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Translating Employer Value Promise By Building Learning Communities That Focus On Customer Value

Translating Employer Value Promise By Building Learning Communities That Focus On Customer Value

The world of work, accelerated by the pandemic, is set for a monumental transition. McKinsey predicts that 14% of the global workforce may have to switch occupational categories as digitization, automation, and advances in AI are disrupting the world of work. By 2030, companies and governments will face profound implications for setting up individuals on their career paths. The global corporate L&D market tops $350 Bn, as Gartner posits in its recent year-end report that 70% of employees feel they lack the skills required to perform well on their jobs.

Accentuating today’s need is a core reality: transformational learning, despite the investments, efforts, and excitement poured in, is hard. Companies must reach the point where their workforce eagerly (and assertively) challenges the status quo and act in altered ways to create enduring customer value. The challenge can originate from multiple sources; the learning may be misaligned with required business skills, or the metrics targeted are ineffective (course completion rates, for instance, as opposed to qualitative feedback). What is the way forward?

What elements and principles creates happy learning communities and encourage greater experimentation and effectiveness?

It is interesting to observe an employer’s value promise in setting up a conducive environment.

  1. Establishing communities of practice. The informal association of employees usually stretches across business divisions, are as diverse as the situations that give rise to them. One example could be that employees form communities of practice around the emergent areas of AI, Regulatory Tech, and Cybercrimes. In contrast to formal work or project teams, a community of practice is united through passion, commitment, and identification of the group’s expertise. Over time, communities of practice self-perpetuate – they generate knowledge, reinforce and renew themselves.

While participation remains voluntary, communities of practice are encouraged by the learning culture that an organization fosters through its employee brand promise.

  1. Ecosystem learning. In a recent example, Apple pledged $50M in supplier employee development funds to expand access to learning opportunities. The initiative supports the worker rights program created by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International organization for Migration (IOM). This is an example where new educational resources enhance the learning potential for specific professions and create skills necessary for tomorrow’s jobs – in an ecosystem-centered way. This external orientation is crucial in today’s hair-trigger economy, where customer preferences constantly change. Working with partners makes spotting new (and often unpredictable) opportunities easier. As unexpected challenges surface, ecosystem learning programs help organizations to draw meaningful insights from fragmentary and incoherent data. One, the employees are equipped with a sharpened sense of emerging trends, and two, they are battle-ready with necessary resources that must be quickly brought to bear.
  1. Unlearning faster than learning. More than forgetting, the discipline of unlearning involves the wisdom of choosing a fresh way of thinking. When we learn, we add new knowledge. When we unlearn, we step outside our mental models to select something new. In a networked economy, the nature of strategy and customer value creation shifts quickly and vastly. For instance, creating friction-free customer experiences for banks in an omnichannel world is about removing limits rather than setting them. Be it sales, marketing, brand, or product development teams; it is essential to remind ourselves that we operate in a multi-dimensional world, where more than B2B, B2C, D2C, and B2B2C models, the more objective reality is “many-to-many .”To transition and successfully perform in this mental model, we must embrace new mental habits (like driving on the other side of the road in a foreign country).   

Companies that practice curiosity, transparency, and non-judgmental communication (especially at the leadership ranks) do better at unlearning (often faster than learning).

In conclusion

Creating inspired, open, and free organization comes from how broad-based, inclusive, and well-permeated the employee value promises – especially the principles of care, nurture, and communication – are.

Remember, Choose Wise, Continue Wiser.

About Maveric Systems

Since 2000, Maveric Systems has been a niche, domain-led Banking Tech specialist partnering with global banks to solve business challenges through emerging technology. 3000+ tech experts use proven frameworks to empower our customers to navigate a rapidly changing environment, enabling sharper definitions of their goals and measures to achieve them.

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Customers or culture; leadership or learning? Making sense of the unique balance in an Employer’s brand promise

Customers or culture; leadership or learning? Making sense of the unique balance in an Employer’s brand promise

Post-pandemic employment choices proliferate with a higher acceptance of hybrid work models, especially in the technology sector. Add to it the novelty of Metaverse that brings experiments in employee experience and employer empathy.  Just as digitization and social media offer marketers extraordinary insight into customer decision journeys, for prospective job seekers, the same tools allow them to scrutinize (and hold accountable) employers’ brand promise.

What is the relationship between a company’s brand promise for its products and its employees?

Let’s talk about a few companies that have reinvented themselves over time and know something about creating and sustaining a brand promise.

