Improving the Employee Experience with Technology

August 10, 2016 Marlo Hertling

As more and more companies implement self-service and mobile access, employees are asking for a better customer experience. From how they first find and apply for a job at your company to every interaction while they onboard, they want the tools provided to be simple and intuitive. HRIS solutions are no longer just for Payroll, HR and Finance – they touch every facet of an organization.

Our team is passionate about the employee experience. A couple weeks back, we attended the @SHRMnextchat that tries to answer the question, 'How do you improve the employee experience with technology?'

There was some great question and answer dialogue going on between the participants and guest contributor @TheHCMGuy, Jeremy Ames. Here is a summary of the tweets and insights we thought were worth sharing.

Q1. What is your organization doing to “disrupt” the employee experience by upgrading its HR technology this year or next?

  • Replace annual employee survey with a more continuous real-time approach
  • We've got our Intranet but we also have Yammer which is very exciting! Helps connect such a huge company.
  • My organization is improving technology to help managers become better leaders
  • Providing employees a place to give each other feedback, in addition to getting feedback from managers
  • We developed a mobile #app for #employees to clock-in and out on their phone as well as view #Paystubs

Want to learn more about the topic of HR Disruption? Read this post.

Q2. What HR technology upgrades/additions have your employees been requesting in the past 12 months?

  • Transparency is king, employees want silos removed and multiple advisors who can amplify their contributions in real time
  • Employees increasingly demand self-service access to their own metrics, profile, and development options. They want to steer.
  • Self-service systems. Added bonus is they reduce transactional duties allowing #HR to shift focus toward org strategy
  • Requests for electronic onboarding, access to compensation and benefits information online
  • ...A better way to onboard quickly and efficiently without a TON of paperwork
  • Give employees tools designed for them, rather than HR professionals, so they can participate earlier and more frequently
  • More consumer-like experiences that make it easy to provide feedback and contribute without the learning curve.
  • The biggest request we have had was to integrate our various applications into one so employees don't have to juggle accounts.

Q3. How are you using and changing your HR technology to better welcome and onboard new employees?

  • By offering online onboarding for standard forms and policies, #HR is able to focus on proper OTJ training
  • We're using short form video (LMS) mixed with classroom and training reinforcement activities
  • We also have an intranet page specific to new hires where most common info needed can be accessed
  • We onboard everyone through our online portal, making it easy to do in-office, remotely, & paperless.
  • One-stop shop portals for managers - connecting to IT, HR & helping THEM help their new hires feel welcome and organized!
  • At a previous org, we had a story-based training where U learned about the culture & history via choose your own adventure. (editor's note: we love this idea!)
  • I found audio/video components that enable ppl to "tour" company history, it's exec team, etc., are key.

Q4. How has your organization personalized HR Self-Service portals so that employees will have a better user experience?

  • We've customized it based off of staff feedback
  • Employee Profiles are footnoted personal interest. Snap shot introduction to the PERSON with whom you are interacting
  • Consider self-service look/feel that matches company culture, else employees will feel like they need a passport to login ;)
  • Eye-catching, less clicks, better user interface for our Recruitment system, information is straight to the point.
  • We take UI/UX seriously. Software we use at work doesn't have to be inscrutable or frustrating (editor's note: we agree 100%)
  • The organization of the portal is key. Also allowing employees to personalize their home screen.

Q5. How are you using or changing technology in your organization to enhance employee collaboration and teamwork?

  • Goal alignment software is great to have as it keeps workplaces in line and makes collaboration count.
  • We actually have an interactive giant touchscreen that shows EEs, visitors, etc. about our products, service, & culture.
  • We're in the process of trying to get everyone united with social media.
  • Integrating internal communication apps helps us streamline communication & ensure contact between employees at all times
  • With open online forums to exchange ideas we can grow as a team even if we are not in the same place
  • We are using technology to hire the right people to fit our culture, which helps increase productivity in our teams.
  • #Innovation is paramount. Employees share Ideas any time. Top Ideas are evaluated by Execs in #SharkTank format quarterly
  • And if the HCM function is responsible for engagement but IT delivers collaborative tech, are they talking? Not always.
  • Use Single Sign on as the login whenever possible. Make the it clean and mobile friendly.

Q6. What technologies have you implemented to help foster greater levels of employee engagement?

  • Looking at our data, we see a huge shift from Emails to tools like Slack, Trello and the like...
  • @Yammer has been great! Especially for a company that loves technology!
  • Expanding the Use of Technology to Help Telework Employees with Virtual Office Tools! Working Great!
  • Fun example: When we hire new remote workers, everyone needs to record a “welcome video” where they answer silly questions
  • New employee welcome videos help us put faces to names and get a sense of the new hire’s personality, even if they're remot
  • Implementing a new intranet site w/ a social media platform. Emps can create groups,whitepapers,status updates
  • Having business apps available on mobile & with 1 login can help increase a consumer experience at work!
  • We made sure our platform could be used immediately by anyone in the organization w/o complicated setup or implementation

Q7. What new mobile apps have you added (or will you be adding) to your current HR technology to improve the employee experience?

  • We will be adding mobile apply for perspectives & taking it on the road to all career fairs
  • Our clients are all demanding workflow approvals via mobile devices. I shudder when a vendor says they can't do it.
  • Believe it or not - TIMEKEEPING. Big win for field employees.
  • Telemedicine apps and apps that give access to timecards, payroll systems, security alerts, closures due to local weather
  • A replica of our table/laptop software for full employee self-service experience

Q8. How can technology be used to provide employees with a better pulse on their execution of goals and on their job performance?

  • Perf mgmt systems with #SMART goal setting templates – goals are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound
  • Using microfeedback systems help employees stay on track with their goals through personal feedback and accountability.
  • Real time dashboards. Real time feedback. Interactive metrics (if this, then that). Feedback loops up the chain. Etc.
  • Seen a lot of push 4 #PerformanceMgmt on mobile. Quickly give ees feedback or recognition on the fly.
  • Employee appraisals no longer need to be yearly. Ongoing feedback can now be continuous between employee and employer
  • Employees should have software to manage their careers. Track what they've done beyond task descriptions and emails.

Want to See All the Tweets?
If you would like to learn more, you can check out all of the tweets in this #nextchat recap.

Thanks to SHRM for putting this together. To take part in SHRM's #nextchat every Wednesday, go here. To get even more #HRtech insights and inspiration from Avanti, subscribe today.

About the Author

Marlo Hertling

Marlo Hertling has worked with leading HCM organizations and has been helping Canadian companies implement HCM solutions for more than 15 years. She is the Vice President of People & Culture at Avanti Software Inc and serves as Avanti's HCM subject matter expert.

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