Integration is key

Companies usually have three technological go-to categories: HCM/SaaS solutions, HR Service Delivery Solutions and/or software focusing on topics like video interviewing, social learning and pulse surveys.  

Most companies tend to use an HCM/SaaS and Service Delivery Solution side by side, for example Workday and ServiceNow. If not fully integrated, line managers and employees are forced to execute HR processes switching from one tool to another. In practice, this often means they have trouble starting the more complex or infrequently used processes – the transactional system is just not intuitive enough. In order to provide the best user experience and ensure an intuitive and seamless end-to-end process, the HCM/SaaS and Service Delivery Solutions need to be fully integrated and aligned.  

Improved User Experience

Let’s take a closer look at a process supported by an integrated systems approach. The Service Delivery Solution will be the one stop shop, providing guidance through the people portal and knowledge base. It will orchestrate the end-to-end workflow including actions and approvals by several parties in the HCM/SaaS solution.  

An example: requesting to work part-time

Imagine an employee requesting to work part-time. When the manager and the employee have agreed on the terms, the manager wants to know how to start the appropriate processes and visits the people portal. Via a google-like search, he finds the knowledge article informing him about the policy as well as a link to the relevant Service Catalog item. This Service Catalog item will link directly to the associated workflow in the HCM/SaaS solution. After approval of the workflow (eg. By next level manager and/or HR) a ticket is created automatically in the Service Delivery Solution and routed to the right HR team. Via the people portal both the manager and the employee are updated on the progress of their request and will receive a confirmation when it is completed.  

Even though several departments were involved, and the process flows through different systems, for the manager it is a seamless process, providing an optimal user experience. 

An example: requesting a sabbatical

Below you’ll see the ease and benefits of an integrated approach illustrated in another example, using Workday and ServiceNow. 

Better together

The examples show that a well-integrated system results in end-to-end processes which are easy to follow, without having to switch between different systems or going back and forth between departments. This will improve user experience, optimize turnaround time and minimize errors. It allows for a better self-service system for managers and employees, supporting them in arranging all kinds of HR related matters without requiring their in-depth and up to date knowledge of the processes and approvals behind their request.  

 

Managers as well as HR departments will in turn save time and frustration when they are no longer required to handle standard scheduling issues, time-off requests and open enrollment questions. Entry errors and missing information may be avoided by allowing employees to enter their own information, guided by a standardized form. The move towards self-service allowed by fully integrated systems will eventually allow HR to add more strategic value, shifting their focus away from daily standardized operational activities. Evidently, at Quintop HR consultants we firmly believe it really is better together in HR digital transformation. 

From approach to implementation, Quintop fulfills different digital HR transformation roles. We are system and supplier independent. With a tailored approach we oversee the overall (global) transformation from a client’s perspective. Leading digital HR implementations, we are a trusted advisor and provide support in all aspects of the digital HR, keeping the end user in mind. In line with the HR Strategy, we define a tailormade transformation approach and roadmap for a successful roll out. 

Terminology

  • HCM: Human capital management (HCM) software is an integrated suite of technologies that can help businesses manage their employees, from hire to retire. 
  • SaaS: Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet—as a service. This can be (also) be used to support key HR functions. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply access it via the Internet, freeing yourself from complex software and hardware management. 
  • Service Delivery Solution / system: the way users are provided access to (in this case) HR services, for example via a ticketing system. The platform/system could also cover employee/manager self service portals; HR digital document management etc. 
  • Service Catalog: a comprehensive list of services that an organization offers to its employees or customers. 

 

A step-by-step guide

The use of data has become increasingly important in our society. Patterns and fact-based insights obtained from data help us to create one language between stakeholders and finally make better decisions. Considering the business perspective, most of the organizational departments, like operations and sales, have already been using data for years now. However, HR departments still seem to struggle in delivering strategic and predictive analytics, adding value for the whole organization (Minbaeva, 2017; Gartner, 2019).

