There is little doubt about it, hybrid work is here to stay. And while employees and leaders may differ on how many days they should be in the office, the reality for most organizations is that it will be 2 or 3 days in the office, with the balance of the work week being remote.
What a year of working remotely has done to our relationships
Prior to the pandemic, one would often see colleagues in the office hallway, potentially talking and catching up on each other's weekend plans or a recent project. In these moments, it was common to discover that oneself was in the right place at the right time to offer a colleague needed information, a shared understanding, or to direct them to someone who could help.
What happened during this pandemic forcing remote work, connections that existed prior to the pandemic were strengthened, while interactions with distant connections were weakened or broken completely. The result is that the siloed organization became even more so.
What we know is that strong workplace networks impact two things critical to the bottom line: productivity and innovation.
“On productivity, people who said they feel more productive also reported stronger workplace relationships than those who don’t. They also feel included on a typical workday. On the contrary, those who said their interactions with colleagues have decreased this year were less likely to be thriving at things that lead to innovation, like thinking strategically, collaborating or brainstorming with others, and proposing innovative ideas.”
- Harvard Business Review
Returning to hybrid work will help some, but unless everyone is in the office full-time, it will never be quite like it was... without some help.
Incredibly detailed professional profiles, ready on day one
Establishing and building professional networks starts with detailed profiles of everyone in the company, created on their behalf - before they even login.
Structural automatically creates profiles by sourcing data and information from your internal systems and publicly available datasets. This data includes common data points such as HR data and resumes, but we also reach deeper into project systems, CRMs, and collaboration platforms to retrieve data that informs a current and stunningly rich view of everyone inside an organization.
Additional examples include:
- A person’s profile photo, preferred name, and email might be from your SSO system
- Department, location, and hire date might be from your HRIS
- Work experience, education, and skills may be from publicly available data
- Current customer contacts, active projects, detailed project history, and availability can be sourced from your project management systems
- Finally, individuals can optionally add personal information such as interests and preferences
Enabling discovery and delight
Structural helps employees discover new connections by surfacing commonalities and insights. When a person knows what they need, search and advanced filters quickly connect the individual to the right person, resource, or opportunity.
However, as noted earlier, productivity and innovation happens when people have stronger personal relationships at work. Structural surfaces intersections and commonalities between individuals and teams.
Work, now more than ever, is blended with a person's professional and personal life. In the same way, Structural helps individuals reflect who they are to their peers.
Examples of connections include:
- Highlighting what’s new about a person, such as whether they’ve added new skills, are working on new projects, or learned something new
- Surfacing shared commonalities, for example, alerting people who read the same books, follow the same sports team, or recently joined a new affinity group
- Visualizing trends over time, such as where groups and teams are adding new capacity or capabilities
- Recommendations on who can help with an opportunity, who should be considered for a job or project, and what learning best matches a person’s ambition
How Structural helps connect, empower, and advance your people
In the companies we work with, Structural reduces unwanted attrition by up to 50%, increases employee engagement by up to 30%, and reduces wasted time finding the right expert or expertise by up to 20%.
Productivity and Innovation - it’s estimated that employees waste up to a day per week searching for the right person or information to do their job. Structural unlocks and democratizes the information trapped in your internal systems.
Culture and Communications - Structural complements your existing communication systems, through direct integrations to start a chat or direct message in Microsoft Teams and Slack, as well as, to optionally allow team members to form affinity groups and to share polls, posts, and photos with each other.
Internal Opportunity Marketplace - opportunities cover a wide-range of what’s happening in an organization, from projects and gigs, to jobs and learning, and to volunteering and community outreach. Opportunities can be automatically synchronized with your ATS, LMS, or PM systems; and optionally posted by your leadership and contributors.
Integrated with the flow of work
Structural is available on the web as well as iOS and Android devices.
Additionally, Structural integrates with Microsoft Teams and Slack - offering a search experience from both. Within Teams, Structural is deeply integrated: offering the full UX and data integration with the Microsoft Graph.
