From Flintstones to Jetsons: 4 trends set to advance the employee experience for the modern workplace

By Melissa Swisher
It wasn’t so long ago that we relied on the phone book, fax machines and dial-up internet to find information and connect. But now, everything we need is at our fingertips. There’s no need to find a payphone to call 411 when you can instantly open your smartphone and get answers. At least, that’s how life operates on the consumer side. It’s a different story in the workplace, with disparate solutions making the employee experience harder, not easier.  

Unlike how we use our smartphones and other devices, employees often have to track down what they need to know now across interfaces, costing them valuable time and causing frustration. According to research from McKinsey, a 1,000-employee company will have an average of 254 technologies in their ecosystem. Think about that in scale: 5,000 employees, 10,000 employees. It is no wonder employee apathy is at an all-time high.

There are too many systems to navigate.

If we go even more in-depth, we see that less than half of employees engage with existing enterprise applications, resulting in SaaS waste for employers.

Using AI to bridge the EX gap

So, what can we do? During a recent HR Tech Virtual Conference, the team from Simpplr’s Virtual Assistant took a look at advancing the employee experience (EX) from Flintstones to Jetsons, which, for anyone reading who isn’t familiar with it, means moving from the Stone Age to the year 2062. That’s a big gap, but we have the technology to bridge it. Here’s what you need to know about the trends poised to disrupt the old management style:

Increased connectivity: Connectivity has already disrupted our lives, from Siri and Alexa to voice-operated dishwashers. Even so, the original org chart is over 200 years old, and the pressure to change has been building for years, even before the pandemic and ensuing Great Resignation. Companies have started to go off-kilter, little by little, but too much of that outdated thinking remains the same. As organizations, we move too slowly, too bogged down by complicated matrix structures, and too bureaucratic, given today’s interconnectedness.

Unprecedented automation: Everything is smarter. We benefit from the convenience of automation without even realizing it. That’s because automation has increased exponentially compared to anything else. What slows us down are internal politics and external friction, like the divide between analog native Baby Boomers and digital native Millennials.

We are in a completely different environment than we were before.

Fundamental societal shifts: Regarding employee experience, expectations are changing. Employees are more socially engaged because of their experiences as consumers and the amount of information they process daily. That directly impacts career mobility, not necessarily in the traditional, hierarchical org chart fashion. Organizations need solutions for this, which need to address how the workplace is evolving with the workforce.

Lower transaction costs: There was a time when it seemed impossible to connect technologies in a way that streamlined the user experience. Each solution had a purpose, and the end-user had to work how the technology worked. The barriers to entry and costs to achieve scale are evaporating, and the sooner organizations can address the first three points, the sooner they can make their systems support the end user or employee.

One of the ways Simpplr’s Virtual Assistant does this is by normalizing and transforming all the data and information these solutions contain to make it easily accessible to employees.

There is ample reason to change how we interact and engage employees. What’s more, most of what we need already exists. It’s a matter of shifting to a holistic approach that better reflects how life functions outside of work. There’s no need to replicate man’s journey from Flintstones to Jetsons. We’re here! We’re in the moment. Ready and able to advance the employee experience and maximize all the systems at play, whether that’s in the year 254 or 2540.

Learn more about creating a modern employee experience in the age of AI

How Simpplr can help

By unifying employee engagement, enablement and services using cutting-edge AI, Simpplr’s vision is to deliver a seamless and personalized work journey for every employee, no matter where or how they work. Request a demo to see how Simpplr’s Virtual Assistant can help you revolutionize employee self-service with AI-powered workflows and assistance.

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