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5 Ways to Improve Employee Experience With HR Tech

Sponsored by: Neocase

Did you know more than 160 million people are employed in the U.S.? Unfortunately, however, rising turnover is eroding workforce retention. In fact, 48% of hiring managers say turnover is higher this year – up from 44% in 2021. And the cost of replacing those people isn’t cheap. No wonder employers want to build a positive work culture that attracts and retains top talent. That’s why many are turning to HR technology to improve employee experience.

But here’s the catch: In recent years, the HR tech landscape has been bursting at the seams. This means choosing the best solution for your organization’s needs can be overwhelming. To overcome this obstacle, think first about how you want to improve employee experience, and work from those objectives to define your selection criteria.

HR Technology 101

To provide some context, let’s start with a brief overview of core HR systems. In most HR technology stacks you’ll find at least one of these systems as a foundation for all other people platforms, tools and applications:

1. HRIS Human Resource Information Systems

HRIS was developed to help organizations track and store employee data and records for essential administrative needs. As the HR function grew more complex, HRIS platforms added modules to support talent acquisition processes and recruitment operations, as well as employee information management and maintenance. 

2. HRMS – Human Resource Management Systems

Over time, HR became more deeply integrated with other functions, so HR tracking software had to meet these expanded business requirements. Now, HRMS/HRIS systems are used interchangeably to support operations such as payroll, time tracking and compliance management. 

3. HCM – Human Capital Management Systems

HCM supports a more expansive set of HR operations, including employee performance analysis, compensation planning and projection, workforce development and more.HCM covers all HR functions with a comprehensive solution that can be customized to support the entire employee lifecycle.

Why Employee Experience Matters

A strong employee experience is essential to attract top talent and keep people engaged with your work culture. As Gartner says, “Employee experience is the way employees internalize and interpret the interactions they have with their organization, as well as the context that underlies those interactions.”

But as many organizations have discovered, an exceptional employee experience isn’t easy to develop and maintain. In fact, according to Gartner, “Only 13% of employees are fully satisfied with their experience.

What’s at stake? A negative employee experience leads to low morale, poor work performance, and other issues that directly affect organizational culture and business results. On the other hand, a positive employee experience helps lift morale, productivity, efficiency, and work quality.

How HR Tech Can Improve Employee Experience

Clearly, creating the best employee experience possible leads to significant business benefits. So, to achieve the highest potential impact, consider these five priorities:

1. Automate Tasks and Streamline Workflows

Is anything worse than monotony? It is just as painful for your HR team as it is for others in your organization. Many manual HR tasks are excellent candidates for automation. Focus first on business processes that will free your HR team from tedious, time-consuming, redundant paperwork, and email communications.

Start by developing an employee journey map to better understand your current processes. Then look for bottlenecks, gaps, and disconnects. These issues are opportunities to streamline processes or speed response times.

Organizations often begin by mapping onboarding or offboarding processes. This ensures that an employee’s first and last impressions will align with company values and the employer brand.

2. Gather Employee Feedback

A silent employee can be a dangerous or at-risk employee – even if they don’t realize it. Many workers hesitate to speak up for a variety of reasons. Some fear punishment if they express negative opinions, while others think their input won’t be heard or appreciated.

If an employee doesn’t have a chance to share feedback or ideas, they could feel undervalued and unimportant. You can remedy this with HR technology specifically intended to improve communication.

Consider feedback tools that encourage employees to make their voices heard. Monthly surveys, quarterly outreach messages, and other kinds of digital communication can help build stronger connections and spark more useful conversations.

But that’s just the beginning. Once you receive input, you need to respond or implement changes. Otherwise, people could become more frustrated if you solicit input but don’t seem willing to act upon it.

3. Provide Self-Service Portals

One of the best ways HR technology improves employee experience is through self-service applications. Many platforms can help organizations build and deploy custom tools that help employees serve themselves at their convenience.

One of the best-known examples is a benefits portal. Many employers offer secure web-based destinations with all the information and tools people need to research, select and manage their particular benefits. This frees employees from having to manage the constant back-and-forth of emails or phone calls just to get basic benefits information or answer common questions.

This kind of solution increases efficiency, while giving employees more control. At the same time, portal analytics can help your HR team understand employee preferences and identify content and functionality that can better them.

4. Offer Anywhere, Anytime Access

Unfortunately, many employees feel totally disconnected from HR. Some need guidance and oversight, but HR teams and managers are stretched too thin to engage.

Integrated real-time HR communication tools can help you and your management team focus less on paperwork and more on people. Think of it as the digital equivalent of an office with an open door!

The benefits of integrated communications extend to employees, as well. This leads to a more closely-knit workplace culture that operates more efficiently and is better aligned with business priorities.

5. Design Intuitive Workflows

Demand for better, faster response started with customer service. But it has quickly spread to internal organizational functions, as well.

When we ask HR a question, we want the answer now. We also want to find answers ourselves, ideally with no more than one or two taps on a smartphone.

This aspect of HR technology requires decision-makers to put themselves in an employee’s shoes for a reality check. How easy is it to perform a task you want to accomplish? For example, if you’re a full-time manager using a self-service benefits portal, how intuitive is the path to information you need at the moment you need it? How much information do you have to dig through to find a useful answer?

This aspect of HR technology is central to the employee experience. Why? Because, if employees struggle to use a digital tool, they will also struggle to adopt that tool and succeed with it.

Final Thoughts

HR technology can play an important role when you want to improve employee experience. Whether you’re implementing a self-service portal to support job applicants, deploying an employee feedback tool or expanding business process automation to improve HR response times, your efforts can positively influence talent acquisition and retention. These 5 priorities can help your team focus on solutions that will make a strong impact.

