Enhancing Employee Experience through HR Technology’s Intervention

The demand for employee experience management is significantly influencing the global HR Technology trends. Every organization looks at employee experience through its existing lens of human capital management and HR budgets. Post-COVID, the changing employee expectations have affected the performance graphs of most organizations resulting in a talent crisis, what many HR analysts call an extension of “The Great Resignation” and “The Great Reset.” In 2019, VMware found both HR and IT teams are critical components in creating meaningful digital employee experiences — which has emerged as “a top priority within organizations.” However, it is not easy to deliver EX even with the best of IT and HR Tech support if business leaders fail to understand the principles that influence and promote employees’ needs.

Managing employee experiences within a growing business environment has been quite tough for Gen Z managers. Helping the employees to maintain a positive outlook has been seen to wreak havoc with the balance sheet. Managers in the US declared, that happy employees add to productivity besides enhancing profits. Enhancing the employee experience, on the other hand, can influence other business activities, particularly customer experience management and brand building.

In this article, we have tried to establish the relationship between the role of HR technology in improving employee experience. 

Why Is ‘Employee Experience’ Considered a Key Criteria to Performance?

This is a pertinent question for every business leader handling HR strategies in 2022.

The answer to this important question lies in a valid root cause analysis.

By analyzing the perceptions of an employee, HR leaders can understand the varied perspectives related to internal brand building and how each employee acts and performs to achieve larger organizational goals. Most of the HR professionals, on being interviewed, had acknowledged that employee experience encompasses all perceptions related to an employee’s journey within the organization. HR managers in the current context are expected to embrace an analytical approach toward the understanding of employee experience and how these impact productivity and organizational effectiveness

What is employee experience?

The employee experience (EX) refers to the perceptions of an employee across their journey in any particular organization and how they feel about engaging with business and non-business processes. Hence employee experience can be thought to be a collection of events and the experiences it stirs among employees that can create a real-time impact on the employee performance, organizational effectiveness, and overall job satisfaction.

Employee experience platforms (EXPs) perform many tasks. These are primarily focused on helping the people at work meet their best potential through seamless access to digital communication, knowledge sharing, training and development resources, and insights.

Employee experience directly affects these areas in an organization:
Employee engagement

The concept of building up employee experience directly relates to the level of engagement defined within the organization. The level of engagement is therefore closely associated with an enabling experience. Gallup Inc (Gallup), an American advisory firm stated that employees engaged meaningfully can generate a better perception amongst the group concerned.

Recruiting Employees

Employee experience starts as early as the hiring and onboarding of an employee. Most organizations fail to deliver EX here. According to Gartner, only 12% of the employees “strongly agree” that their organization is doing a great job of onboarding.

Recruiting employees contextually, while combining personalities with work roles, can be effective in managing employee expectations, thus creating a positive experience. Being recruited through employee referrals can also make a huge difference. HR experts have repeatedly identified employee referrals as a major tool to get connected. At the same time, a proper onboarding process can reasonably help in managing employee expectations on a large scale.

Employee Retention Policies

HR professionals acknowledge that employee experience remains to be positive if the organization has retention policies put in place. A survey done by Mckinsey reveals that employees tend to leave organizations within 3 months of joining if retention policies are not clearly spelled. 

How Can Organizations Drive Better Employee Experience Results by using HR Tools and Technologies?

Positive workplace culture and ambiance encourage employees to be more productive. Companies that invest time and resources on developing a positive workplace culture retain talent longer and with better effectiveness.

HR experts from various backgrounds on being interviewed by US media reveal that technology and tools play a significant role in managing the positive experiences of employees within an organization.

Right from a well-designed physical infrastructure to technology inputs, everything matters a lot to the employees concerned. An employee survey conducted by PwC revealed that, about 60% of the employees in a given workspace enjoy the workplace ambiance and prefer to sit comfortably with all amenities. Approximately, 20 – 28% of the employees consider office ambiance as a major indicator of their personal well-being. 

On being asked about how the office ambiance drive performance employees acknowledge that, temperature-controlled workspaces with a visual appeal can create an absolute motivation to perform. On the other hand, almost 35% of the employees felt that working with a laptop with an internet connection can help the employees to work from a remote location while reducing stress in the long run. 

But, how is technology related to enhancing employee experiences?

Employees are expecting their employers to provide the best of digital EX in a digital workspace, which includes offering BYODs, data and app management platforms over the Cloud, automation, unified security, and email management suites. With AI and machine learning, HR teams can further improve the performance of each of these IT for HR management by focusing on the “voice of employees”, analyzing outcomes of surveys using “people analytics” through people listening tools, and RPA for back-office document processing.

HR Technology can play an important role as revealed by the HR managers, especially in small office setups. Small managed enterprises have been observed, to purposefully invest on technology to save office space. A majority of the organizations in the US, during the outbreak of the COVID-19, has revealed that employees were given laptops and smartphones to work comfortably from remote locations. In fact, a huge budget was allocated for such activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the end of the day, helping employees with technology tools had fostered a sense of belongingness within the organizations concerned.  

What Is the Role of Digitization in Enhancing Employee Experience?

Why does HR Technology matter in establishing EX as a standard benchmark in any organization?

VMware explains it.

Every employee has a different level of engagement with the technology that they use to perform tasks at a business-unit level. From encouraging employees to adapt quickly to the demands of business mobility to enhancing the benefits of digital transformation, EX is closely tied to the organization’s competitive positioning, financial health, and remote work efficiencies.

Most of the employees surveyed by consulting organizations like PwC have revealed that digitization had largely influenced the impending culture within any organization. With the penetration of digitization, employees have been extensively using Human Resource Management System (HRMS) and Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to manage the benefits. For instance, during the pandemic employees had applied for official leaves, through online database management systems in order to handle personal exigencies. Thus, digitization has played a significant role in improving employee experiences on the whole. 

On the other hand, digital adoption platforms (DAP) have been widely used by organizations in order to bring in a total transformation in the way employees work. A positive impact has been thus generated through:

  • Providing end to end guidance in improving performance
  • Encouraging automated process of employee onboarding
  • Collecting, storage and analyzing employee data has been made easier
  • Providing instant support to employees on any particular issue has happened easily
  • Managing Health and wellness through complete digitization is a major trend

HR Technology Boosts Digital Transformation for Better Employee Engagement and Experience Management

Digitization has transformed how the employees have worked during the pandemic, especially considering remote working. In most organizations, HR technology interventions have positively influenced the workplace culture and employee behavior while improving employee experience in the process. A large number of organizations have adopted ‘mobile working’ and traditional norms were frequently broken to revise organizational silos. Technology has played a significant role, in streamlining task management coupled with a reduction of infrastructure costs.

Here are some of the best Employee Experience management solutions in the HR Technology ecosystem:

  • Alida’s Voice of Employee / Employee Experience
  • Kazoo
  • Qualtrics
  • Microsoft Viva EXP [Glint by LinkedIn has joined the Viva EXP recently]
  • Perceptyx People Insights Platform

Business leaders must understand that EXP is the key to delivering the best opportunities to employees at all levels of engagement. The employees, the internal consumers of your organization, when happy are more likely to play an influential role in advocating your Customer Experience Management initiatives to the outside world. As BMC states, employees and customers are equally valuable to your business needs.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]