Work as an experience: HR’s role in building an intelligent enterprise

Work as an experience: HR’s role in building an intelligent enterprise

Work as an experience: HR’s role in building an intelligent enterprise

More than ever before, technology enables us to build intelligence into every layer of the enterprise. From sales enablement software to business intelligence applications, these tools collectively provide organizations a set capabilities previously out of reach.

Coupled with a rapidly changing business landscape, heightened employee expectations, and more diverse workforce, there’s a real need for organizations to adopt tools that can better enable the people and process layers of their organization.

The Rise of the Employee
There was a time when the tools employees had at work were superior to anything they had at home. That time is no more.

As customers, we use fantastic technology in everything we do. Waze’ing our way to work, Ritual’ing our lunch, watching that algorithmically-perfect-for-us show on Netflix – all on the devices we like best. As a result, we’ve developed some pretty high expectations for the technology - and processes - we engage with in our everyday lives.

This high-bar of technology and experience is lagging in most workplaces. Employees are now consumers, and they bring these high expectations with them to work. The tools they’re given (and the processes they work within) must be adapted for this new paradigm.

Talent demands that companies become more employee-centric and HR must take a leadership role in driving this transformation at every point in the employee lifecycle.

The Business Case for Improved Employee Experience
An HBR study of 252 global organizations found that companies investing in improving employee experience outperform those who don’t in terms of revenue per employee, average profit, and stock price.

This philosophy starts at the very first touch point with an employee - as candidates. Virgin Mobile learned this the hard way in 2015, when a poor applicant experience led 7,500 candidates to terminate their business with Virgin mobile. They have since re-designed the entire candidate experience putting the employee-users at the heart.

While this sounds great, only 6% of companies in the HBR study had truly made investing in employee experience a priority.

HR as the Master Designer
While HR certainly isn’t responsible for every interaction across the employee lifecycle, they are responsible for the ultimate design of an employee’s experience at the company.

This effort is cross-functional in nature and can only be successful working in partnership with the rest of the organization. Critical here is HR’s relationship with the CIO’s office. “Digital Transformation” is a top priority at many large enterprises, and we risk automation for automations sake if HR is not advocating for an employee centric approach to technology deployment.

Whether it’s engaging candidates, onboarding new hires, or enabling employees everyday work – HR leaders must ask themselves how can they design around this journey and use technology to enhance the moments that matter and reduce friction across the employee lifecycle?

Engaging Candidates
Employee centric principles should be imbedded at the earliest point of engagement with your “brand” as an employer.

Make a great first impression using Ruutly by transforming run-of-the-mill text based job postings into an engaging, highly informative, “advertisement” of the role while showcasing all the benefits of working at your company. 

Use consumer principles to meet talent where they spend time online using JobAdX. Their technology dynamically delivers jobs to candidates only when and where they’re looking.

Hiring the Best People
An employee-centric organization is one where the hiring process is a positive experience in and of itself, but more importantly is set up in a way that that puts eventual hires in a position to succeed.

“Matching” technology presents a huge opportunity to do just this.

Plum uses AI and industrial psychology to quantify “potential” in candidates. Their assessment technology measures a candidates cognitive ability and personality to inform best fits for a role, is flawlessly integrated into the application process and provides a value adding “talent profile” to all applicants.

Career Spark uses data science to build “success profiles” for roles and matches them against new applicants and internal candidates who may be in the wrong role or are a good match for growth opportunities – extending this capability throughout the employee lifecycle. As an employee it provides real-time insights on the roles or growth opportunities available at any given point.

Empowering Managers w. “People Data”
Employee-centric organizations are ones that use data to build better process and enable leaders to make better people decisions. A once per year survey does not cut it in this new environment, more real-time insights are required and resulting action is expected.

Tools like WorkTango help to capture the “pulse” of an organization, giving employees a stronger voice in decision making and providing actionable insight to managers.

Receptiviti applies AI and natural language processing to what is said and written at your organization, providing real-time insights into the psychology, communication patterns, and emotional signals that impact the people critical to your success.

Enabling Employees Everyday Work
The tools provided to employees need to meet those high expectations of the consumer world. They should be self-service in nature, fit seamlessly into daily workflow, and genuinely enhance the productivity of your people.

To reduce friction in transactional HR activities (time off, managing contracts etc.) use a great HRIS like Humi, Collage, Rise People or the Workdays-of-the-world for large enterprises. Much of this can become entirely self-service in nature and can integrate with all kinds of other software.

A great experience is not something often associated with Benefits, but companies like League are changing that. Their all-digital platform simplifies the entire process, making it easy to for employees to enjoy their benefits and automates the admin work behind the scenes.

Save time, stress, and make every employee more productive with tools like Zoom.ai, an automated assistant that can schedule meetings, book travel, even transcribe calls and provide meeting summaries.

Reaping the Benefits
Borrowing from the consumer world, we can extend the lifetime value of an employee by focusing on those moments that matter to them.  Whether its real-time growth opportunities leveraging Career Spark or constant feedback and recognition opportunities through Work Tango.  A great employee experience means we can extend the lifetime value of our most important customer – our people.

 

Written by Daneal Charney, Director of Talent, Venture Services at MaRS Discovery District, and Lucas Perlman, Manager, Partnerships, Work & Learning at MaRS Discovery District