Guest article from Alex Roebuck of Invotra, highlighting the role of the intranet in hiring and retention.
People born after 1997 have grown up with social media. Information about their online preferences follow them everywhere they go. They get information constantly displayed about things that they Googled once, two weeks ago.
So, they’re used to constant reminders of their choices. This unconscious stream of information becomes the norm. Especially if you’ve been surrounded by it your whole life, it’s not even worth thinking about, it’s just how it is.
The kids of 1997 are now entering the workplace. Have you considered that? I mean, really thought about it. Generations are taking on digital iterations at lightning speed. We’re not just talking about moving from Fax to Email – which I remember as a revelation, eek! We’re talking about a communication explosion. Twitter, Facebook, email, IM, Snapchat… you get the picture.
The apprentices joining us this year and our future talent have been born in the Digital Age, an age which evolves daily,and as it evolves, these people – these digitally savvy experts – think nothing of it. Why would they? They’ve known nothing else.
How then, do we ensure that we’re making our workplace appealing to the top talent that we all want or need to develop the continuing growth of the business? We’re not just talking about recruitment. We’re talking about ensuring they choose you over the competition.
You know about all the usual strategic plans leadership development, workforce segmentation etc etc… but have you considered workplace technology? We have to be seen to make the move from home to work seamless, embrace the new methods of communication and information exchange, so that newbies feel comfortable with their work surroundings.
The personal workplace
How can we replicate their everyday personal experiences within the workplace?
Well there is one solution that is making waves at the moment which is the Internet of Things. Real data intelligence is about to get ‘real’. The Internet of Things is a data monster. It’s tracking the movements, statistics and use of everyday items. Then really clever people, take the data and analyse it. From their analysis they can make recommendations for improvements to utilities, workplace environment and culture. Let’s use a real example.
I work in a hot desk zone at work. Everyday I go in, I sit on a different chair, I have to adjust the settings to make it comfortable. If this chair was connected to the Intranet of Things then I could use my phone to tell the chair it was me and the chair would automatically take my settings and move into my most comfortable settings.
My chair knows me and my preferences (smart chair), so does the coffee machine. I’ve got time for a coffee because my commute to work was shorter than usual – result! This is because of the traffic alerts, alternative suggested routes to my mobile. Which meant I could dodge all the usual jams. Not only that, but if I was to get stuck my line manager will be informed so I don’t have to worry about making the call.
These are just a few ideas of how the Intranet of Things can affect your workplace environment. The smart chair might not be in your budget, but new inventions like these will be spurred on by data that supports their potential workplace benefits.
This sort of evolution is what sets your workplace apart from your competitors. Top talent will be excited by this, young talent will expect it.
Take this further, look at your workplace technology and your intranet. Start to make a plan, can these key applications support your organisation as you move into the future? Think now about how you need to engage the future workforce to remain a market leader.
Could the ‘The Intranet of Things’ be the answer? How can you use digital to make the workplace an inspiration and to capture the imagination of the future of your business?
Start thinking today because it’s going to happen, don’t get left behind.
Alex has worked in digital marketing agencies since 2007 and before that in TV advertising and video production.
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