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2023 is going to be the year of employee experience, and you need to be here for it. 

Today, the speed at which companies are transforming has broken new ground. In Gartner’s 2022-2023 surveys, 69% of CFOs plan to increase their spend on digital technologies, and CIOs are doubling down on accelerating time to value on digital investments. Some digital initiatives that would have typically taken over a year to complete have been stood up in weeks. This leaves no room for miscoordination and wasted time.

This new velocity of work, coupled with old ways of managing it, has accelerated another macro trend: Employee burnout. The present economic downturn has put extra pressure on employees to do more, faster, in an increasingly noisy and convoluted digital work environment. 

How can employees keep up? Better yet, what can organizations do now to truly unlock the power of their workforce and enable their employees to do their best work with speed, success and satisfaction?

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Embracing the next big thing

Say hello to a new way of enabling workflows. No-code/low-code technology is a star that has been on the rise for the past few years and is expected to shine bright next year. In fact, VMR Research estimates that the low-code development platform market size is projected to increase nearly 2,000% over the course of eight years, rising from $12.43 billion in 2020 to $233.43 billion by 2028. 

This new approach makes software development easier, faster and democratized. It allows the everyday worker to create technical solutions and software applications easily, with little-to-no programming (coding) knowledge. For example, when your employees use spreadsheets or boards, they are not thinking about complex technology. They are using a simple tool that is actually very powerful underneath the hood. Eventually, step by step, they begin to automate a very intrinsic and complicated workflow without even noticing.

Putting no-code solutions in the hands of employees gives them the ability to do the types of things previously reserved for developers and deep tech experts. We call these employees “citizen developers,” and thanks to new technologies, it is easier than ever to achieve collaborative work structures built by employees and for employees to keep work flowing. 

Empowering citizen developers

Empowering employees with no-code technology can make their lives much easier. They can automate mundane tasks and home in on their most important work instead of spending a disproportionate amount of time logging activities they’ve already completed into a software database. Moreover, citizen developers speed things up because they have the power to solve their own problems in an agile way without having to wait for IT departments or the deployment of point solutions.

Another critical aspect of no-code software that makes workflows function effectively is that employees are able to collaborate in a more sophisticated way. Any piece of software out there that doesn’t have best-in-class collaboration embedded into it is going to be subsumed in the market. Without collaboration in your work systems — and collaboration is typically missing in legacy tools — it’s a dead end. That’s partly because it doesn’t help you unlock the power of your company or its employees. Collaboration is an essential component.

Putting no-code in the right hands

How can you get no-code tech into the hands of your employees? IT departments have guided us on an accelerated digital transformation journey over the past few years, and they will continue to see it through. 

While administrative employees and workers are the ones who can really see an impact from no-code solutions, IT departments are typically in charge of the acquisition decisions. Take heed, though. Often, an IT department will purchase an end-to-end software solution to which employees must retrofit their workflows in order to execute them effectively.

However, with citizen developers, this equation gets flipped on its head. Employees get to craft their own solutions around their existing workflows, making the software complementary to their work instead of burdensome. 

To maximize effectiveness from these buying decisions, IT departments must consult with their staff, especially administrative and junior-level employees, to determine technology needs from an execution perspective. 

Planning for a bright future 

2021 was the year of digital transformation, and 2022 the year of hybrid work. If organizations want to be successful in 2023, they need to begin strategizing for an improved employee experience. By focusing on your people — the core of every company — you can innovate, outsmart the competition and build robust cultures.

Unlock the power of your employees by giving them the ability to self-remedy, self-automate, and create and change their own workflows on the fly. When businesses equip their employees with self-driving no-code technology, it has proven to help democratize workflows, automate previously stagnant processes and ultimately optimize business operations.

We’re facing a recession and a need to increase productivity, time to market and business results, all while reducing burnout. Giving employees a hand-up to drive work themselves will become critical in the new year.

Andrew Filev is founder and CEO of Wrike.

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