Customer Experience meets Employee Experience: do you have a structured digital transformation plan ready?

Jun 08, 2021
  • people

These days, a large number of businesses are transforming themselves towards customer centricity. In order to lift the customer experience (CX) to a higher level, just as much focus has to be given to employee experience (EX). Here, maximum user friendliness of HR tools and processes has to be ubiquitous. Many companies need a digital transformation plan to attain that goal. However, here comes the one-million-dollar question: have you, as an HR professional, prepared such structured approach?

Juan Staes, partner and domain lead Human Capital at delaware, states that in HR, digitization mainly takes place on a ‘pull’ basis, triggered by stimuli coming from social security administration offices, or as a reaction to crises such as Covid, or as a consequence of a push from numerous start-ups and scale-ups in the HR tech industry. In most cases, Operations, Sales and Finance will have drawn up a digitization plan, according to Juan. They are positioned close to the business’ core, where innovation might instantly lead to increased production volumes, more sales or improved financial results.  

What about HR taking the lead to investigate options for digital tools and processes that support employees, in a structured way, in collaboration with support departments such as IT, Communication and Marketing? In the end, efficient people operations do form the basis of employee experience.

Juan: “delaware has a specific way to support businesses. Our approach and methodology gather all stakeholders involved in supporting employees around the table. This holistic approach allows to start with measuring how employees rate and experience collaboration with colleagues and within the organisation, in order to map employee experience gaps, as well as gaps in processes and tools. This then results in a clear image of where we can gain efficiency.

That analysis serves as the starting point of a mid-term plan, based on a common vision and consensus between the respective support departments. That plan is ready for approval by the management, with a clear budget and ROI, as well as a clear inventory of all direct and hidden costs of an incoherent or missing digitization plan for HR. We aim for a payback of 12 months, next to recurring savings. In almost all cases, the business case turns out to be very convincing.”

Measuring employee experience gaps at two levels

The analysis takes place at two levels. Juan: “We first conduct a survey among the support departments, to gauge how they feel about the HR processes running smoothly and whether tools are used efficiently; processes such as staying up-to-date, communication, collaboration, job intake, competence building, attracting new employees and interactions with former colleagues. We then interview employees, mainly based on segments, such as people managers, employees without a PC, knowledge workers, …

Once this analysis completed, we can objectively see and visually indicate how supporting departments see themselves and where the opinion of the employees is situated. The improvement areas will indeed become clearly visible thanks to this analysis.

Causes of employee experience gaps

Juan: “Analyses outcomes at clients have led us to determine four factors that cause these gaps:

  • No digitization at all of the respective process
  • Process adaptation failure. The business invested in technology, but the workforce does not or incorrectly apply the new way of working. An example: HR integrated AI in the recruitment process, but at some point in the flow hiring managers still print CVs and write up interview notes. The solution: either the process requires simplification, or the users have to be trained in how to correctly use the new applications.
  • Technical failure. In this situation as well, the business has invested in process digitization, but this turns out to be technically unsound. An example: HR introduces a chatbot to support the colleagues in the personnel department. The tool however has not been set up with the correct content or has been trained insufficiently. In such case, the company will have to invest again in technology that will be performant.
  • Digital fake. The process seems digitized, however, upon further inspection, reality is different. An example: a member of staff orders stationery and completes all necessary steps via a digital platform. When receiving the goods, the user still has to sign a paper document, which then needs to be scanned and uploaded into the ticketing system and in the personnel department’s system. Another example: a digital wage slip, but HR admin still prints all documents for a final check."

Next steps

Based on these insights, the business can then determine what is priority, on a process and infrastructure level. “Together we will define a structured roadmap and cluster programs around themes such as connecting employees, knowledge & learning and HR Services. That plan is discussed within the organization. HR in combination with a structured plan for digital transformation to support efficient people operations? It is most certainly possible”, concludes Juan.

Want to get started?

Discover in the e-book ‘How to build a future-proof employee experience roadmap’ what such an action plan looks like.

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