Indeed, 2020 threw us a curveball. New workplace norms had to be hurriedly adopted, and this, in turn, taught all of us many lessons about how to maintain an engaged workforce from distance, and what this meant for company culture.
Almost 2 years on, companies are still learning how to sustain through crucial and stressful times, how to continue to find top talent, as well as how to continuously foster a happy, motivated workforce. Organisational culture, company culture, corporate culture; they’re all terms that are often thrown around HR and the workplace so often - but sometimes it can feel like an intangible concept.
Sure, you’ve already heard how vital it is to have a strong company culture, and the benefits it brings to companies. But one year after the world’s economies plummeted, businesses crashed, and jobs were lost, what have we learned? How can we actually attain a strong company culture, in order to thrive in the business environment which has changed so much over the last 2 years?
The New Recruiting Scene
Every industry had to make adjustments to adapt to the new “Covid norm” way of working. Unsurprisingly, the face of recruitment also changed overnight. HR managers had to find new ways of acquiring talent and keep hiring processes moving -- and in came the adoption of virtual recruiting platforms, which many of us have had experience with using today thanks to the pandemic.
Putting it simply, virtual recruiting platforms made it possible to keep the hiring pipeline moving amidst the pandemic while having to “home office” and “social distance”.
A McKinsey survey of 800 executives revealed that 85% of businesses have somewhat or greatly accelerated the implementation of technologies that digitally enable employee interaction and collaboration - by October 2020, 89% of organizations said they were using video interviewing for recruitment.
But in fact, virtual recruiting technologies not only provided an alternative way for recruiters to do their jobs from distance. When those in HR scrambled to get their hands on virtual recruiting tools as social distancing measures got stricter, companies actually began to recognise the myriad of benefits these platforms presented.
So what advantages did these technologies exactly offer?
One huge benefit is that they reduce recruiter unconscious bias considerably. Particularly in recent years, diversity and inclusion have been highlighted topics, as racial inequality and injustice came to the world centerstage. Companies are realising the responsibility they have, and the value that it brings to them. However, the case of human unconscious bias is not an easy fix. And the bottom line is, the underlying danger of recruiting bias can inhibit diversity and retention rates in companies.
Retorio, a company trusted by companies such as Personio, HappyCar, and Proper, is a platform that helps do exactly this. This AI platform provides objective information to HR managers, which, in turn, can aid them in making fairer hiring decisions with minimal bias. Organisations have huge amounts of data that are available to them - and providing this sound insight to recruiters can help them make fairer unbiased hiring decisions.
New Communication Methods
Communication is and has always been key in keeping employees engaged and connected, not only now but in the future. What is the point in having motivated employees and innovative ideas, if workers can’t create a culture of clear communication to discuss and execute those ideas? Furthermore, when employees don't feel like they are getting frequent information from other workers, they tend to get less productive and consequently rate their work experience as poor.
Ultimately, workplace communication can be the difference between employees feeling united and part of a team, or feeling unmotivated and distant. According to a survey conducted, 74% of employees feel like they're missing out on some kind of company information/news.
Especially since the pandemic, it has become more important than ever for managers to make sure communication is clear and that the latest news is equally shared with everyone. Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, Skype… chances are, you’ve had first-hand experience with more than just one of these platforms - especially since the pandemic, as these platforms became the official meeting channel of several companies globally.
Where leaders are united and able to communicate effectively with their employees, trust will be built. This will be easier to foster an organisation that has the "we're all in this together" mentality.
Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term for applications in which machines perform human-like intelligence. AI sounds complicated but is generally based on statistical methods combined with computing power, by means of which large amounts of data are processed.
The rise in artificial intelligence is creating new dimensions and redefining the concept of training employees. As we’re seeing ongoing success in the machine learning scene, a lot of funding into AI research grants has been given, and spin-offs and start-ups are emerging at unprecedented rates.
For instance, Synthesia is a software company founded in 2017 which solves the problem of content creation through artificial intelligence. Their vision is to make the world's information visual, and their ai-powered software turns any text into a video with an AI avatar (in more than 40 languages). Without real humans, microphones, or cameras, companies can easily produce high-quality informative videos with life-like avatars in a matter of 15 minutes.
Retorio, a startup from Munich, is another company in the emerging scene of AI today. Retorio combines video analysis with role-plays of client simulations to offer interactive training solutions for customer-facing positions, such as sales, consulting, etc. Their clients, including Tata Consulting and one of Germany's biggest automotive manufacturers, use Retorio to scale up their training programs, as well as coach their sales teams. Retorio’s AI analyses staff and provides insight to employers about what makes their employees tick - and unveils the most pressing talent needs.