While most companies are focused on improving the customer experience (CX) for all the right business reasons, the leading ones are discovering a secret ingredient that almost doubles the impact, the Employee Experience (EX). Research by Accenture and Forrester shows how companies that do EX and CX right, boost their profitability by 21% compared to 11% if the improvement is made to CX only.
In this article, I look at how HR can start making a positive contribution to the CX in their companies by wise adoption of technology.
Just as your customers expect better products and services from your brand, so do your people. It is no longer a differentiating factor of an employer’s value proposition, but an expectation by employees that their companies provide them with digital tools and services to support them in their work. Technology solutions are part of the overall internal experience, and sought-after talent will look at tech solutions provided in the workplace when deciding to accept an assignment in an organization or not.
So which technologies should you start to invest in which will drive the EX ? While there is no straightforward answer or measure to this, below are three areas where technology can have a significant impact on EX.
1. Invest in HR technology
HR as a support function is a thing of the past. HR is now expected and even required to be a value creator — value that business can measure top line and bottom line. Investing in HR technology solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI) powered recruitment solutions and talent management systems enabled by AI and machine learning (ML) will boost EX directly by freeing HR and people managers to allocate time to more valuable tasks.
Chatbots, for example, can answer employees’ questions about HR policies and get details on their benefits and often on their performance and compensation. They are most frequently deployed on career sites to answer candidate questions. Increasingly, employers are deploying them to handle the repetitive matters from employees. These most often are part of 24/7 employee self-service dashboards, enabling workers to review work schedules, vacation and PTO, benefits and get answers to most routine questions.
2. RPA and IPA
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) automates repetitive tasks and processes otherwise performed by employees. When automated, these, important, but time-consuming tasks free up HR staff to take on more qualitative and meaningful work.
Examples where RPA can be successfully deployed include, but are not limited to, sifting a large number of job applications, processing routine admin work, pulling reports, and triggering responses.
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As artificial intelligence and machine learning advance, RPA is making way to Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), which can perform tasks that require more cognitive processing, making it ideal for the tasks that are too complicated for RPA, but boring and time-consuming for humans. As a result, employees are freed from mundane, repetitive work, improving their outlook and growth by allowing them to focus on tasks that drive value for the business, give them an opportunity to grow, contributing as a result to improved EX.
The third way HR can improve EX is by continuing to make the workplace smarter, simpler, safer and healthier. For example, consider offering employees wearable technology to pay for things, monitor their health and wellness, and augment their capabilities. Another example is facial recognition system for cardless access and timekeeping, which, besides streamlining security, eliminates manual time cards and provides valuable workforce data for HR.
In a Deloitte Insights article, the authors observe, “Wearable technology can augment workers’ physical and perceptual abilities and help keep them safe. It’s time for companies to assess the potential of this technology and consider its impact on workforce planning.”
But whatever new workplace technology the organization and HR consider, getting input from those who will be using it before making the investment is a critical factor to improving the employee experience.