Technocracy: Leaving no employee behind
Many of us are guilty of thinking the whole world stopped when the pandemic first hit. We all went home, built flatpack desks, cleaned out the coffee machine, and jumped on our first 9am video call of many to come. That is simply not the case.
People’s labour is the business – and that business needs to continue in a post-COVID world. Consultancy, social care, and construction are very different industries, but all depend on personal relationships and interactions. But how can this continue, with employees working from everywhere?
People leaders continue to face a big challenge: ensuring employees are working in a way that is safe and successful. Desk or no desk, success hinges on one thing: leaving no one behind technologically.
Bidding farewell to the old way of working
In the old world, rolling out new technology in phases reduced risk in the short term. It also led to dragged out, siloed projects that failed to make an impact. When a business has to move and change fast, we can see what speed is really possible. Now, the question is why we ever wanted phased implementations in the first place. From now on, it is an all-in effort.
However, it is not just speed that will change. The number and seniority of staff with access to new technologies will change too. When a whole workforce needs certain tools immediately, we can see that there is no value in being selective. If only a small number of workers get the goods, we only know how a small part of the workforce can be transformed. The pandemic showed us that technology has to fill in the gaps between people – that means between everyone.
Creating a technocracy
To work better together, we need democracy in technology. All workers should have access to the same pool of insights, technology and resources. While we can all agree that investment in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will be key to recovery, we will only see success when these tools are available to all.
“To work better together, we need democracy in technology. All workers should have access to the same pool of insights, technology and resources.” – Diana Spalding, Head of Apps, Oracle Singapore
Achieving this level of integration, and at speed, will not be easy. But it can be done. Even as the pandemic hit, Fujifilm Business Innovation, the world’s leading provider of document services and printing technologies was digitally ready for the global health crisis.
With Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud established across nine markets in Asia Pacific, they were able to lead their way out of the crisis by investing in the tech, the data and processes to enable faster, better decisions. By moving staff data, HR applications, and localised policies into a single, digital platform, the organisation allowed 14,000 employees across the region access to standardised HR processes, and real-time insights into the workforce.
Within Oracle Fusion HCM Cloud, we have also recently introduced Oracle Journeys, designed to help organisations create a one-stop shop for employees as they navigate all aspects of work and complete complex tasks.
As ever, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, it is important to start with making the most of the tools and systems you have already. Not all frontline workers will have the same technologies, but almost everyone will carry a smartphone. Think about all the systems they could access from this single device alone – many of us do much of our day-to-day jobs on our phones anyway, from calling clients to paying for goods.
Moving forward together
We are all on our own path. While one business shifts towards a working model that is almost entirely remote, another is readying itself for employee-centric hybrid working, and another focused on bottling up the office atmosphere to take anywhere.
Each of these scenarios relies on employees to see success. It is employees who have the potential to innovate and discover a better way of doing things. But to unlock that potential, they need equal access to new technologies, and they need it fast. In the new world of work, there will be no waiting around.
Diana Spalding is Head of Apps, Oracle Singapore. Join Oracle at HR Tech Fest Connect 2021, where Johannes Eckold, Director, HCM Strategy & Business Development, ASEAN, will be making a presentation titled The era of super-HR is here.