The digital age necessitates integration. Digital tools have changed the way we live, do business, learn, and socialize. Add to that that people are looking for instant gratification in everything they do, and you’ll very quickly see how difficult integration can be.
In other words, it should be left to experts. Believe it or not, there is actually a term “integrator,” which is synonymous with “fractional executive.” These people are professionals who have learned the trade in multiple companies (usually working externally), trying to cope with rapid business changes. They can step in within an instant and immediately begin improving your company’s processes in the blink of an eye. In fact, it’s almost unreal.
There Are Integrators and Integrators
Firstly, since the IT sector is dictating the change, there are software integrators tasked with making everything work on this end. Digitalization needs to be perfected before fractional executives can take over.
Software integrators are tasked with data transformation, software engineering, data mining, scripting, solutions architecture, customer experience and product strategies, project management, and digital strategy management. In essence, converting data from one format to another is not sufficient. Other business processes need to follow suit and there shouldn’t be any conflicts. Obviously, there are various approaches to achieve this level of integration, so businesses need to determine their benchmarks and OKRs and find the most capable teams to run the process.
Once this complex process is well underway, consider a fractional executive. They may only stay with your company on a temporary basis, but their contributions will be recognized for years to come.
The term “integrator” was coined by Gino Wickman in his best-selling business books Traction and Rocketfuel. You typically learn about integrators when implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) as a management practice for your company.
“An Integrator is a person who is the tie-breaker for the leadership team, is the glue for the organization, holds everything together, beats the drum (provides cadence), is accountable for the P&L results, executes the business plan, holds the Leadership Team accountable, and is the steady force in the organization.” (EOS Worldwide). Basically, integrators help corporations achieve integration, differentiation, and agility. A complex task, to be sure. It’s no wonder, then, that fractional executives are graced with a variety of skills, including prioritization, consistency, leadership, and agile methodologies.
When choosing an integrator, look for the following traits:
- Business and data analysis skills
- Situational leadership skills
- People management skills
- Decision making
- Performance assessment skills
- Contribution skills
- Balanced behavior patterns
- A balanced orientation
- Decision-making rooted in knowledge and competence
- Sense of unity
- Ability to resolve disputes in an efficient manner
- Skill sets compatible with the industry
- Capability to uphold the company’s core values
- Same or similar vision to the business
- Ability to find new perspectives
- Ability to come up with innovative ideas
- Ability to find solutions to fill the gaps in business procedures
- Ability to identify errors and mistakes in business procedures
- Ability to bring forth a positive challenge
How a Business Integrators Can Help Avoid Burnout
Business Integrators boost corporate development, engagement, communication, and project management, among other elements. All these help employees be more efficient, which, in turn, helps prevent burnout.
The focus should be on prevention, not dealing with burnout, which is somewhat more difficult to achieve.To achieve this goal, Business Integrators should work on differentiation in a way that befits everyone involved. Because these people are natural-born leaders with mild manners, they know how to diversify roles without any issues popping up in the process. The basis of successful integration methodologies is strategic thinking. Aligning employees with the company vision and adapting corporate dynamics to eliminate burnout is the right approach.
Offer Flexible Work Models
Flexible work models are the most efficient way to allow employees to set up regular breaks, and get to unwind when they need to. They also allow for preferred ways of socialization, as some people still prefer face-to-face contact to speaking to a screen.
There are six flexible work models to choose from:
- Partially remote work, with flexible office space no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)
- Almost entirely on-premises limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers
- Partially remote work, multiple hubs multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them
- Partially remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office
- Almost entirely premises mostly remote work with no office space
- Multiple micro hubs management and employees are dispersed across small micro hubs located in different cities (or countries, depending on the scope of your business operations)
Make the Office Space Enjoyable
An enjoyable office space can do wonders in terms of deflecting burnout. For some mysterious reason, businesses seem to forget this simple fact. Painting the walls a soft hue, adding some office plants, opening windows, and allowing employees to personalize their space is certain to help everyone feel better. This matter may be difficult to administrate for remote workers, for obvious reasons. However, that doesn’t mean the case is hopeless. Think outside the box! How about creating a fun course on this topic? For some added enjoyment, you may stage a hybrid event where all employees can contribute ideas. It also doubles as a team-building activity!
Add Gamification to the Mix
Digital transformation is the chief reason for workplace stress. Even though the end result is likely to simplify many company procedures, the transition process is still difficult to keep up with.
Business Integrators can do wonders, but they can’t change human nature. People need to take a break, slow down, and process all the rapid changes taking place left and right.
And that is what is usually impossible. At the very least, corporations can make the transition more enjoyable. Why not consider gamification? It can be used for learning, socialization, certain processes… Brainstorm ideas! It is a matter of learning that gamification has proven to be the most efficient. While educating the workforce on literally anything, you can add gamification elements to make learning enjoyable.
Gamification is using what some might consider gaming in a specified eLearning experience. The government has actually been using it for decades. Imagine that? It’s only (relatively) recently that it has made its way into the corporate setting, so you can raise the bar while helping your employees avoid burnout, too!
The Right Approach to Gamification
Gamification boosts engagement through extrinsic motivation. In plain English, it offers external rewards. It has three chief goals:
To achieve these goals, gamified programs should include the following elements:
- Points (identify progress)
- Badges (display achievements)
- Leaderboards (provide rankings)
- Additional elements to consider depending on your goals) include: progress bars, incentives, rewards for the milestones achieved, a narrative, feedback, and interactive elements.
Can Burnout Be Avoided Completely?
Business Integrators, common sense, hybrid work models, and gamification can do wonders in helping employees avoid burnout. However, whether it can be totally eliminated in this hectic setting we live in is another matter entirely. It seems likely that work models will undergo changes in the future as digitalization is changing the rules of the game. While this unavoidable process is taking shape, it is crucial to not forget that employees are just humans.
They should be given an outlet to enjoy human activities. Which exact ones to include is best left to their input. Ask them which activities they’ll like to participate in.