How to innovate at Workplace in REFM/CRES domain ?
Innovation is essential to the continuous success of an individual or organization. Innovation is the change you bring to the way you do things. Such change enhances user friendliness, productivity, operational excellence and delivers cost- benefits.
An example of innovation which most of us experienced in recent times is, the taxi aggregation services provided by Ola/Uber etc. Rewind couple years back and compare it with today, the changes taken place in this domain is totally transformed this sector. The change has definitely delivered all the benefits discussed above.
In REFM/CRES domain there are numerous services delivered to internal customers, which over the years have been transformed through innovation. Few examples are described below: –
Meal coupons: Paper based coupons are replaced by meal cards with pre-loaded value. This has enhanced user experience, convenience of use and vendors also happy as the money directly gets credited to their bank account. Also, these cards can be used at any POS (point of sale).
Cafeteria: Office cafeterias have turned into food courts. Many large companies and campus facilities have this feature inbuilt as basic feature. Choose the food your taste buds like for the day. Diet menu to feast is available, choice is yours. Based on requirement of employees such facilities have become basic needs. The automation in this area is also amazing. With the help of App right from work desk one can scan the menu served at cafeteria, order, pay online and choose the time you will collect it from the counter. Once you reach the counter your ordered food is ready, enjoy it without any wait time.
Service delivery centers (SDC): Many organizations have established a single point service delivery centres at each location. Employees get A to Z services of REFM/CRES at SDC instead of following it up with mail or in person. In addition, many have intranet application portal or mobile App to deliver all the services of the function right from business card to international travel can be done by click of a button. Some companies have extended the ordering capabilities to employees as well. The invoice is generated as per charge code & the accounting is done accordingly.
Choose your desk at office: The day you decide to work from office, choose your seat while on the go to office or from home. Your entry to office is sensed through badge reader and on the background all other applications start working by that time you reach your desk; your workspace is ready for you to start the work. This is made possible with integration of available resources. Now this is getting replaced by Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Transaction feedback: Annual surveys are getting replaced by transaction feedback. Step back and take a look at what we do today before choosing a restaurant for family dinner, book a cab, book a hotel for vacation or take appointment with a specialist doctor. We go to the respective App and look at the feedback provided by the people already used the services. Many companies already started obtaining transaction feedback immediately after providing services like, travel services, transport services, after consumption of food at cafeteria. This not only helps other users, it also helps the vendor on real time to correct things to deliver best in class services. Creates an environment of healthy competition. It assists REFM/CRES to manage the services in a better way and initiate immediate corrective action.
Real Estate: While the density of workspace is increasing on one side, on the other side, many organizations brought innovation in workspace by way of providing the improved facilities based on employee feedback and global standards. Some examples are increased number of break out areas, focus discussion rooms, agile work space, recreation facilities, Gym, height adjustable desks etc.,
Transport: In the cab boarding area, cabs are parked in sequence according to the departure time, vehicle number. Employee gets message about the cab boarding area and cab number. This helps both transport coordinator and employee.
Physical Security: Random security check of bags or choose to check only non-standard bags, transfers ownership on employees to take care of the company asset issued to them and enhances the customer satisfaction and reduces workload for security personnel. Some companies have introduced RFID or using the newer technologies (IoT-Internet of Things) to track company issued assets to employees
Leveraging Stakeholder insights in Real Estate consolidation: We recently handled the huge site consolidation exercise post the merger of two companies. Normally in such situations orders flow top down. Many perform such activities without involvement or ownership. We approached this differently by identifying the stakeholders from all the functions required to deliver this collectively. All of them have been asked to attend the kick-off call. In that meeting the target has been put as challenge before us and we were provided the first level approach plan. Then the team has been asked to review the plan & approach to recommend any other plan which is better than the one proposed. One-on-one meeting has been set up with individual functions to understand in depth the challenges and POA. Then overall combined plan is drawn to ensure team meets the target date. Weekly review calls have been set only to review the major challenges, road blocks if any and work on POA. Instead of following the command approach we followed the participative team approach. This has immensely helped us to achieve the target & savings with utmost passion and ownership from each team member involved in the process.
The notion that Innovation requires additional budget is not always correct. Small and obvious improvements don’t increase or decrease your budget, but enhances the internal customer satisfaction.
Hope the above examples of innovative methods which worked well in my experience are useful. I am sure this will help you to propel your thought process in your current work environment & achieve continuous success through Innovation.
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