 In our first people analytics whitepaper, we already revealed four crucial actions to take in order to assure that you establish and implement an effective people analytics strategy within your organization. Technology is one of those crucial elements that impact your people analytics capabilities.

With the wide variety of people analytics tools available on the market, it can be rather challenging to choose the right people analytics tool for your organization. In our new whitepaper we offer you a step-by-step guide to support you with the selection of a people analytics tool: ‘Selecting the right people analytics tool: A step-by-step guide’ or click here:

More on people analytics

Using HR data effectively

What challenges do organizations face in adopting a solid approach to People Analytics, and what can be done to address these issues?

Ivan Staarman researched this topic and shared his findings in our White Paper on People Analytics whitepaper over People Analytics. 

Digital HR Transformation

At the same time, HR undergoes a digital transformation as well. There are many (new) tools like talent management and recruitment tools, applications for time & attendance and HR cloud solutions like Workday and Successfactors. Al these new technologies result in a whole different experience of HR, for HR and for employees. They also could ensure efficiency succession and savings.

Good preparation is half the work

To realize this, it is essential to make informed choices. And this is only possible with good preparation. Unfortunately, the reality is often different, with the consequence that the new technologies result in more hassle, time and expenses. And that at the earliest after a few years, much later than preconceived, benefits arise from the investment.

Because of the rapidly changing world, the impact it has on organizations and the beautiful promises HR systems have for HR it can be tempting to speed up the selectionprocess. Suppliers are eager to help HR and respond to a Request For Proposal? But how good can this proposal be if internally the needs, wishes and requirements have not been adequately considered? Where should the system meet up to and what should it offer? Are there certain HR processes to focus on? How should the employee experience of HR change because of the new systems?

The wishes and needs for a new system is hidden in the current system

It is also important to look at what you already have. The positive aspects and possible shortcomings of the current systems say a lot about what the new systems should or shouldn’t comply to. This information is extremely valuable. During the preparation, it can also turn out that the existing HR systems are not used optimally. If so, is it necessary to buy something new or should there be made better use of the already available systems?

Aspects to consider

For complex organizations with different business units and/or international components, the preparation phase often requires more time, but is even more important. It includes an inventory of the various HR systems used but it also concerns the differences with respect to laws and regulations. And what is for example the vision regarding local vs. global?
Often the availability and quality of HR data is not included. Where does the HR data come from? From just one or several systems and what’s the quality of the data? An important objective of the Digital HR transformation is often an improvement in reporting. Is this possible if the inputs needed for this, the data, is not proper and complete? It is important to take notice of this in the preliminary stages, so it can be taken into account during decision making and any additional steps.

Timely involvement of the right people

A nice and important side effect of good preparation is that the right people can be involved in a timely manner. A digital HR transformation usually is a major change and with every change, stakeholder management, communication and change management are very important. This involves stakeholders with decision-making powers, but for example also (HR) employees. The change can have an impact on the entire organization and so stakeholders throughout the entire organization need to be involved to make sure there is enough support to be successful. 

Haste makes waste…

A good preparation offers opportunities and if the preparation phase is rushed, important steps could be skipped. With unpleasant consequences; implementation schedules delayed, additional investments are needed, changes are not supported, the project costs are skyrocketing, and the new HR technologies are more burdensome than that they contribute to a positive experience and efficiency.

This applies in particular to digital HR transformations. Determining the requirements for the new system, involving the right people, collect all the information available and develop and install the appropriate decision-making moments are important steps in the preparation and essential for the success of a digital HR transformation. This requires more time and effort at the start, but in this way the rest of the digital HR transformation process will go more smoothly and will deliver the desired results. 

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What is employee experience?

Employee experience is a broad concept, which makes it difficult to find a starting point. The book “Employee Experience Advantage” by Jacob Morgan is currently the most complete and recent work on this concept. He tells about his research at more than 250 organisations, including Facebook and Apple. This research shows that the employee experience is formed by three elements: the organisational culture, technology and the physical working environment.

