This article was originally published in the March/April 2017 issue of the Canadian Payroll Association’s DIALOGUE Magazine.
The employee experience is generally agreed to be made up of three main elements: the physical space they work in, your organization’s culture, and the technology that helps them every day at their job. The technology part of this equation can play a big role in creating a workplace that your people enjoy and want to share with others.
HR Technology Plays a Role in the Employee Experience
Employees now interact with technology in many ways throughout their workday. Some of the technology they regularly use include desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices—all of these supporting a myriad of user interfaces. Their experience with the technology your organization provides impacts how easy they find it to accomplish their tasks, stay informed, and make a meaningful contribution to your organization.
For employees, the technology you provide as your people management solution can contribute to their experience in three ways:
1. Increasing Employee Engagement
Providing a user-friendly Self-Service Portal delivers a place for employees to stay informed. For example, they can check their work schedule, send a vacation request to their manager and check an organizational policy quickly and easily. Being able to brand your Employee Self-Service Portal enables your employees to feel “at home” when they enter. Great experiences tend to be memorable, and that helps your employees want to use the tools provided in your portal.
2. Better Communication
Self-Service portals provide a way for employers to share important communications, post jobs internally and send messages to colleagues. Creating a workplace experience that helps your employees feel connected improves collaboration, and enables you to share with your team how their efforts are contributing to your organization’s success in real-time.
3. Process Improvement
Taking time to design a Self-Service experience for your employees that removes obstacles and creates time-saving workflows will make your team more productive. You can delight your employees by improving how they complete daily tasks like entering time or completing a performance review. It also demonstrates value to employees by letting them see you are focusing on their needs.
Why Does the Employee Experience Matter?
They should be positive. Your experience sets the tone for potential candidates right from their first touchpoint. By creating an application process that is friendly and easy, your organization will be perceived by potential employees as one that cares about the people with whom they interact. When you curate the employee experience, gather feedback, adjust and reiterate, you are communicating to them that their experience is important – not just a requirement – and is a continuous dialogue.
Employees are the largest group of stakeholders who will interact with your people management solution. Their adoption and use of technology can not only make their life easier, but also yours by reducing transaction-type tasks such as tracking time or keeping up with contact information.
Comfort and Trust
Giving employees access to their own profile, training history, and performance measures is a gesture of transparency. This also enables employees to know what information is on file so they can easily verify personal contact information or benefits coverage details.
Why Should Payroll Be Responsible for the Employee Experience?
Because payroll manages the accurate and timely payment of employees and are in close communication with employees, giving payroll responsibility and accountability ensures that the employee experience is an organizational priority – not just an IT project. Payroll will be the receivers of the first phone call if a technical problem is causing payroll issues. Having payroll develop and test the employee experience will give them firsthand knowledge of how to best troubleshoot any potential issues.
Leading the Collaboration
Payroll, Human Resources, and Time & Attendance are now becoming integrated into the employee's everyday experience through Human Capital Management (HCM) technology. Employees interact regularly with your solution, so empowering them to have a great experience helps them contribute more fully to the organization. While HR is responsible for motivating employees, and IT is responsible for making the technology actually run, payroll can take the lead to integrate those project roles and sculpt the content of the employee experience. This will result in a smoother implementation, leading to improved adaptation and use.
Investing in Relationships
Payroll takes care of people, so being a part of the planning team for the employee experience ensures you can provide a voice for your people’s interests and needs and make sure they will be taken into account.
Improving Adoption Rates for Technology
The payroll team, besides perhaps direct managers, are the next group to know their employees' comfort level with, and attitude towards, technology and change in relation to your organizational culture. Payroll working with HR and IT to arrange and facilitate training is a rare opportunity to get to know the employees. Employees appreciate training – if they are not trained on a technology, the adoption rate goes down. Recruit or enlist some employee change agents and influencers to give suggestions and feedback to not only improve the experience, but also spread the word and drive up excitement of the new initiative.
Building the Experience: Creating a Journey That Benefits Everyone
Consider yourself an experience architect and start by asking what a great experience would look like for your employees.
To get started, you need to understand your employee groups and how they will interact with and benefit from your people management solution. Often, organizations have many different employee groups or audiences. Creating profiles for each employee group will help you build the right experience for the right employees. The next step in the journey is to create a list for each employee group to assess how they will interact with your Payroll, HR and Time & Attendance Self-Service solution.
Ultimately, success comes down to how you plan and execute the employee experience in your organization. It starts with selecting a solution that can be adapted to engage your employees and provide them with tools that will improve their productivity.
Creating a great experience for your employees is an investment that truly pays.