Human Resources needs to design a new operating model that can support the whole employee at moments that matter in a distributed work environment, one that offers personalization and relevance to every individual.
Much is being said about the need for a new operating model by which Human Resources, or the People function of your organization, can support, empower, and deliver needed services to a distributed workforce. The current HR operating model was already rigid, siloed, and broken. That’s because employees experience work in journeys on a continuum, with moments that matter along that fluid, dynamic continuum. Their experience of work includes many touchpoints, but in no way is their experience siloed between Talent Acquisition, Onboarding, Talent Management, Compensation & Benefits, Health & Wellness, Performance Management, Learning & Development, Training, etc. It’s ridiculous to think I would describe my Workforce Experience that way, but that’s how the Human Resources function is designed to support the whole employee, the complete person. Siloed and separate.
Not only that, but the people who work for you are also modern, savvy, digital consumers. We use wearable tech to monitor our safety and health; we use apps to support productivity and mindfulness; we employ voice technology to complete tasks; we have built-in personal assistants in Alexa, Nest, our front doorbell…. my refrigerator can even tell me when I’m low on milk and add it to my Amazon shopping list. Digital experiences are personalized and relevant to me.
This is what 2020 feels like. Notice I’m describing an experience. It happens to be supported by technology, but I don’t know or care what technology it is or how it works. I care that it makes my life easier or happier; it contributes to a net positive experience. Experience is a feeling. What year does it feel like in your organization?
HR operating models already needed to be broken, even before COVID-19 slammed into our businesses, homes, and lives. Perhaps that’s what it took: a sudden and complete erasure of all we understood about where and how work could get done. This, alongside new policies and support for Work Your Way, reshaped workforce experience as something that could be virtual, distributed, flexible, personalized, and still productive and perhaps more effective. HR found they could pivot to support this, and they did, out of necessity. So let’s build on that. Out of modern necessity, Human Resources needs to design a new operating model that can support the whole employee at moments that matter in a distributed work environment, one that offers personalization and relevance to every individual.
That includes employee healthcare. 49% of the population relies on an employer for their healthcare coverage, and those employers cover 70% of the costs of providing that coverage. If 2020 reinforced a single Moment that Matters when it comes to work, it’s the health and safety of our people. From a practical standpoint, too: employee health has become critical for business continuity and for overall productivity.
Most companies will say health is important. Even if they say and truly believe this, they’re restricted from showing how much it matters because they’re constrained by budget. But now that business continuity and overall productivity is directly tied to employee health, it’s easier to not only justify but also leverage as part of an overall business health strategy.
There’s a lot of healthcare data out there, rapidly growing every day. Medical knowledge used to double every 20-30 years; now it’s doubling every 73 days. But businesses that rely on employee health data to drive business continuity and productivity don’t have access to it. Consumerization of healthcare is necessary to meet the needs of the Now of Work. That includes real-time means to deliver legitimate, credible information in times of crisis, including a multi-channel approach to meet people where they are. And your workforce, who relies on you for health and wellness solutions provided through benefits programs, needs Innovative virtual care solutions that include more than telehealth.
I’m not just talking about physical health and wellbeing when it comes to our ability to be effective and able to perform work. Supporting the whole employee, the complete person, requires we acknowledge and support their emotional wellbeing and mental health, too. One in four people is affected by a mental health disorder. Over $200 billion in revenue is lost every year due to increased healthcare costs, lost productivity, and absenteeism related to mental health disorders, including depression. Supporting the whole employee, their physical and mental health, in a more modern and effective way is not only the right thing to do, it’s critical for your business.
League is doing all of this in a virtual and distributed way: they’re well ahead of the game when it comes to offering online services, integrating health experience into overall workforce experience, and personalizing communications and care plans just like we personalize the rest of my employee experience. It’s possible to do this with data insights, and they’re well ahead of the curve in that, too, driving business outcomes of organizational wellbeing programs by using engagement data to identify population health and supporting return to work.
It’s tough work creating a new category like League is doing with a Health Operating System. But it’s necessary. It’s important to recognize the critical business need and modern role of our health experience as an integrated facet of our overall workforce experience in a new, distributed workplace. Doing this supports agility and resilience in your business and organizational strategy, and it puts more control (and confidence) in the hands of the consumers that make up your workforce. Employee experience matters, especially now when trust and confidence are paramount in engaging your workforce. Making things easy for people to find, understand and use is part of this experience; making sure this is part of our health experience is a priority for business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This guest blog post was written by Jason Averbook. Jason is a leading analyst, thought leader and consultant in the area of human resources, the future of work and the impact technology has on that future. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Leapgen, a digital transformation company shaping the future of work by broadening executive mindset to rethink how to better design and deliver employee services that meet the expectations of the workforce and the needs of the business.
Prior to founding Leapgen, Jason served as the CEO of The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC). In 2005, he co-founded Knowledge Infusion LLC and served as its CEO until 2012, when the company was sold to Appirio. Earlier in his career, he served as the Chief Business Innovation Officer at Appirio Inc., where he led the HCM business. He has also held senior leadership roles at PeopleSoft and Ceridian Corporation. Jason has more than 20 years of experience in the HR and technology industries and has collaborated with industry-leading companies in transforming their HR organizations into strategic partners.