Employee Experience: New Expectations in the Workplace

  • Mar 29, 2019,
  • By Jeneane Crawford
Open Office

When employment contracts are signed, employees exchange a wage for their output, but there’s much more to a job contract than just a salary. A positive and enriching work environment helps to ensure higher productivity for the company. To this end, office culture has been making some radical shifts in the last decade. For example, office spaces have morphed from cubicles to open concept, transparent environments where employees can interact and engage more directly with one another. Standing desks have become a staple for promoting health in the workforce. Telecommunications has developed to a point where video meetings are regularly held to accommodate remote workers.

All of these advances in office culture have been made to promote an atmosphere that encourages teamwork and health – two very important factors on the job satisfaction scale.

But a positive work experience is about more than flexible work hours and ergonomic furniture.  There is also a growing need for the employee to focus on the work itself and not all the obstacles and bottlenecks that existed in previous eras. Modern work environments can overwhelm employees with mental clutter that delays action and hampers decision-making.  Many workplace tools are perceived to be a hindrance, rather than an advantage. Think about the daily grind of clearing out the email inbox.

Inefficient processes and job satisfaction

In a typical corporate setting, many systems run in tandem to keep the organization moving. ERPs for purchase orders, HR systems for timesheets, and so on. Being able to track this data is crucial for any enterprise but with an overwhelming number of different systems in place, employees are often frustrated by the inefficiencies of logging into multiple systems and navigating complex workflow and approvals.

Bottlenecks are a potentially dangerous situation for any corporation and they often create unnecessary stress for employees who have to keep constant tabs on the status of their requests. Escalating outstanding POs or timesheets can be arduous. There may be a need to log in to a new system, find emails relating to the request, remind managers, and finally get someone to make a decision.

Cumulatively, inefficient processes like these take hours away from productivity and place employees under more pressure to keep up with their requests. Perhaps the most distressing part for employees is the duplication of efforts, which is a common side effect of a bottleneck situation.

Employees: “Help, I’m overwhelmed!”

Deloitte study found that workers are often overwhelmed by the influx of information available on their smartphones and tablets. Although they are constantly connected, most companies have not found the right balance of how to present information to their staff. A whopping 72% of workers report that they can’t always locate the information they are looking for.  The American Institute of Stress has found that 40% of employees suffer from stress at work and 25% report that work is the number one stressor in their lives, creating a rippling effect on health and financial issues. Another study in the UK found that 38% of employees say that using slow or outdated technology is a major source of frustration. Additionally, 45% found that lengthy approval cycles fueled their anxiety.

What steps can be taken to remove workplace cognitive overload?

First, acknowledging and discussing process issues with staff gives them the platform to be heard and recognized. Having space to constructively speak about workplace obstacles can empower employees and reinforce their value to the company.

In order to keep staff engaged in moving their tasks forward, it’s essential to creatively rethink the way some types of work are executed today. Capriza’s ApproveSimple is an employee-friendly tool that brings the corporate approvals process into the 21st century. Implementing technology like ApproveSimple allows employees to step away from monotonous tasks and frustrating processes.

Understanding How Consolidation Improves the Employee Experience

ApproveSimple is designed to ease the burden of employees having to navigate multiple systems. A cloud-based solution, ApproveSimple consolidates approvals from applications such as Ariba, Concur, Oracle, and many others and provides an easier way to work at work. It allows managers to make decisions more quickly and get the business moving faster.

Chasing management can be time-consuming and challenging and this is especially true for companies that have teams in different geographic locations. Employees should be able to expect that their supervisors will tackle approvals in a timely manner, without having to chase approvals through the various points in the approvals chain. With a better structure for key internal processes, employees can feel more “in control” of their schedule and their to-do lists.

Retaining and nurturing productive employees means that companies need to provide them the tools to succeed in their roles. As workflows become more complex, multi-tier, and co-dependent, corporate leaders need to support technologies to make work easier on their teams. Simplifying and streamlining corporate approvals is a great way to achieve this goal. Contact us to learn more.

Jeneane Crawford

Jeneane leads marketing initiatives at Capriza. Prior to joining Capriza, she managed demand generation for both large enterprises and start-ups marketing a diverse array of technologies.

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