The Times They Are A Changin
Bob Dylan was so right, forty years later the velocity of change is breath taking and as a society we need instant, always on access to data. How we work, live, shop, socialise is evolving at a rapid pace. The impact technology has on our lives is enormous, exciting and demanding.
If you are a service provider like Ergo, remember, our function in life is not just to provide a feel good factor to users, it’s to provide them with the tools to deliver better outcomes, retain and gain more customers, improve margin, collect cash faster and deliver a better customer experience.
A huge challenge businesses are facing today, to keep up these high levels of customer experience their clients have come to accept, is addressing staffing challenges. Organisations are being forced to think outside the box in order to attract and retain quality talent.
At Ergo, one way we successfully address this challenge and help our customers address it, is through the use of cloud technologies and applications such as Office 365, to enable staff to work effectively and productively from anywhere in the world.
Effective use of technology helps create flexible work environments, expands the scope of who you can attract, where you attract them from and how you retain them.
We have colleagues based in locations across Europe such as Czech Republic, Portugal and Lithuania working as part of our Support and Service Delivery teams. We have Engineers on the road across the country delivering and responding to our customers’ requirements. All they need is a device – laptop, tablet, PC or mobile and an internet connection and they can work effectively and collaboratively from anywhere, engaging with other colleagues as if they were sitting next to them.
Other technologies such as CRM systems ensure that we can share and update information about our customers and our interactions with them, so that no matter who is talking to the customer, from where, and when, we all have a single and integrated view of each account.
One important piece of the puzzle which businesses often overlook when adopting a flexible and remote workforce approach like this, is the need to incorporate a regular element of face-to-face engagement with off-site individuals. While Skype for Business and its video conferencing capabilities address this on a daily basis, at Ergo we ensure our people spend one week per quarter working from our Dublin Head Quarters to facilitate some in-person team bonding and engagement, making those remote staff members feel part of the wider team.
Organisations do not have to limit their search for quality talent to those located in their immediate region. In my experience if your selection of people is good, the culture of the organisation is high trust, objectives are clear and the tools provided are both fit for purpose and provide the user with an experience which they are comfortable with, then organisations can have a policy which ensures maximum flexibility. Once this works for the customers as well, it can create a dynamic and motivated team, helps deal with work life balance, family and location challenges.
Austerity is very much something we look at in the rear view mirror. Organisations are now building highly charged vehicles, efficient and lean, using technology as an enabler to compensate for shortages in the labour market and the ever increasing cost of office space, as well as providing employees with the ability to work from anywhere, allowing them to balance their work and life commitments.
Working is not somewhere we go, it’s what we do, from wherever.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in company which is helping organisation wrestle their challenges.