Delivering a “Card-Member-Like” Service Experience at Discover Financial

We have often heard about how organizations treat their customers better than their own employees, so at Knowledge 17 I noticed that this legacy way of thinking is now shifting with the digital times.  Many HR professionals are now talking about how they are looking to treat employees more like their customers. Why? Because, they know a happy employee is more productive, engaged, and likely to stay longer with the company. One of the HR sessions that highlighted this topic was Discover Financial.

I was able to meet up with Paul Kolenda, Senior Manager of Global HR Shared Services at Discover Financial Services to discuss how they were transforming their HR Service Delivery to provide a more “card-member like” service experience.

Nin: Hi Paul, thanks for taking the time to talk with me! So tell me, what were some of the employee service related challenges Discover Financial was experiencing?

Paul: Due to our multiple systems and manual processes, our service challenges were centered around the multiple ways employees could interact with our team and Employee Relations.  The systems we had in place previously for tracking Employee Relations were homegrown, unsupported, and standalone. Most of our HR cases were being handled via outlook and phone calls.  On top of that, a lot of the employee service processes we had were undocumented and varied by location. Finally, because our multiple systems and manual processes, some of our data was limited, fragmented, and difficult to obtain.

Nin: What does the new employee experience look like at Discover Financial? And, how did ServiceNow fit into that HR Service Delivery transformation?

Paul: As a forward thinking banking business we really wanted to transform how we were servicing our employees and provide them with more of a “card-member-like” service experience. So, our HR service transformation initiatives included:

  • Maximizing workforce productivity and making HR easy and efficient
  • Developing and delivering great people
  • Fostering a strong culture with high engagement

ServiceNow was a natural fit because it had all the enterprise HR Service Delivery capabilities we needed and much more. It was a solution we can grow with and we have so much planned for it in areas outside HR as well.  Our HR objectives focused around process consistency, enhanced compliance, and quality data.

Our HR Operations went from that mess of emails, spreadsheets, and phone calls to being centralized with all interactions being handled directly via ServiceNow, making it easier for employees to quickly and easily get the HR service they needed.

Nin: Since going live, what are some of the benefits you have seen?

Paul: Going from what we had in the past to now, we have seen many benefits across the board, which include:

  • We now have operational metrics that drive our HR Operations organization design and headcount
  • HR efficiency increases through real-time case load balancing
  • ServiceNow cases are now used to monitor customer service and quality
  • A single view of all employee interactions
  • Automation of manual processes
  • Ability to identify trends and issues with real data
  • Improved employee service experience
  • We even have other teams asking to go on ServiceNow

Access to all this new HR data has also made it easier to continuously identify additional opportunities for improvement, which is something we couldn’t do before. Our long term goal is to expand the ServiceNow usage deeper into HR as well as other business units. We view ServiceNow as an evolving solution that will continue to grow and mature with our team. It is a core ingredient for this HR Service Delivery transformation.

Nin: What are some important lessons you learned throughout this journey?

Paul: Our top takeaways for anyone who is undergoing a similar HR Service Delivery transformation would be,

  • Keep it simple and try to address your immediate business issues first
  • Train your team on the implementation approach so everyone is in sync
  • Develop a governance approach for decisions and management
  • Change management is critical to success
  • Training is crucial for day one and ongoing operations to ensure employee adoption
  • Have a long-term vision and a plan to work towards it

Nin: Thank you so much for your time Paul! Enjoy the rest of the conference.