The smart digital workplace as employee experience reinforcement tool
Transforming a fragmented employee experience into a productive digital workplace with a fully engaged team: would that be a fata morgana? delaware employees Luk Moreels and Kristof Nuytens explain how you make such goal concrete reality.
“Not even that long ago, HR IT projects were mainly meant to support HR, by capturing data, streamlining processes and operational excellence”, explain Luk Moreels, project manager Intelligent Workforce and Kristof Nuytens, HCM Solution Lead at delaware. Meanwhile, according to both experts, things have been evolving fast. Firstly, by employee experience taking the forefront, with the aim to organize low-threshold, employee-centric services. Luk: “I compare that kind of employee experience to placing an order on bol.com: everything had to go quick and easy.”
Kristof: “Recently, we have seen a new trend emerging. The employee experience still remains the main goal, but we integrate multiple solutions in our projects. Such evolution is logical, since employee experience has become fragmented and has changed into a disintegrated landscape comprising of countless applications. An application for onboarding, one for performance management, for training & development, administration, benefits… the list goes on and on. Each time, an employee has to find their way around, with separate logins for each app. Moreover, these apps cannot be linked efficiently, creating plenty of overload and confusion.
Because of mandatory telework in the past year, implementation of digital collaboration tools also accelerated, such as digital meetings, but just as much solutions that replace rather informal get-togethers, like that quick update you used to do in the office when you passed someone’s desk.”
At delaware, there is a noticeable jump in demand coming from all kinds of organizations. Luk: “Organizations approach us with questions on how to merge all this again, on how technology can help to streamline employee experience.”
Solutions are already on the market
Kristof: “The good news is that such solutions already exist; they have been a focus for all big software players. Take SAP Work Zone for HR for example, a new kid on the block. This platform offers a uniform and employee-centered point of entry to the workplace. Such intelligent work zones, in our view anyway, are the future, since you offer your employees a single home page with access to all apps, knowledge databases, training content and collab tools they need in their job.”
Luk: “The challenge lies in bringing all this information together, since there is so much content. Say, you are a member of the finance team. You won’t want to see HR KPIs in your work zone, but rather finance KPIs. Then say you carry a specific responsibility, like being a team leader. In such instance, you will need all information available to managers. You might have specific fields of interest you want to stay updated on. And you have a specific workplace in a certain region and a certain office. An intelligent digital workplace combines all relevant information, so that you do not need to search, but you receive entirely customized information. An employee at the Kortrijk office has no interest in seeing the menu form the canteen in Ghent. This helps people to work smarter and more efficiently”, reasons Luk.
For UZGent, delaware consultants are digitizing HR software by implementing an SAP/Microsoft solution. The process for requesting structural time off, for example, has become completely automated. As a result, employees now have a personal overview of the specifics on what time they can take off, to then digitally launch their request and hence the digital (approval) process. No more searching for information, no more red tape. The more effective you can be in your job, the more time is left for the actual care aspect.
Kristof: “We are currently digitizing the training process of a large Flemish organization active in domestic nursing. This organization is at this moment making the transition towards more specialized home care. Until recently, they organized their training sessions as 2-hour long large gatherings at a group venue. Today, these kind of training sessions on new medical appliances are offered digitally. Team members take the training when it is convenient to them, the organization tracks who has completed the training, exams also take place digitally and the certificate is automatically added to the competence profile of the respective employee. This level of automation results in enormous amounts of time being saved, which, in the current situation, is implemented even faster.”
Employee experience roadmap
Implementing a digital workplace entails installing several systems, which, logically, need to be linked together. Kristof: “That is exactly what delaware specializes in; and our approach is unique. We developed a method to structurally assess the digital tools and processes that support employees.”
Our specialist consultants will draw up a summary or Employee Experience Roadmap, in collaboration with our client’s functional service centers such as HR, IT, communication, marketing and finance, starting from an analysis of employee experience gaps, the gaps in processes and tools. Next, an analysis of the used systems, the challenges and goals follows. All outcomes are then modelled into a midterm plan, after consensus from all departments involved, accompanied by a clear budget and ROI.”
The ultimate goal: the happy employee
Working remotely is here to stay, at least that is how at delaware they see things, and the ability to connect digitally will remain a basic requirement. Kristof: “To employees, a job is felt as being meaningful when they can work efficiently, with customized information at hand. Workforces are becoming much more mobile in nature as well. Onboarding, offboarding, crossboarding, … not a problem in a digital workplace, since all information, processes and tools follow where the employee goes. What’s more, a digital workplace also lives up to the increased desire for flexible working. Our conclusion? A smart, digital work zone helps our clients to create a connected and engaged team of employees.”