must. In a recent Zendesk survey, over half of business leaders said they saw EX investments as a revenue driver – one with very real benefits or consequences to a business.

The benefits of investing in HR teams and employee experience:

  • Increased innovation and revenue
  • Increased workforce engagement
  • Increased employee retention, savings on hiring and training costs
  • Increased productivity and satisfaction, especially within the HR department

The consequences of not prioritising HR teams and employee experience

  • Revenue loss
  • Decreased workforce engagement and satisfaction
  • Increased employee churn, plus hiring and training costs
  • Stagnant productivity, especially within the HR department
 

   

     

What HR teams need to be successful

HR teams support a company’s most important asset: its people. But 2020 completely turned the workplace on its head. According to Zendesk’s 2021 Employee Experience (EX) Trends Report, companies have struggled the most with managing distributed teams, keeping employees productive and adjusting to new workflows and technologies.

As workplaces evolve, HR teams will need the right tools in place so they can respond faster, boost information accessibility, and better anticipate and address changing employee needs.

It’s an enormous amount of change already. And as workplaces and workforces continue to evolve fast, HR teams will need the right tools in place so they can respond faster, boost information accessibility, and better anticipate and address changing employee needs.

If you’re looking for ways to help your HR teams better engage employees and work smarter together, no matter where they are, here’s a few places to start:

  • A faster, more efficient way to find answers

    Your employees need to know where to find fast answers, without having to hunt around for the right contact, HR email or help centre article. This is especially important if policies or benefits are changing quickly.

    Ensure that internal self-service resources are robust and easy to navigate. HR teams should also have an efficient ticketing system in place to connect employees with the information they need, without any hassle.

  • More communication options to stay connected

    Customers aren’t the only ones embracing messaging: it’s also becoming the go-to tool for a younger, hybrid workforce. Millennials and GenZers are on track to make up roughly 75% of the workforce by 2030, and 41% of that group say they prefer to communicate electronically at work, rather than in person or even over the phone.

  • Opportunities to hear directly from employees

    The best way to understand what employees need? Ask them. Employee surveys are critical tools to help HR leaders understand the full story. “What are the things that our employees are asking about the most? When we know, we can get ahead of those issues”, says Butler. “We can provide an article proactively on that, or we can update a particular policy, or we can get some additional communications out.”

Champions of employee support

Whether you plan to be back in the office, remote or somewhere in between, Zendesk can help your HR team manage all parts of the employee experience from a single place, including onboarding, HR performance tracking, and employee surveys and feedback.