  • The ultimate driving machine (BMW)
  • To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world (Nike)
  • Save money, live better (Walmart)
  • Inspire moments of optimism and uplift (Coca-Cola)
  • Think different (Apple)

These promises accentuate attributes the iconic companies offer as part of their products. Now, let’s understand these companies as employers.

  • Share your passion (BMW)
  • Move the world (Nike)
  • People, innovation, and a chance to change the world for good (Walmart)
  • A diverse, global community of people who thirst for more (Coca-Cola)
  • Join us. Be You (Apple)

Like their products, these companies emphasize a core promise it makes for their current and future hires. A secondary set of values is also a part of the EVP (employee value proposition) that actualize the key messages. For instance, Coca-Cola talks about the values of leadership – (the courage to shape a better future), passion (committed in heart and mind), integrity (be real), accountability (if it is to be, it’s up to me), and innovation (seek, imagine, create, delight)

At the heart of it – be it a product or employment – the best enterprises articulate their value precisely and practice it across customer-facing processes.

For employers, balancing a brand promise is essential. After all, making daily progress in meaningful work comes from an optimal mix of emotions and motivation.

For an enterprise with the employee brand promise – Meraki – their ability to provide a conducive environment for practice Meraki becomes essential. (Meraki is a Greek word that means to do something with passion, creativity, or love.)

The obvious question is: what must then be the components for the teams to practice this ‘essence consistently’? Here are three possibilities.

  • Exceptional projects with marquee clients that need ‘possibility thinking’ on an unprecedented scale.
  • Exceptional leadership that promotes meritocracy and role models care and nurture.
  • A environment tuned to consistent learning and adventure that challenges the status quo and prides collective accomplishment over individual excellence.

In Sum,

Today’s digital climate empowers job seekers to know the cultural nuances that differentiate enterprises. Equally, organizations, at least the progressive ones, are bringing in higher wisdom to articulate what they stand for and how their promise unfolds across functions and departments.

Remember, Choose Wise, Continue Wiser.

About Maveric Systems

Since 2000, Maveric Systems has been a niche, domain-led Banking Tech specialist partnering with global banks to solve business challenges through emerging technology. 3000+ tech experts use proven frameworks to empower our customers to navigate a rapidly changing environment, enabling sharper definitions of their goals and measures to achieve them.

For its employees across locations and diverse competencies engaged with marquee clients across the globe, Maveric Systems balances its customer commitments through its employer value proposition; a mix of four principles – focus on meritocracy, unparalleled care and respect, leadership nurture, and transparent communication.

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Ensuring Business Continuity during COVID times

Ensuring Business Continuity during COVID times

In the few weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic announcement, several countries have imposed a complete lockdown to restrict the movement of people and goods. The move has not only changed our lives but also changed how businesses operate. Stricter governance and shutdown of physical movement has placed a great strain on businesses. In response to the pandemic, several business leaders are considering remote work as an option for their employees. At this stage, there is no way of predicting the short-term or long-term implications of COVID-19 for businesses. Amid a pandemic, how can CXOs ensure business continuity? During this evolving scenario, businesses have to be proactive and quick in their decision-making to ensure business continuity. Organizations have to rethink their business continuity plans (BCP) and align it to how the pandemic would affect their businesses from the perspective of governance, risks, audit, assurance, and reporting. While it is a general practice to establish remote working policies in advance, in times of crisis a lot of factors can go against your plans. Remote working teams are particularly vulnerable to communication, technology, and security risks. But how are teams addressing the challenges of remote working? Ensuring Business Continuity during COVID times 1. Alignment to work timings In this age of global businesses and 24/7 connectivity, time differences don’t seem like a challenge for companies. But during a lockdown, it is normal for time differences to impact operations. Without an immediate response to work queries, business functions can be severely impacted. Encourage your team to adhere to business hours, login at the start time and complete their scheduled work within the working hours. This way they have a distinction between office and home hours. The distinction would help in being mindful of other remote workers.

Work within the business hours

2. Business Delivery Currently, BCP is at the top of the mind for every CEO. But, despite careful planning, many organizations are not technologically prepared for a large remote environment. The key to a BCP plan success is testing in advance as part of annual BCP testing. But during a pandemic, there isn’t enough time to test everything. Most businesses are adopting collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, to enrich their communication and bridge the gap. While the platform is built to deliver seamless communication and collaboration, most companies are yet to implement it across their remote workforce. Even before India’s lockdown announcement we had leveraged this idea of installing Microsoft Teams and creating pseudo user names for the associates thus enabling them to login remotely. A Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) access trial run was performed with only a few associates. With the lockdown in effect, teams had to be mobilized to their respective hometown during the weekend. Maveric continued its assistance by running another trial with teams across remote locations to assess business continuity. This helped the client in ensuring that the lockdown did not affect essential business operations.

