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By Scott Rigby, Head Of Digital Transformation, Adobe
For the last five years, there’s been a sharp focus on improving customer experience, and while we expect this to continue, there’s a wave of change coming, that we see having a similar effect on the experience of employees.
According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report: Rewriting the rules for the digital age, less than 10 per cent of organisations are prepared for the needs of Australia’s future labour market. In this time of change, with movement towards a gig economy that’s expected to see temporary employees making up 35 per cent of the work force, HR professionals see driving the employee experience as their top priority. Even at an executive level, 80 per cent rate the employee experience as being highly important.
So, what should HR departments be doing?
A shortcut to improving the employee experience is to apply some of the learnings we’ve gained through the improvement of the customer experience.
The front-end transformation undergone by businesses in recent years through investment in technology, people, and processes can be mirrored to improve experiences internally.
This process develops what we call “the experience layer”. From a customer perspective, this is everything from websites to mobile applications to call centres. By standardizing and connecting the technology used across these channels you can capture data that helps you understand where your customer is at in their journey with your brand.
Optimizing the experience for employees can be approached in a similar fashion. We break the channels you might use to engage employees into three different kinds of interactions: employee to employee, employee to corporate, and corporate to employee.
Through each of these interactions you’re collecting data – what kind of employee they are, how long they’ve been with your business, what kind of security clearance they have, details around shares owned, annual leave, and so on – which you then marry with content to drive operational efficiency and employee engagement with your business.
HR teams need to construct a view of all the relevant technologies and data points and then work with the business at large to prioritize a road map that sees them integrated together over time
Looking at the channels we engage our employees through, we need to ask, how do we provide a consistent employee experience as they move, say, from mobile to tablet to laptop? How do we ensure the particular action they’re trying to complete is a cohesive experience and something we can support?
By building an architecture map outlining the data to be collected about employees and their experiences within a business, we can choose to integrate the data from one technology with that of another. As soon as you start combining technologies you get better insights into the activity employees are performing across those technologies.
From there, we can start to guide employees just like we would customers, driving more operational efficiency by guiding them through the activity they are trying to complete with the business.
HR teams are at a point now where they know this optimization of the employee experience is something they need to do, but they’re not sure what the next step is. Our recommendation is to spend time with their marketing teams and understand where they crawled, walked, ran, and what technology they employed to join the dots on their own customer experience journey.
Again, there is much that can be learned from this conversation. By looking at the varying personas within the workforce we can observe the activities they commonly perform as part of their function within a business, the pain points they’re experiencing, and through that identify how to leverage technology that’s either already available or can be purchased to improve the experience.
Naturally, this won’t happen overnight. HR teams need to construct a view of all the relevant technologies and data points and then work with the business at large to prioritize a road map that sees them integrated together over time. No, you’re not going to do it all in one go, nor should you have to wait to start improving employee experiences due to some misplaced notion of integrating every single solution at once.
It’s better to identify priorities and take steps however small towards total integration. Just start the process. Once you have one integration together, and then another, and then another, your understanding of employees as they move from one technology to the next and how to use content to optimize that journey will grow. Then you’ll be well placed to use content to ensure you are guiding your employees appropriately while personalizing their experience. By taking these steps, you’ll build a stronger, happier team, and be able to say with confidence that your employee experience is one worth having.