COVID-19 has given rise to a slew of new trends in onboarding, offboarding, remote work, and disaster recovery plan creation, and HR departments are racing to catch up. IT departments should take note and align closely with HR priorities to have a strong say in how the future will look.

by Phyllis Drucker
June 28, 2021

As the COVID-19-driven business crisis continues to subside and offices formulate their going-forward strategy, the shape of the workplace has changed. Organizations have realized there is a significant draw to flexible work conditions, and significant savings that come from a reduced physical footprint. HR is helping to lead the charge for the future of the workplace, and IT executives and thought leaders should take note.

While many IT organizations seem to work in their own silos, there is a tremendous advantage to using this period of flux - the safe return to the office and shifting landscape caused by the pandemic - to engage with HR on what’s to come. That’s because the latest trends in what works for HR align closely to either what IT has championed for some time or what will make life easier for IT to best align with the mission of a company or organization.

According to a recent 15five article, here are some top HR trends that are worth watching from an IT service and support lens:

  • The flexible work pattern is here to stay. COVID taught leaders that workers can be highly productive even when they are not in the office. HR is now promoting the idea of leaving the work-from-home flexibility in place as an offering. This may help attract younger talent, protect workers from burnout, and prioritize talent development.
  • It’s important to connect employees to the company’s mission. Trends indicate employees are seeking jobs based on a company’s mission as much as the salaries offered. They are looking to do meaningful work.
  • Working from home is the centerpiece of crisis plans. Remote work from home is a far less expensive disaster recovery (DR) plan than other options, and IT benefits from this.
  • Virtual onboarding processes must be seamless. IT should be ready to onboard and offboard employees virtually and through the use of automation.

What This Means for IT

Looking at this HR trend list, here are some thoughts for IT service and support people to consider:

  • Flexible work means innovation. Flexible support means an adoption of some capabilities that have become mainstream in some organizations: the service portal, concierge desks for support, and lockers and vending machines.
  • Building a crisis plan that includes working from home in lieu of an office works better than migrating people to a DR site. It is less expensive and disruptive. Paired with establishing virtual data centers, this strategy offers a seamless recovery when needed.
  • Connecting to the company’s mission and ensuring all employees understand their contribution make it easier for IT to define and support value streams and business outcomes they support.
  • Virtual onboarding and offboarding processes for HR enable IT to work more closely with HR on these processes, which are otherwise often uncoordinated and chaotic.

These HR trends generally boil down to an extreme focus on the employee’s experience, enabling the company or organization to attract and retain great talent. IT also needs to adopt an employee experience or customer experience mindset, and can learn how to do so from HR’s examples. IT can benefit from the shared work opportunity by learning how HR’s focus on the employee experience can benefit IT. This alignment between the two departments can even help justify the funding needed to make these proposed innovations possible.

Want to learn more? Phyllis will be presenting " New Ways of Working Drive Digital Transformation” at the upcoming Service Management World: A Digital Experience conference.

Phyllis Drucker is an ITIL® 4 Managing Professional certified consultant and information leader at Cognizant’s Linium ServiceNow practice. Phyllis has more than 20 years of experience in the disciplines and frameworks of service management, as both a practitioner and consultant. She has served HDI since 1997, itSMF USA since 2004 in a variety of capacities including speaker, writer, local group leader, board member, operations director and recently completed her term as Chair for itSMF International. Since 1997, Phyllis has helped to advance the profession of ITSM leaders and practitioners worldwide by providing her experience and insight on a wide variety of ITSM topics through presentations, whitepapers, and articles and now her new book on the service request catalog, Online Service Management: Creating a Successful Service Request Catalogue (International Best Practice). Follow Phyllis on Twitter @msitsm.

Tag(s): supportworld, service quality, service management, best practice, business alignment

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