Driving better company cultures and building a streamlined communication flow between employees and managers is key to ensuring a strong remote working environment. Ana Milian, Director of Human Resources at IntelePeer shares her thoughts on the today’s evolving HR trends in tech in this chat with us.
Welcome, Ana, to TecHRseries – Tell us a little about yourself…and your journey in tech.
Hello and thank you for this opportunity! My career started in technology in HR, and I grew to enjoy building good teams and cultures within small to mid-size organizations. Collaboration and supporting values are important to me in life and at work. My journey continues to allow me to work with great teams to build trust, confidence and increase engagement supporting our company initiatives and instilling our values.
Technology is always growing and ever changing so that aids and adds challenges to making sure we have the latest tools to continue building a values-led culture as businesses look to hire and grow.
What are some of the biggest best practices you’ve followed while creating an employee friendly culture over the years?
One of the best practices I have followed is building a community in the workplace. We spend a lot of time together and through that we get to know each other on a more personal level. Creating opportunities where we can relax and have fun together through employee lunches/coffee-tea breaks, company events and participating in social responsibility programs are just some ways we grow together and build relationships that contribute to a friendly culture. After COVID-19, we established a Staff Morale Committee to continue in this effort to plan many of these activities for a remote workforce.
What are some of the biggest problems you see with employee engagement programs in tech today?
Some of the biggest challenges I see with employee engagement programs is people not using them to their full benefit. Often, it is easy to get caught up in your day-to-day responsibilities especially working from home, and not having that person to person interaction. Employees want to feel supported and have their voices heard. Zoom calls only do so much when engaging with your team. Enhancing employee engagement is and should be a priority as we move into 2021 to retain and grow loyalty with your team through supportive meetings, shout outs to team members during company calls, Employee engagement is also tied into the company’s culture and if that is positive, the employee is more likely to stay engaged.
As companies focus more on creating valuable employee experiences today – what are some of the biggest trends you feel small to mid-sized teams should follow and implement to have more vibrant work cultures?
The move to remote workers is driving many new trends for businesses of all sizes today. I see growing efforts for increased video chats, for example, and the need to improve the quality of that interaction. I think we will see employee engagement and experience as a key focus moving into 2021 and continuing remote work. I think we will see AI play a role and more automation sending employees more information to keep them aware of company programs, changes, meetings, events, and other important information. I also see a big move to the cloud for HR due to remote workers. It is critical for companies to be able to properly provide a secure method for work being shared as well as for HR to be able to do proper employee reviews and training.
In today’s digital, always-on world: what are your top thoughts on ensuring teams have better manager-employee relationships while being remote?
Remote workers and their managers need to maintain a consistent flow of communication to ensure teams have a better manager-employee relationship. HR can aid through its review of new applications, video conferencing tools, analytics tools to measure productivity and see what is working and what needs to be changed or improved. There are several communications tools available to maintain team moral, consistent communication and help remote workers feel part of the company and engaged with their managers.
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As employees return to the workplace during the pandemic and businesses try to return to a sense of pre Covid normalcy, how should leaders focus on implementing better organizational practices in a Covid-19 working era (where team members have to stay distant even while sitting on the same office floor).
Leaders need to create a plan they can distribute to employees with the new organizational practices and what is expected from those returning to the office. I think we will see limited returns to offices or schedules that rotate teams working from the office and those working remote. Leaders need to work with employees to enforce compliance with current Covid-19 laws, proper cleaning and social distancing practices of six feet apart while we still adapt and wait for a return to normalcy.
What are some of the ways in which you feel HR leaders should drive more change within their organization (in terms of workplace culture, benefits, hiring process, etc).
HR leaders should be consistently working on new plans, processes, and training tools to maintain a positive culture and maintain employee engagement. It is an ever changing environment right now, so creating emergency processes, capturing lessons learned through this experience and using that to create new improved operational plans to hire, retain and train employees while keeping them safe and in a healthy workspace.
What are some of the top HR Technologies that have seen come in handy to create stronger HR policies and better employee experiences?
Some exciting new HR technologies are marketing and recruitment platforms for a smoother hiring process, onboarding software that improve new hires experience and automates many processes, as many now are hired remotely and never meet their team in person. Employee self-service tools are improving and will play a bigger role helping HR with education on new policies and allowing employees to schedule training based on their schedules while HR can implement deadlines and send reminders. It will be interesting as we exit 2020 and move into 2021 to see how HR leaders review and invest in new AI, automation, and analytics tools.
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IntelePeer powers the new customer experience. Our Atmosphere® CPaaS enables companies to communicate better – driving more revenue, improving their customer experience, and making better business decisions – leveraging omni-channel Automation & Self-Service, AI, and Analytics, all delivered through a single easy-to-use cloud platform that works seamlessly with your existing business solutions.
Ana Milian is the Director of Human Resources at IntelePeer and specializes in helping small to mid-size businesses establish Human Resources by creating, developing and establishing policies and procedures, HR systems and programs that support growth and align with the organization’s key business goals. She’s held roles as the sole HR leading teams prior to joining IntelePeer. She brings over 20 years of experience.
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