Wearing new shoes can be an uncomfortable experience. A new app now allows users to scan their feet using their mobile phones, and delivers shoes that are shaped to fit every individual’s foot perfectly, reported BusinessWire.  

Tech-enabled personalisation allows individuals to hit the ground running. For government agencies, ensuring employees receive unique services will boost their engagement and increase productivity. This productivity can lead to stronger relationships with citizens.  

Wong Pei Woan, Head of Solution (Human Capital Management) at Workday Asia, shares how leaders can understand and cater to the needs of the employee, and the role that AI and data analytics play.  

Engaging employees in the pandemic  

The Covid-19 pandemic “presented an opportunity for organisations to review the traditional workplace”, says Wong. An important part of this is rethinking what makes a good employee experience, she explains. 

The flexible work environment seems to be a satisfactory arrangement on the surface. Nine in 10 employees reported that they want to continue working from home in the future, a Straits Times survey found. 

But a challenge arises as many also see the workplace as “a source of community, training and belonging”, says Wong. Without being near to colleagues and supervisors, “there is still a lingering risk of disengagement”, she emphasises. 

The employee experience is important because “engaged and empowered employees produce their best work”, Wong explains.  

Beyond productivity, a recent phenomenon is the challenge of the ‘Great Resignation’, which started in the US with higher levels of workers voluntarily leaving their jobs during the pandemic. Understanding employee sentiment, predicting attrition risks and taking actions to improving experience is critical to retain as much top talent as possible.  

The next step for governments  

As government agencies are often very large, they need support in understanding and supporting every employee’s needs, Wong says. This support can take the form of intelligent listening and flexible tools, which gives managers an idea of what drives engagement and productivity, she says. 

 A single system powered by machine learning would help. Organisations can derive insights from behavioral, transactional, talent and sentiment data, to understand individual needs and career aspirations. Supervisors can then coach people through their unique career journey. 

 Personalisation through technology  

Personalisation is a key part of Workday’s tools, says Wong. Workday systems can predict why employees have opened the platform, recommend tasks, and provide personalised announcements to help them, she highlights. 

This is useful for when an employee is experiencing a particularly important moment in their career or life, says Workday’s website. When an employee has just started or is about to go on leave, the platform offers “a concierge style guided experience” on next steps. 

The platform also has a notification system that is unique to every individual. Using data analytics, it can alert users on day-to-day tasks such as submitting pay slips, receiving feedback, and celebrating special occasions. 

The automated Workday Assistant can guide users when they search for certain tools. Employees can interact with the Assistant by either writing out their query in a search bar, or through voice command. 

These support tools can also be integrated into established collaboration platforms. Whether it’s Slack or Microsoft Teams, Workday seamlessly combines with existing work processes to add personalised support.  

There isn’t just one type of civil servant in the workforce. Personalised tools for engagement and training will help the public service feel heard and empower them to do greater work.