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Management trends to keep an eye on

By Jack Campbell | |6 minute read
Management Trends To Keep An Eye On

Keeping up with the latest management trends can help to boost efficiency and keep workers fulfilled.

Stef Shoffren, modern workplace lead at Avanade, discussed just how important this is with the HR Leader.

HR Leader: “What trends should employers be looking out for?”


Mr Shoffren: “The first is to take a holistic approach to the workspace. There are many organisations that have got something to say and have a vested interest in from the facilities, people who manage the building, our HR team that are listening to this podcast, as well as line of business and the IT teams.”

“And we believe the best way to deliver a great experience for your employees is actually to collaborate and bring those different areas of the organisation together rather than delivering a silo. We think that is how you’ll really accelerate the productivity over the next 12 months and ongoing.”

He continued: “The second one is to be really people first, design around the moments that matter. Now, the moments that matter for the individuals, the people in your organisation, will vary from team to team, from organisation to organisation. There are some common ones that we find, such as onboarding, the experience of what people feel when they join a new company, that they are able to find their colleagues, that they are able to get their new laptop and start working immediately for the company.”

“That is an example of what we think is a stellar onboarding experience, and it should be quick and efficient. There are some organisations that we’ve spoken to that take 16 weeks, 20 weeks to onboard someone, which isn’t a great experience for the individual. So, design around those moments that matter and really think about the ones that matter to your team,” said Mr Shoffren.

“And the third is really taking that data-driven approach to the workplace experience. Understanding the data points that you are going to need to make decisions around the people and the teams so that your organisation can be firing on all cylinders.”

HR Leader: “Is it beneficial for leaders to force staff to come back into the office?”

Mr Shoffren: “Everyone’s got different lifestyles, and everyone’s got different things going on, and a five-day working week isn’t what may work for each individual … One of the things you should try doing is an experiment.”

“We took a small cohort of our people across the world, and we introduced this alternative work week. Now, we put some barriers in place around it, and we provided a lot of guidance to people that were on this on how to actually behave and work in this. We were reasonably flexible about how they worked based on their personal preference and lifestyle,” he explained.

“We wanted to understand, was there any impact to the individual’s productivity? And secondly, because we are a client-facing organisation for the most part, we wanted to understand, was there any perception from the clients on any change in the quality of what our teams were delivering?”

“What we found was there was a measurable uplift in the productivity of the individuals that were on the alternative work week. And why? Because they were able to vest their time in taking a day off every other week to actually focus on their family or an elderly relative. And that obviously made them, from a wellbeing perspective, much more fulfilled. And therefore, when they came to actually the time they were spending on work, they were investing much more in it,” Mr Shoffren said.

“The second data point we found was there was no impact from a quality perspective from our clients. We went out and interviewed the clients of the people that were on this program and found there was no impact at all to the quality of the work that these people were delivering.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with Stef Shoffren on 11 May is below, and the original podcast article can be found here.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.