Empowering and advancing through opportunity
MIT and Deloitte summarize Internal Opportunity Marketplaces as “...systems, digital platforms, and virtual places where organizations provide — and workers find — the opportunities most relevant to their mutual benefit and success.”
Internal opportunity marketplaces aim to create an equilibrium within organizations - matching the "supply" of ambitious talent internally with the "demand" of fulfilling internal needs like temporary gig, new role, and major project assignments or training and mentorship program participation.
The gains for individual employees are clear - opportunity marketplaces allow individuals to contribute beyond their job descriptions, expanding their skill sets, and allowing for continuous growth along the way.
On the organizational level, benefits extend far beyond filling burning internal needs. Organizations capture underutilized potential from their people and transform learning and professional development from an isolated activity to one embedded in the job. This motivates and develops a top-notch, highly-skilled workforce, giving them a competitive edge that can reduce unwanted turnover dramatically.
In Structural, opportunities can represent almost any facet of your business: from jobs to projects, to volunteering and social outreach, requests for help, and more. Similar to profiles, opportunities can be configured with any number of fields using a variety of types to capture the information needed for your business process.
Structural's data-rich profiles and dynamic people directory are built around individual employee skills and interests. Our Internal Opportunity Marketplace functions using this same information, recommending the right opportunities (gigs, projects, new roles, sales support, volunteering, training, mentoring and more) to the right people. This personalization makes our Internal Opportunity Marketplace particularly effective and engaging, embedded into the overall employee experience.
Data science is used to match people to opportunities. These recommendations are displayed on the Home page, via notifications sent through email or in-app, and also on the Opportunities listing page.
The platform matches on a variety of factors including the content of opportunities and profiles, the preferences of the individual, as well as the recency and number of interactions with opportunities. This creates a personalized experience for every individual.
Using Structural, for example, employees are able to include work experience, course and learning completion, availability, and even personality data on their individual profiles. These profiles are entirely searchable by everyone in the organization. As such, if an operations team within Kelly’s organization is feeling particularly slammed this month and could use some extra help on projects, a member of the team can easily search for employees with interest in operations and advanced Excel skills. That teammate would add these filters and come up with a list of individuals including Kelly, who could be chosen to help out. Kelly isn’t limited by her job title as an Administrative Assistant, though she may have been if her professional capabilities weren’t available for everyone to see.
In addition to the ability to configure opportunities that was noted earlier, Opportunities in Structural can also support more sophisticated workflows. For example, your company may want to post jobs internally for a period of time, before sharing them through your Applicant Tracking System to external candidates. Structural can both integrate with your ATS to bring posted jobs into the Internal Opportunity Marketplace, but also to push those jobs externally based on your business needs.
For opportunities inside your organization, you can optionally ask questions of those who are interested in participating. For example, you may ask them to share their motivation for attending a course or event represented as an opportunity as part of the step of them expressing their interest.
As shown in the screenshot below, opportunities can represent phases for you to better represent your business processes, such as moving candidates interested in an open role or project, to a “Moving forward” category, and then later to an “Selected” and “Not considered” as appropriate. And as these individuals are moved to the appropriate category, you can require them to provide feedback, such as why the individual wasn’t selected for the opportunity.
See how Structural can help
Structural's dynamic people directory, built from data-rich individual employee profiles, makes it easy for siloed and distributed teams to connect at the right time. It helps colleagues discover and get to know one another on a deeper level, fostering relationships that may not have otherwise formed between individuals who don't get the chance to work together on a regular basis or who rarely see each other in person. Added insight, understanding, and a more intentional approach to collaboration makes it easier to maintain a larger network in the world of hybrid work.
Structural's internal opportunity marketplace provides an easy, inclusive solution for employees working from anywhere to find new ways to learn, grow and contribute. The ability for individuals to connect to the opportunities, small and large, that can help them drive their careers forward no longer relies on physical proximity. Structural creates a level playing field - each employee has the same level of visibility, regardless of work location.
See how the Structural platform can help your organization prepare for and thrive in the world of hybrid work.
Request your custom demo today at: https://www.structural.com/custom_demo_platform