High Tech or High Touch? #TChat Recap

Epic Times in HR Innovation

For geeks in the TalentCulture community, this was a red-letter week. We saw an impressive spectrum of innovative technology solutions roll through the HRO Today Forum in Philadelphia.

As planned, TalentCulture founders, Meghan Biro and Kevin Grossman were on-hand each day — sharing photos, updates and color commentary, live on the #TChat stream. It was like opening a virtual window into the state of HR innovation — and along with it, a perfect springboard to discuss promising “world of work” technologies and best practices.

I dialed-in from a distance, and couldn’t help feeling drawn to the energy of the iTalent innovation showdown (which Connect6° won, by the way), as well as the enthusiasm of #TChat-ters who openly exchanged ideas about HR tech at our Wednesday Twitter discussion. (See complete highlights in the Storify slideshow near the end of this post.)

Key Takeaway: Seek Balance

So, did we reach consensus about technology’s role in acquiring and nurturing talent? Did we agree on what matters most — high tech or high touch?

Wait. That’s not the right question. This isn’t a zero-sum game. Instead, shouldn’t we ask something more useful? Try this:

How well are we balancing the natural tension between “high tech” and “high touch,” for best results in our organization?

Truth is, there will never be a “final answer.” In an ever-changing business environment, we’ll always be seeking true north. A commitment to continuous improvement can help. But even with constant recalibration, it’s easy to miss the mark. So, for future reference, maybe we should tuck this tiny nugget of #TChat advice into the back of our minds:

Whatever helps us go THERE should be good. Thanks for the reminder, Zachary!

#TChat Week-in-Review

SUN 4/28

Forbes.com: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, set the stage for the week in her post: “HR Technology: A Revolution for the World of Work.”

MON 4/29

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Watch Tim’s G+ Hangout videos in his #TChat Preview

Meghan on Monday: To start the week, Meghan expanded on her Forbes commentary in a message to the TalentCulture community: “HR Tech as High Art and Deep Science.”

#TChat Preview: Our community manager, Tim McDonald, outlined the theme and key questions in a preview post: “Live From the Edge of HR Innovation,” featuring brief video interviews with four of the five finalists in this year’s HRO Today Forum iTalent Competition.

WED 5/1

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Listen to the radio show recording now

#TChat Radio: In a special 1-hour “open mic” roundtable live from the HRO Today Forum social media lounge, Jessica Miller-Merrell (Blogging4Jobs), Matt Charney (Talemetry), and a variety of other conference attendees talked with Meghan and Kevin about the changing role of HR, and technology’s role in supporting that shift.

Partner News: Speaking of innovative HR technology, we announced a partnership with Achievers this week — our first formal business alliance in TalentCulture’s 3-year history. Exciting stuff. Learn more in “TalentCulture + Achievers: Better Together!”

#TChat Twitter: Our expanding community gathered around the #TChat Twitter stream, as Achievers Community Manager, Katie Paterson, led us in a real-time exchange of ideas about innovation in HR practices and technology. The feed lit-up with great ideas and interaction throughout the hour. Watch highlights below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights Slideshow: “Live From the Edge of HR Innovation”

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-live-from-the-edge-of-hr-innovatio.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

SPECIAL THANKS: Again, thanks to the HROToday Forum social media team for sharing their perspectives live from the conference, and thanks to Achievers Social Community Manager, Katie Paterson, for spearheading this week’s #TChat Twitter conversation. You brought insight, humor and energy that everyone could feel.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about HR Innovation or related issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, education and social learning advocate, Angela Maiers, returns to talk about how our nation can prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s business and technology leaders. Stay tuned for a “sneak peek” video in our preview this weekend!

Until then, as always, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The lights are always on at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image credit: Pixabay

Informed Managers Drive Employee Success

Engagement + Performance = Employee Success.

And the best way to maximize employee engagement and performance is by empowering managers to lead their teams with intelligence.

To create success, managers require smart, appropriate tools. In a recent report — Empowering Managers to Drive Employee Success — information technology analysts at Aberdeen Group took a close look at the manager’s role in employee engagement. In that report, Aberdeen found that the best way to optimize talent and improve business results is to deliver solutions that help managers understand activity within their team and highlight areas to manage.

However, most talent management solutions are fragmented, offering very little useful data or insight. Aberdeen’s report points to three important tools that empower managers — analytics, integration and transparency.

1) Analytics

With current technology, executives can keep tabs on major company data points on a nearly constant basis. This information helps inform decisions on specific programs and larger corporate direction. With access to appropriate analytics, managers can make informed decisions based on relevant individual and team performance indicators.

2) Integration

When various human resource information systems (HRIS) don’t talk with one another, there is a much greater risk of redundant work as well as errors from entering the same information into separate programs. Integration streamlines that effort and ensures that managers get the most out of all of HRIS programs, connecting talent and workforce management.

3) Transparency

Transparency makes it much easier for managers to align with corporate goals, and better monitor team activity. When everyone is “on the same page,” and relying on clear indicators of progress, managers are empowered to move the business forward. Applying this visibility across all corporate initiatives addresses talent and business challenges like the need to manage corporate-wide employee referral programs, increase workforce loyalty, and facilitate knowledge transfer between groups.

Business Success may start with Employee Success, but Employee Success starts with empowered managers. Learn how to give your managers the right tools to drive success. Download a copy of the full Aberdeen Group report now.

What dashboard data does your company provide to managers? Let me know in the comments below…

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

(Legal Note: Employee Success is a trademark of Achievers Corp.)