Welcome back to another year which will no doubt be a combination of uncertainty and silver linings. As we all fire up again, I wanted to tackle some topics that are on everyone’s mind, and provide some ideas that might inspire you to seek out the silver linings in the year ahead.
1. How do we work smarter with the pandemic still hovering?
Hybrid working is challenging: how do you keep everyone engaged, productive, healthy and safe when some people are at home, some are in the office, and some are possibly sitting on a beach, taking advantage of readily available wi-fi.
One idea gaining traction is a 4-day work week. This may not work for everyone right now because we know there is huge stress and a massive shortage of people working in healthcare, logistics, teaching and other front-line service roles, but for those who can work from home or in a hybrid capacity, this could become a “thing”.
89% of workers in a February 2021 global Harvard Business Review study said that their work life was getting worse, 85% said that their well-being declined, and 56% said that their job demands had increased. Does this resonate?
4 Day week Global is a not-for-profit in the US that has launched the idea of companies adopting a 4-day work week to “improve business productivity, worker health outcomes, stronger families and communities, challenge the gender equality issue, and work towards a more sustainable work environment.” Companies like Kickstarter have taken the plunge. As we wage a war for talent, flexible work will be a big attraction.
A 4-day week may not solve for where we work, but could this solve for a healthier and more productive workforce?
A shout-out, too, to our colleagues and friends who work in frontline roles. It’s so tough right now and we honour and appreciate everything you’re doing for us. Thank you.
2. Customers are going digital because they don’t have a choice.
Customers continue to be a key priority. Entering our third year of COVID means that customers will be testing positive, isolating, experiencing mental health issues, concerned about family and friends, and are more anxious than ever. This applies to your workforce, too, of course.
According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, in the first half of 2021 almost all older Australians (98%) aged 55+ used the internet, up from 76% in 2019 and prior to COVID. This is similar in all demographics, and digital engagement is escalating.
Terry Donnelly, our Partner responsible for Data and Digital Services, advises that any digital strategy should start with clean customer (or member, resident, patient) data. There’s nothing worse than launching Live Chat, and the first thing that pops up is an incorrect identification or contact details. This means a focus on data remediation and data cleansing before anything else gets implemented. Wise words, Terry.
Next steps are to understand how your customers want to engage, what you’re working with today, and where the gaps are. Once you have the foundations in place, your applications, analytics, and insights become a lot easier. All sounds so simple, and yet it never is. A Digital Road Map is a must-have in 2022 and is possibly the most sought-after service we are addressing right now in all client sectors.
3. We need to get better connected to our data to deliver actionable insights to retain and win customers.
There’s a lot under the banner of “data” and we will unpack this in more detail over the course of the year. In addition to having clean data, a good starting point might be:
- Data literacy and data governance. Florence La Carbona, Head of Data at MetLife, suggests that, “...the days of us (the cool sales / product people) and them (the techies / support people) are over…everyone must take part and stay current with basic concepts.” So true, Florence.
- Funding. CDO’s, CMO’s and CTO’s are telling us it’s hard to secure funding for digital and data strategies. Being able to re-purpose the old and make it new again just isn’t feasible (another thought from Florence), taking your organisation and the board along the journey is key. And when you get the funding, magic happens. But not immediately. It takes time to implement and deliver. Novigi can help articulate your plans, the costs, and most importantly, the benefits.
4. Is 2022 the year that retirement gets a lift?
From 1 July 2022 the Retirement Income Covenant should be in place. Super funds continue to “leak” significant numbers of members between the ages of 55 and 65 due to retirees investing their savings elsewhere. The right customer, product and operating environment is required to ensure a seamless transition from accumulation to retirement, with the right tools and systems. No surprises that your data strategy is fundamental to making this work. Peter Rowe, General Manager at Optimum Pensions, also predicts a raft of new and innovative retirement solutions are on the way, using quality and actionable data insights. Novigi is already very much a part of this process and we can’t wait to make an impact.
5. Health, aged care and community services will have a strong focus on increasing governance and compliance requirements, with the service experience critical in a consumer driven market.
Andrew Watson, the CEO of Burnie Brae, has told us that, “as mandated by the Royal Commission, compliance and transparency with internal systems and processes will continue to be the focus in the community service industry which follows a very similar pattern seen in other industries in Australia in the last 5 to 10 years. Business systems and processes will need to be efficient and timely to meet these compliance standards.”
Terry Donnelly agrees, and suggests that the best approach would be for providers “to carefully review key systems to ensure they are best of breed and can cope with the necessary changes in process, data collection and increasing reporting requirements. Additionally, if you are still completing anything manually then you are not optimising your workforce for their very valuable skills”.
Novigi is noticing an increased shift in focus from providers, who are not just approaching governance and compliance from an internal standpoint, but are also listening to the voice of the customer, and making sure they are meeting the increasing expectations around choice and control. The answer again lies in data collection and reporting solutions that will allow you to quickly and easily identify the true sentiment and underlying trends within your organisation. We have been working with our clients on implementing some innovative solutions to capture this data and will share more insights in future communications to you.
6. Managing workforce and staffing challenges is easier with the right tools in your kit.
Securing and retaining staff is an endless objective, made all the more difficult with the impact of COVID hitting in full force.
Whilst Novigi can’t fix these problems (we really wish we could!), we can play a part in ensuring that you have all the data you need to make the best decisions around workforce rostering and management as well as improving employee experience.
Chris Balogi, Head of ICT & Business Transformation at Southern Cross Care SA, NT & VIC echoes this sentiment, sharing with us that expanding their business intelligence around staff information will be a priority in the coming year. This includes “planning shifts as staff isolate, or as relevant skills are moved around, between sites.”
The use of technology and data will be critical in managing teams under increasing pressure, and we are confident we can help with the administrative and compliance burden that continues to grow.
Novigi continues to grow rapidly, and like many other organisations we are constantly in the market looking for great talent. We don’t have any silver bullets on how to solve this problem at the moment, so I am going to shamelessly advertise in this blog.
If you know anyone who is passionate about data and solving problems and they’re looking for an innovative, future-focused organisation where all contributions are highly valued, tell them to get in touch. We’re all about silver linings.
The year ahead will bring more change, uncertainty and challenge, that is certain! However, there is a whole community of people who are ready and willing to help out, provide support, help build resilience, and get through this year in better shape than ever.
Ash Priest is the Chief Executive Officer at Novigi
For more information about anything you’ve read here, or if you have a more general inquiry, please contact us