The changing workplace: Business is personal

By Ashley Goldsmith, Chief People Officer, Workday

As the work landscape continues to evolve, one thought stands out for me as I think about the year ahead. In the changing workplace, the voice of the individual continues to gain strength. Perhaps this is because of our increasingly intertwined work and personal lives as well as the climate we operate in today.

People are a company’s most valuable resource. In this tight talent market, there is even more responsibility on organizations to create a culture where workers can have meaningful experiences. Business leaders everywhere, particularly CHROs, are recognizing why this is so important. It’s better for all employees and it’s better for business.

A positive employee experience can impact the level of trust workers have and ultimately, improve performance and retention. This, in turn, impacts the customer experience and helps increase a company’s bottom line. Focusing on a few areas, including diversity, digitalization, and an employee-first culture, can help meet workers needs as they continue to evolve.

Diversity means difference

We’ve focused on diversity since our inception at Workday. However, since social issues continue to take center stage in the world, we’ve reexamined what the term means to us. Diversity, in our view, really means difference.

Our Chief Diversity Officer, Carin Taylor, explains that diversity is a blend of unique attributes in each of us. This includes differences in background, perspective, race, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, nationality, location, function, and more.

The digitalization imperative

Shifts in the nature of work, new technologies and the needs of new generations are driving the digitalization of HR. Organizations must embrace this to create modern people practices. These shifts often bring uncertainty, but this is an incredibly exciting time to be in HR. We can help guide companies as they navigate these changes, helping them determine what to automate so that they can elevate the many tasks that are uniquely human. This frees up time for teams to tackle higher-priority work, such as figuring out the right approach to a particular strategy.

People come first in the changing workplace

According to a study from Accenture, “The parallels between a superior customer experience and employee experience are striking. An optimized customer experience generates loyalty and additional sales. A stellar employee experience attracts talent and boosts workforce engagement, productivity, and retention. This, in turn, directly improves a business’ financial performance. Put simply, happy employees lead to happy customers, so at Workday, employees must come first.

The happiness quotient

There’s another benefit to happy employees. Happiness is important for productivity. For years research has told us that when our teams are happier and more fulfilled, they are more productive. Just as customer feedback helps us inform our focus for new product features and improvements. Our employee feedback helps us think about how we structure people programs and experiences that contribute to positive employee sentiment.

More importantly, creating meaningful employee experiences isn’t just the right thing to do because of business value. It’s the right thing to do because, it’s simply the right thing to do. We continue to innovate ethically, make people’s working lives easier and more productive as well as putting employees first. I look forward to sharing more about our journey.

This article is also featured in the Payroll Magazine, download the full magazine here. Read more stories about HR and the changing workplace in the Payroll Magazine.

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