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How the role of CHRO is evolving in the future of work

- By Britt Provost - Aug 04, 2022

I think we all can agree that the working environment has changed in the last 2 years – especially after the emergence of COVID and the movement that so many have called The Great Resignation.

While we may not have as much power over what happens on a global scale, we can control how we take care of the people within our organizations. As a brand driven to make accessibility a reality for everyone, we want to ensure that everything we do supports this goal, both as a business and an employer.

The UN recently released their Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainability initiative – and we’re honored to share that Siteimprove’s 2021 Sustainability Report was included in this pact. It’s exciting because it means that accessibility is moving to the forefront and becoming a global priority.

Our passion for accessibility goes far beyond our platform. At Siteimprove, we’re implementing programs around accessibility and establishing a culture of inclusivity in everything we do.

Maximizing employee experience

In any workplace, there are three verbs I believe are essential to a robust employee experience: growing, thriving, and belonging. Growing refers to progressing your career, thriving is thinking about the whole person you want to be, and belonging is about feeling part of your organization’s community.

Grow with a small plant sprouting leaves, Thrive as a strong tree, and Belong as several trees in a forestAll of these sound nice, but they’re not obvious in the workplace. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices can help maximize the employee experience and should be embedded in any HR strategy. More than that, they require funding, authority, and access to leaders. Ideally, a specific DEI role who has direct access to leadership should exist within the organization to ensure the effects are tangible and felt by every employee.

Peer coaching: the ultimate win-win

Peer coaching enables employees to build connection and trust with one another, because they’re having open, honest, and reciprocal conversations without any implied authority of expertise (as in traditional coaching).            

Employees can feel secure expressing themselves in a safe space and connecting with a peer they may have never known otherwise.

This year, Siteimprove has begun our journey with Imperative, an innovative peer coaching platform. Imperative’s unique solution helps employees feel socially connected and fulfilled, and a lot of that stems from the tool they developed to match peers in a meaningful way.

Using their online purpose profile, employees are matched based on their respective purpose drivers, which sets the foundation for a solid relationship. This shared bond empowers employees to get more out of peer coaching, creating a space where every conversation is specific to their individual needs – and places them in the driver’s seat of their own fulfilment at work.

In the new world of work where flexibility is at the forefront, the benefits of peer coaching will only continue to grow.

Why Peer Coaching?

  • Facilitates accountability. At the end of each session, concrete tasks and goals are agreed upon by both people so they can take action.
  • Builds meaningful relationships. These experiences create trust and belonging between employees and consistently create powerful and lasting relationships.
  • Forms strong leaders. Most peer coaches are aspiring leaders, and the program is a powerful way to prepare and excite them for a future leadership role.
  • Knocks down barriers. Working cross-departmentally becomes significantly easier when you have personal relationships with those on other teams. By changing peers each quarter, more and more of the metaphorical walls between teams begin to collapse.
  • Motivates and connects employees. The peer coaching process involves identifying motivating factors for each employee so they can be aware of and move towards what is meaningful to them.

Benefits of Peer Coaching: Facilitates accountability; Builds meaningful relationships; Forms strong leaders; Knocks down barriers; Motivates and connects employees

Peer coaching is just one of the many programs an organization can implement to foster better connections between employees. As the future of work continues to unfold and develop, those connections will only become more important.

Offices in the future of work

At Siteimprove, like so many other organizations, we are trying to balance the new hybrid work model. We think of ourselves as people first - and working to design the employee experience (and in-office experience) around that.  As we move forward, we should be focused on what our current offices post-COVID should look and feel like, and how to maximize the hybrid work experience.

There are three activities people do at the office: collaborate, focus, and perch. While imagining areas for collaboration and focusing are a bit easier to visualize, perching may not be as obvious. Perching is about creating what people like so much about working in a coffee shop. It's casual, allows for impromptu connections with others, and creates time and space to think. Sitting at different levels and places is part of the new work experience; the days of the one-size-fits-all desk are over.

In whatever fashion the way we work changes moving forward, it’s important our offices accommodate and make space for all three of these activities.

As Siteimprove continues to expand across the globe, our commitment to providing environments where employees can maximize their connection and productivity is stronger than ever. We want the office to be a place that employees actively want to come to, to enjoy time with their team, and accomplish their goals.

Beyond the physical workspace, I’ve got all kinds of ideas on how to step into an HR team in the current hybrid environment and make an immediate impact. Stay tuned for more on that in a future of work session we’ve got scheduled for October, all based on what we’re doing at Siteimprove now.

Belonging as a baseline

The working world is evolving. At Siteimprove, we're doing the essential work to evolve with it. Inclusivity is built into our company DNA, so our goal will always be to make every employee feel an inherent sense of belonging – whether they’re working from the office or their kitchen table.

Let’s keep going!

b.