The organisational culture and the physical work environment are important factors, however in this article we want to focus on the role of technology. To be more specific: the role of HR technology. What are the most important aspects for organisations to think of concerning HR technology and how can they make a positive contribution to the employee experience?

Where to start?

First of all, it is important to set a goal and to clarify how the employee experience is being pursued. The employee experience must be consistent with the strategy, vision and culture of the organisation. Is sustainability very important? Or is it more about innovation or reliability? Or should more attention be given to pleasure at work? Once the goal is clear, there are a number of points of attention with regard to the use of HR technology that the organisation must take into account:

  • Accessibility. Employees, both within HR and beyond, must have access to HR technology when they want and in a way that suits them best. It must also be taken into account that, for example, not all employees have access to a computer; in that case a smartphone app can offer a good alternative. Accessibility also concerns to which HR systems and to which HR data employees have access and how they can get this access.
  • Reliability of HR technology. Data of employees often concerns sensitive information whose privacy must be guaranteed. Employees consider it important that this information is stored carefully so that their sensitive data is safe.
  • User friendliness and user experience. HR technology will be used more if its developed from the perspective and needs of the employee, instead of purely the looking at the technological functionalities. After all, employees know best how HR technology can support them to be able to do their job. However, it is not only about what technology can do, but also about how people use it. Is it easy and intuitive? At home, the latest phones, laptops, iPads, apps and other technological gadgets are used, the same intuitive and user-friendly experience is also expected at work.

What do we see?

If an organisation does well, HR technology can make a positive contribution to the employee experience. Below are some examples of how our customers have used HR technology to influence the employee experience they want to achieve:

  • Fun experience: At one of our clients we have implemented a quiz app for HR employees. Through this app they could playfully improve their knowledge of HR and challenge colleagues. This led to a high fun factor, employees saw the acquisition of HR knowledge as something fun.
  • Ease of use: Many customers use one HR system where everything is organized: recruitment, talent management, learning, reporting, you name it. Users only need to know one system, which results in greater ease of use.
  • Employee and manager self-service: Another customer has bundled the HR services in one portal where employees and managers can arrange everything themselves. Part of this portal is a large knowledge base with answers to all common questions so that nobody has to wait for answers from HR staff.
  •  Satisfaction surveys: We also see that customers opt for a small-scale and regular survey via an app instead of an annual employee satisfaction survey. With this, the organisation continuously measures satisfaction and is able to respond quickly to developments.

Centralised approach

In general, payrolling is not seen as the most exciting part of HR. Yet, it is a complex set of regulations and systems. Therefore, the payroll process requires considerable amounts of time and attention from employees. For that reason, companies are increasingly looking at a centralised approach with regard to the payroll process. These initiatives make payroll managers nervous. They will indicate that their specific operation is too complex for standardisation. However, in many cases it is wise to centralize part of the payrolling. The other part remains specific to the context of the country.

Hybrid form

Tax and social regulations are the elements within the payroll process that are country specific. Hence, a completely ‘globalised payroll proces’ does not exist. Nevertheless, a labour-intensive part of the payroll process, the zero to gross trajectory, can be remarkably simplified. Namely by using standard (global) payroll processes and a global payroll system. Harmonising terms of employment at global level also benefits the organisation. This can, for instance, simplify many rules and increase the comparability of terms between countries. It is therefore the challenge to look for a good hybrid form of standardisation and customization at regional level.

Regional approach

The regional specific part of the payroll process, the gross-net trajectory, is in a growing amount of cases becoming the responsibility of the payroll suppliers. This involves the ongoing process of correct implementation of new (tax) legislation. This relieves the organisation of some pressure. As a result, this allows the entire payroll process to have a more limited impact on the internal HR organisation. Therefore, there is indeed a benefit to be gained with a partially global approach of the payroll process.

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