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Mar 28, 2014

Technology is a primary touchpoint for all sorts of HR functions in today’s companies: time tracking, benefit enrollment, payroll, performance reviews, etc. It handles the most sensitive aspects of an employee’s experience with a company.

It’s where they get paid, receive feedback, share thoughts on their career and skills, and enroll their newborns in health insurance.

Yet, in comparison to so many other apps people use everyday, the employee’s experience using HR software all too often leaves a bad smell behind, and that’s not a good thing for employees or employers.

But there’s hope.

It’s all about the quality of the experience

In a recent article on 2014 HR tech predictions, I wrote about HR tech’s slow but constant evolution toward better user experience. The reason for the recent interest?

The quality of experience employees have with their employer’s operations is key to their ability to feel trust and comfort at work, and in turn, the desire to stick around. As software increasingly becomes the medium where employees engage with HR and operations (especially in companies with telecommuting employees), the user experience of the tools themselves becomes absolutely critical.

Here are a few key reasons companies should consider and prioritize HR and operations software tools that place core value not just on the HR power users, but on the experience employees have interacting with them.

1. Good user experiences saves HR time

If the tools employees use are designed with them in mind, they’ll actually use them. Not only that, they’ll remember them.

Just like Twitter and Facebook, a tool that makes it easy to accomplish the task the user set out to do means fewer questions for employers, greater utilization, and ultimately more productivity out of everyone. Keep in mind, it’s not just the HR team using these tools.

2. Good tech makes HR look good

The workplace is the product that too many companies disregard. It needs care, design, and craft, just like the products and services companies are selling.

Focusing on that product means employees see their experience working at a company matters to their employer. Companies need to think of employees as prospective customers buying into a company’s culture, and dazzle ’em.

3. Good HR tech is on-demand

Competitive employers have lots of benefits, perks, and paperwork.

It can be overwhelming, and employees get bombarded too much at the beginning of their tenure, and too little later on. Good HR tech makes an employer’s entire program available at any time to any employee, regardless of tenure or time of day.

4. Employer branding

The better the operations, the more employees will evangelize about how great it is to work at a company. It’s called being a brandful employer and HR software plays a huge role in it.

Telecommuting is on the rise. Job hopping feels like the norm. Employers need to pursue every opportunity to create a positive experience working at their company.

In selecting which software and technology a company uses to expose hr and operations to employees, they need to consider who the end users really are, and keep in mind: it’s not just about consolidating spreadsheets anymore.

It’s improving the accessibility of people operations that raises employers above the competition.