The New Way of Working (NWoW) is rising and the reasons behind this are in the latest trends in HR: Autonomy, Accountability, Flexibility and ICT.
Most companies are following or are planning to follow this trend, and for good reasons! But before speaking about the benefits, it is better to understand what this trends mean with some examples.
When we talk about autonomy we refer to the proliferation of small independent teams as well as virtual teams. Accountability refers to the empowerment of all the employees, while flexibility is well represented by telecommuting and home-working. ICT obviously concerns all the new tools that information technology offers to help us get work done.
NWoW is all that, but why should the HR implement it? The answer is because this holistic approach results in a better performance than each single trend considered; that is autonomy, accountability, flexibility and ICT are more effective if implemented all together.
So let’s talk about benefits, real advantages, something that make NWoW worth in the eyes of the executives.
Here are the three benefits in our opinion:
- better productivity: because employees work more and better when they evaluated for the results they achieve, and not just for the time that they spend in the office;
- more innovation: because if employees are more engaged at work they will feel more involved and go the extra mile to find new ideas
- more attractive: for the best talents on the market, the future generation (aka Millennials) will be asking jobs which offers this features, so NWoW is the key to attract the best employee of tomorrow.
The road to NWoW is paved also with some challenges to overcome:
- loss of social links: remote work can reduce the relationships between the employees;
- less collaboration: open spaces can make collaboration more difficult;
- individualisation: can occur if the employees are obsessed with their goals;
- silo mentality: when thinking of silo mentality people will most of the time think of a lack communication between departments, yet it is not that simple and it requires an in depth analysis.
Silo mentality is a mind-set present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.
Traditionally organizational structures were set up with silos to enable specialization towards a specific activity. In the 20th century this method was successful because managers focused on their efforts and rarely had to take in consideration the organization’s other activities. This is no longer applicable nor efficient in today’s ever-changing, fast-moving and information craving workplaces.
Organizations need to get away from the silo mentality because coordination across departments is where opportunities to create efficiency, change, and innovation lie.
But how could it be prevented, not just once but in a systematic way?
First and foremost, it’s to the management and leaders to generate cross-silos efficiency by addressing contextual issues at the heart of the organization. All collaborators will need to have a common goal to advance in the same direction. Once the management is set on the right track, they still need to find a way to engage and motivate the teams towards the goals.
Secondly, it is necessary to find a coherent and systematic solution to reach out to the departments and be able to select the people that need to meet each other. Chances are that the silo mentality will dissipate as more people doing a variety of jobs with different mind-sets start to understand each other’s mutual reality.
To complete the overview on the current situation I am going to describe what the companies are currently doing, the usual solutions, to break the silo mentality.
The three main solutions which most companies are putting in place are: team building activities, enterprise social networks and company’s dinners.
All these solutions have proven to be reliable for many years, but it is finally time to expose their limits: they are gathering always the same usual attendees, they are very hard to organize and manage because too many people are involved, and often people tend to regroup with their team without having any contacts with the other colleagues. Furthermore, these current solutions fall short as far as participation rate and employees’ engagement are concerned, and at the end of the day Silo mentality will be still an issue.
So the question is: how to go beyond these limits and, at the same time, drive high participation rates and employees’ engagement? Well, the answer is “frequent micro-events”, that is events which are repeated several times in a given time frame and with a small number of attendees.
In this manner the HR manager can improve cross-silo contacts, get high participation rate and solid employees engagement.
Yet organising these kind of events might be quite difficult for large companies, with hundreds or thousands of employees. The HR will be overwhelmed by the number of variables involved to plan the events… and handling the last minute cancellations might be even worse. They need the right tool to help them complete this task.
Woobe for instance, is a tool that will give HR a the possibility to organize long-term and specifically designed small-group events over large groups of individuals.
It is an effective, long-term and scalable solution that can design inter- or intra-department campaigns with different objectives and separate goals. With only few clicks, and in less than 5 minutes, the HR will create a campaign. Woobe will send automatic invitations to employees, according to their calendar availabilities and the criteria defined, such as department, age, seniority, etc. What Woobe is not is “yet another tool” for the employees: they will receive invitations in their regular “outlook” calendar.
With Woobe, a company can easily and economically organize micro events to break down the silo mentality, initiate a sense of cohesion and a corporate spirit that will drive success.