Central to creating a great digital experience for your people is how you use your technology to deliver a progressive agenda of improvements. The advent of new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offers HR teams with an unprecedented opportunity to improve the technology their people use and transform historical issues like the adoption of self-service. At the heart of this is embracing a shift that an HR system is simply a singular system of record to become a platform of engagement. This new platform consists of a collection of different apps and solutions operating in an ecosystem that creates a progressive digital employee experience to transform the way people work.
Four things to consider when developing your roadmap:
- Focus on the employee life-cycle – against your journeys map all the different system interactions that your employees use and look at opportunities to simplify and transform certain areas
- Embrace apps – against high priority areas (eg onboarding, engagement, collaboration) look at opportunities to deploy new functionality through apps either with existing or new suppliers
- Data strategy – define where master data sits, where it flows, how it is collected and analysed. This is key for you to create an effective analytics capability
- Integrations – look at where you will need manual and automated integrations between systems, decide based on usability, data and cost
Creating a great digital experience for your people starts with the way you design your solutions. Often, changes are focused around policy and processes and this can lead to a lack of engagement with the people who are going to have to interact with it in the real world. You often compromise adoption for expediency.
The way we design the employee experience needs to change. At the heart of this is design thinking. It challenges us to be more inclusive and experimental in how we design solutions. Design thinking is about engaging your users and exploring several different approaches that are tested over short time frames. At the heart is a belief that you need to understand factors like their emotions. Answering questions like what works? What frustrates them? What would delight them?
Here is a list of practical ideas you can do to improve the way you design solutions:
- One size doesn’t fit all – divide your employees into segments to create a more targeted proposition for them. For example, the proposition for people in the field and support centres is likely to need to be different. Use technology to create a base proposition that can then be adapted to target different employee groups
- Design around journeys and not processes – instead of looking at your processes as a series of isolated transaction focus on understanding what the end to end journey looks like through the eyes of different employees
- Embrace crowdsourcing – engage your teams and the wider business to identify potential solutions and get feedback on designs
- Deliver in shorter cycles – instead of implementing large programmes of change look to break improvements into short sprints to accelerate the benefits
We are living in a period of profound change and disruption. Organisations are having to manage the accelerating pace of innovation and globalisation with a workforce that will soon span five generations. Employees are having to adapt to work in a constantly connected world where on average they will be looking for a job 11.7 times during their career.  Yet worryingly 70% of them currently feel disengaged. In a world where by the end of 2017 45% of the global workforce will be contingent workers how can organisations attract, engage and retain talent?
The recent advances in technology with the deployment of innovative Software As A Service (SaaS) solutions are providing an opportunity for organisations to answer some of these questions and offer their people a digital experience in the workplace that makes their lives easier, increases their engagement and are more productive.
However, successfully implementing these solutions and creating high levels of adoption can be challenging. Over the next five posts I will go through a number of areas I believe organisations should focus on when they are looking to improve the digital experience for their people. These are:
- Shifting from process to experience – looking at ways to change the way we design solutions to focus on how different employees will experience work rather than transact with a task
- Creating a progressive technology roadmap – creating a technology ecosystem that constantly changes and adapts to delight and engage your employees and collects data that provides meaningful insight
- Designing a digital HR function – advice on how to upskill your team and improve your ways of working to drive the digital agenda
- Increasing adoption and usability – providing practical tips on how to keep your employees constantly engaged and embrace using your digital solutions
- Remembering the ‘Human’ in HR – amidst all the talk of technology remembering to focus on the personal side of HR to help create a great experience
 Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov/news.release/nlsoy.nr0.htm
 Gallup Poll for World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/11/70-of-employees-say-they-are-disengaged-at-work-heres-how-to-motivate-them/
 Ardent Partners in its 2015-2016 State of Contingent Workforce Management