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.