You might have seen the trends and taglines already:
– Future of work, Employee Experience, Employees are the new customers etc.
Companies and executives are paying attention to employee experience as never before. There are good reasons for this attention as statistics show that employee engagement is declining, and talents are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate since 2001. (1) An important driver is also the notion that Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX) is highly connected. Companies now know that their potential to deliver high-quality customer experiences is limited by the quality of their employee experiences.
But let’s take a step back and look at some of the numerous definitions of EX that exist in the emerging market. One of the first to define it was Jacob Morgan.
I define “employee experience” as an organization creating a place where people want to show up instead of assuming that people need to show up. This shift from “need” to “want” is the fundamental change that organizations around the world are starting to experience … Every employee experience is comprised of three environments: the physical environment, the cultural environment, and the technological environment (2).
Another commonly used definition, stated by the HR guru Josh Bersin goes,
“EX is the total sum of all the touchpoints an employee has with her employer, from the time of being a candidate to becoming an alumnus”. (3)
As stated above EX is relevant in many aspects and situations; from how the new office space is perceived, the first day of employment, pitching an idea to a manager, to the 6-month anniversary and getting assistance with a broken computer. The employees in your organization strive daily to create value for customers, yet they must often overcome the drag of inefficient processes, policies, and tools. Bad experiences are degrading in engagement and satisfaction. Any service organization must aim to hide the rising complexity of employee services with its mix of providers, the scattered digital landscape with new services, legacy systems, manual excel forms etc. HR must own the Employee experience agenda but cannot solve everything themselves. But, what HR can do is to boost the employee services they provide and start to think in terms of experiences.
To the premier occasion of the Sofigate ‘Employee Service Experience community’ 2019 we invited Pieter Voskamp, an experienced HR transformation leader, to share his knowledge within the area and how HR can play an important part in how to drive the positive values of EX.
The Importance of HR Service Delivery
Pieter Voskamp emphasizes that HR Service Delivery is the foundation to get to a successful Employee Experience for your organization. (4) A certain level of maturity in service delivery, governance and the right type of digital solutions are enablers to become responsive, focused and deliver efficiently on your EX strategy. Modern HR Service Delivery also includes providing consumer grade digital employee services, enhancing the statement that being an employee is as valuable as being a customer.
In his keynote Pieter addresses two important perspectives on how HR tech can enable your EX strategy;
First, how digital solutions can positively affect internal efficiency and way of working within the HR organization and HR service delivery. Some of the latest automation features in the ServiceNow platform like Virtual Agent and Centralized Employee Documents are being discussed. These features are a very good example on how repetitive tasks can be fully or semi-automated, releasing time for HR agents and delivering fast and responsive services to employees.
The second one is an important shift in perspective on HR tech – as internal efficiency and effectiveness has been a driver for digitalization within HR for some time the rise of employee experience emphasizes the shift focus to make things easier for employees, the consumers of HR services. The “outside in” perspective on HR capabilities is key here. HR technology is no longer just a forms automation system that make HR work more efficiently. It must also function as a system of productivity that make life easier for your employees. Meeting the employee’s expectations on modern solutions and mobility in the workplace also applies to HR services.
The Type of Technology That Makes a Difference
A key component in the digital transformation of a HR services is what Pieter refers to as a “Service Experience layer” (5). A “safe harbor” where HR can design and publish digital services to employees despite the changes of routines and technology that might happen back end. ServiceNow themselves call this the “layer of interaction” between HR and HR service users. A digital layer where HR can manage their service catalog, case creation and coordination of tasks, chat with HR or let a chatbot guide them in their interaction with HR. But new experiences do not come by themselves. It is not just a solution implementation, or a change of processes! It must be managed properly to reach the intended effects.
So, how can you move on achieving a great employee service experience?
A strategic EX initiative needs to be properly managed, structured and continuously improved to be relevant and on target. By adopting an EX framework, HR organizations can really work in a structured way to transform the employee experience and move from a “random experience” to an intended – or “desired experience” – in each touchpoint with the employee. If doing so, HR can really take control of and drive transformation of the employee service experience.
A classical quote from the world of customer experience goes: “The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations.” Although CX does provide a model for defining and understanding EX, a very different type of relationship and value proposition exists between employer and employee vs. brand and customer, so thinking about employees. This very much goes also for Pieters view on how to develop Employee experience. One important step is to get to know what your employees value by defining key Employee Personas and the Moments That Matters most to them. Another powerful component, also commonly used in CX, is journey mapping. Taking this into the perspective of the employee it becomes a powerful method that help both by identifying what’s in their way and how to make experience frictionless. (6) Once you have your most relevant employee personas, their journey and valuable moments, then you can design desired experiences in each touchpoint. This is also where a “Service Experience Layer” make a huge impact. It is the key digital component that enable a delightful and personalized service experience through multiple channels. The platform also enables you to get uniform data and get insights and learn from your users, the consumers of HR services. Then you have the fundamental building blocks with the ability to develop and be responsive to your employees needs on your journey to build a great employee experience.
from the Pieter Voskamp keynote:
- Having a vision and knowing your employees’ expectations and ‘Moments that matters’ is key when designing your desired Employee Experience.
- A Service Experience Layer or “layer of interaction” between HR and HR service users is a key component in a successful digitalization journey of HR service delivery.
- New experiences do not come by themselves. It is not just a solution implementation, or a change of processes! It should be managed properly to reach the desired effect.
Stay tuned for more insights on how to elevate your Employee Service Experience.
- Forrester, Predictions 2019: Employee Experience – The Spotlight Shines Bright As Executives Scramble To Improve EX, 2018 2
- .Forbes, Jacob Morgan, The Three Environments That Create Every Employee Experience, 2015 https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2015/12/15/the-three-environments-that-create-every-employee-experience/#331bed1666c6
- Deloitte, Deconstructing Employee Experience, 2018 https://capitalhblog.deloitte.com/2018/06/25/deconstructing-employee-experience/
- Pieter Voskamp – Transforming the Employee Experience – Difficult in Manufacturing Companies?, ServiceNow, 2018, https://servicematters.servicenow.com/2018/08/15/transforming-employee-experience-difficult-manufacturing-companies/
- Josh Bersin – HR Technology For 2018: Ten Disruptions Ahead, Forbes, 2018 https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2017/11/02/hr-technology-for-2018-ten-disruptions-ahead/#61d6be3843b7
- Forrester, The Employee Experience Playbook For 2019, 2018, https://www.forrester.com/playbook/The+Employee+Experience+Playbook+For+2019/-/E-PLA500