Using Tech for Human Capital Motivation

Work motivation is defined as the desire or will to make an effort in someone’s work. The motivators can be the salary or other benefits. Researchers’ mostly assert there are five main factors driving people’s actions at work: Achievement, Power, Affiliation, Security and Adventure. However, several factors have changed the environment including digitalization and pandemic.

Moving to the so-called “digital era” or the “tech epoch” has shown that there are no limits to intellectual contribution in the digital world. People can do copywriting, communications, strategy management or other work remotely. This has been new and only few understood the importance. Thus, the pandemic boosted the need for remote works. Offices previously rejecting distant works were forced to have their permanent staff remotely. Nowadays remote works are more than welcomed. IN addition to outsource or part time workers, companies and institutions established the room for remote workers and now are trying to motivate them also.  

Recent research works show that motivating workers distantly can not be exactly similar to that of the on-site staff. Remote workers prefer and agree on more independence in the work process. Although, on-site workers always asked for more and more independence, it has never been so achievable than today – the period of booming remote works. 

Although it is comfortable for both the company and worker to perform work remotely, it may evoke some questions. Is not there a risk to lose heterogeneity of the brand while having team members in different countries and time-zones, cities or suburbs etc? Actually, it is. But not in cases when resources are distributed and coordinated accurately. 

The best case of coordinating without coordinators could be the one of Buurtzorg, the largest provider of home health care in the Netherlands. Buurtzorg employs more than 10,000 nurses. But the company doesn’t have a complex, multi-layered hierarchy to manage operations. Office has some 50 staff members in addition to a group of 25 coaches. Instead, to coordinate the nurses, Buurtzorg relies on a customized IT platform called BuurtzorgWeb. 

So, are Buurtzorg’s nurses monitored by the algorithms? No. Instead, they are self-driven and organized, delivering home-care services within specific geographical areas. Teams make decisions by consensus, are independent in hiring or scheduling the work plan. Buurtzorg empowers teams and nurses providing templates for managing themselves. Buurtzorg transparently provides all the data for each nurse to understand its performance, such as productivity, customer satisfaction, team efficacy, and team climate scores. The Buurtzorg team is growing very fast. Company management as well as experts from the largest consulting institutions assert that the fundamental formula of Buurtzorg is an independence of the teams. 

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