Employee experience (EX) is more important than ever
This is driven by factors such as a tight recruitment market, the furious competition for talent, and the increasing recognition of the links between engagement and customer experience.
According to the 2021 Employee Experience Survey by Willis Towers Watson, 92% of employers say that improving EX is a top priority over the next three years – up from 52% before the pandemic.
In a post-Covid world, investing in the right HR systems to enhance EX is crucial because digital experience impacts the way an employee feels about the organisation, especially for remote or hybrid teams who are even more reliant on technology.
Many organisations are therefore investing in HR technology as part of their EX strategy. A 2020 HR tech report by PwC found that 48% of HR leaders plan to use technology to improve EX in the coming two years.
“HR tech needs to be at the heart of any employee experience strategy,” says Helen Armstrong, CEO and founder of Silver Cloud HR. “It will likely be the first system they see as a new employee, and this will set their expectations of life at work before they even join. They say never judge a book by its cover, but sadly, the cover has never been more critical in a tech-driven world. The HR system will prove to be the foundation of the entire lifecycle, and without a single platform, a seamless employee experience would be tough to achieve.”
It’s therefore essential that HR leaders make the right choices when investing in technology to improve EX.
“When done properly, HR technology can enhance the employee experience, making it easier for employees to get questions answered quickly and accurately, allowing them to share information on personal matters, gain access to important information from their office or home, and help them do their jobs more effectively,” comments John Bernatovicz, founder and president of Willory.
Here are five EX benefits of a first-class HR management system:
A streamlined experience
By investing in the right HR solutions, organisations can streamline multiple systems into one, unified, intuitive process, making everything more efficient, user-friendly and consistent.
“Choosing the right system for your organisation is critical, as functionality differs significantly between providers, but once you have a system that meets the needs of your business, it can help streamline processes and make them easier to navigate for employees, HR, payroll and senior management,” says Philippa Barnes, director of ReThink HR.
Work tech that mirrors personal tech
People now expect the tech they use at work to be just as agile, efficient and intuitive as the tech they use at home. Choosing an HRMS that can deliver this will help you stand out from the competition, meet employee expectations and, of course, enhance EX.
“Home lives and work lives have never overlapped more. Home lives are driven by tech and workplaces need to mirror that if employers are to retain their employees and keep them engaged,” says Silver Cloud HR's Helen Armstrong. “Life at work should be as easy as it is at home, and paper processes will simply not suffice. HR tech can provide employees with an experience they now expect by streamlining and automating day-to-day life.”
Access to information 24/7
With more people working remotely, cloud-based solutions enable employees to access the information they need, whenever they need it, which can empower them to make the best use of their time.
“A cloud-based HRIS is available 24/7, so employees can access data in real time, whenever they need it, which makes their lives easier as they can access information on demand,” comments ReThink HR's Philippa Barnes.
With most employees now working remotely for at least some of the week, it may be more challenging to ensure workers are recognised for their efforts if they are not physically in the office. HR leaders can use cloud-based solutions to create recognition and reward programmes, which can monitor employee progress, measure success and reward achievements.
“HR systems can provide managers and peers with a forum to recognise others for their successes and special contributions to the team,” says Christine Peters, director of consulting at Willory.
Enhanced onboarding process
HR leaders can use technology to ensure new hires are provided with an engaging, seamless and positive experience from the first interaction, which helps to cement a successful relationship between employer and employee going forward.
“The onboarding process can be improved by automating paperwork and delivering information to new hires before they even start, which can help them to feel part of the team from the first day,” says Christine Peters.
“A paper contract and new starter form is a very different experience to receiving a beautifully branded onboarding system that allows them to do everything online and submit data in real-time,” adds Helen Armstrong.