The Digitization of the Employee Experience

I recently had the opportunity to hear Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow and Jason Averbook, CEO and Co-Founder of Leapgen, have a fascinating conversation about the on-going digital transformation of the employee experience. They examined why more people seem to care about their experiences at work, the role digitalization has played in raising their expectations, and the opportunities that creates for an organization to differentiate itself to both prospective and current employees.

The top-line answer is that technologies have transformed our personal lives, and we expect the same to happen at work. Cloud computing, powerful mobile devices, and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms connect us to people nearby and around the world. We can complete virtually any task on our smartphones, we talk to our smart homes, and our cars are starting to drive themselves.

HR professionals are embracing these same platforms to create and nurture employee experiences that are more engaging, respectful and rewarding.

We hear so much about the need to create a good work-life balance. Typically, the advice is along the lines of not taking work home with you, staying off email, and keeping your phones in your pocket during the times you devote to your family and friends.

But Pat argued that HR professionals should strive to help employees create a happy merger between their work and personal lives. People spend about one-third of their time at work, and there are people at home that depend on them. Their employers provide income, healthcare and quality of life for the entire family.

Beyond that, HR professionals play a key role in some of the most important times of their lives.

When they’re at the bank trying to cut through the home-buying red tape, you’re there to provide verification of their employment, income, etc. You’re there to help them navigate health care benefits when they welcome a new member to the family, or have to contend with a serious illness. Technology can eliminate filling out forms, making multiple phone calls, and other manual tasks to make those processes seamless. We can create a work experience that mirrors how employees interact with their favorite devices and apps, and that includes providing an engaging user experience across multiple devices (i.e., laptops, smartphones, tablets, even smartwatches).

Jason made an excellent observation that we’re “consumerizing” the employee experience by merging transactions and interactions, which traditionally have been siloed. We therefore make a transaction richer, which is what causes us to fall in love with our gadgets and apps.

This continues along every step of the employee journey, from onboarding, to when they leave your organization. If you create a rewarding employee experience, you increase the likelihood that former employees will become a referral engine.

Transforming the employee experience applies to HR too! You move away from a world of service tickets and only reacting to problems, to being more proactive in so many different ways. You can serve your employees better by becoming their advocate and anticipating their needs. For example, if you receive a number of queries about a wellness program, you can perform an audit of what may be available to them today, and be proactive in creating new or additional programs.

Jason also pointed out the fact there are so many stakeholders in creating a great employee experience, in addition to HR. The CIO, the head of facilities, finance, legal – they all “touch” an employee’s experience, so they all need to work together to make it the most beautiful experience possible.

If you would like to learn more, follow this link to a video recording of Pat’s entire conversation with Jason.