Adopt collaboration tools

3. VDI/Network issues Every VDI deployment comes with its own set of problems. From network failures to application performance to user management and user overload, managing VDI can be a pain. But advances around containerization are helping organizations to balance end-user flexibility and centralized controls. To help organizations, Maveric developed a handbook for common VDI issues and solutions. A four-member specialization team was formed to streamline all VDI-related issues and resolve issues with quick turnaround time.

Handbook for common VDI issues & specialised team to resolve issues

4. Communication Strategy An effective communication strategy is essential for any organization, even more so while working remotely. Business leaders have to focus on streamlining all modes of communication that go beyond traditional management techniques. A fluid workplace is beneficial to remote workers and provides autonomy. But with autonomy comes the challenges of accountability. While at work, internal communication is managed through instant messages, emails or face-to-face meetings. Adopting the same technique for remote work brings in the challenges of work allocation and ‘face-time’ with business leaders. Further, teams have to have key personnel in place to support the functions and maintenance of work allocations. Internal Communication To simplify communication, Maveric implemented a hierarchy of reporting. Based on work streams, for a small group of associates, a single point of contact (SPOC) was assigned.

  1. Start of day calls between the associates and SPOCs was arranged.
  2. Utilization of communication apps like WhatsApp was used extensive to communicate issues and SPOCs to guide them accordingly.
  3. End of day catch up calls to reflect on the day progress, improvisations was put in place.

The SPOC in turn report to their managers. External communication Maveric was able to assist clients in setting up an effective external communication protocol that addressed work allocations and status reports. The team established a start of day work allocation channel to effectively communicate tasks and deliverables for the day. A shift-timings based schedule was implemented to ensure business continuity across time zones. Associates send in their end-of-day Daily Status Reports (DSR) on productivity, downtime etc., for business leaders to assess.

Communication simplified by hierarchy of reporting and DSR calls

  • IT Governance
  • In a rapidly evolving business environment, business leaders are forced to rethink their governance strategies. The pandemic is putting governance models to the test. While modern digital organizations are quick to adapt, others are still figuring out how to get started or put the right governance in place. Business leaders have to implement tools or governance policies to measure work progress, without invading an associate’s privacy and time. One way to achieve this is by tracking day-to-day assessments with an automated tool.

Internal Governance Maveric developed a productivity measurement tool that can be accessed by any user to report their day-to-day productivity. The tool helps in measuring user’s workday, for example, it compares an associate’s logs for the complete day to the count of deliverables assigned to the associate. It also tracks downtimes. The main purpose of the tool was to

  1. Track the productivity of individuals – Gave individuals an accountability of their time management and show case their productivity of the day.
  2. Track downtime faced by associates – by grouping the hours of downtime because of VDI issues/network issues, highlight the need to fix the issues.
  3. Helped in preparing DSR reports – the raw data is converted to create DSRs.

To complete the exercise, a fortnightly call was set up with Maveric’s leadership team to ensure smooth governance. External Governance To ensure accountability, appropriate security control and process need to be in place. Maveric supports its clients by sending DSRs on the progress for the day. A fortnightly call was set up with Maveric’s Delivery leadership team to assess on-going governance policies.

Productive measure tool – an automated tool to measure and track productivity

  • Infosec Governance/Security

As we continue to experience a shift in work practices, information security is a top priority for CISOs. While the world settles into the lockdown, hackers and other malicious actors are capitalizing on the fears and panic of unsuspecting victims. A surge of phishing activities, surrounding COVID, have prompted governments and global organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue safety warnings. At this juncture, CISOs must implement a strict or zero-trust policy in place to secure their systems and their remote employees. Another major concern for remote work is the increase in shadow IT. Any effective business continuity plan would include critical IT resources, approved vendors, and other commercial services to meet business needs. Employees need to be able to access these resources under a secure VPN with 2-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA). Organizations, on the other hand, should test application for remote access, patching, and hardening systems. In the current environment of uncertainty, we at Maveric are working to ensure continuous support for our clients. We have learned from our past IT challenges and understand the importance of IT stability and flexibility, especially for remote work. To all our readers, we hope you stay safe, healthy, and indoors.

A strict or zero-trust policy in place to secure the systems and remote employees

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