Designing experiences for today and the future of work
by Shane McCarthy August 28 2018
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This is the second post in a two-part series about PeopleDoc’s approach to designing for HR and employees. Read the first post here.
I recently sat down with two of PeopleDoc’s Product Owners, Anaël Ichaneand Alexandre Fernandez, to learn more about the HR user experience (UX) and the employee experience (EX). In this post, we will explore how PeopleDoc is designing for both today and the Future of Work.
Anaël, how can a better experience for HR users today help transform the way they work?
Anaël: The employee experience does not exclude HR employees. Employees need tools that are easy to use so they can get their job done—and HR is no different. Having a well-designed product that employees actually enjoy using can have a major impact on productivity and their happiness in the workplace.
Let’s not forget that while top management is focused on how HR can increase efficiency and cut costs, many of the HR agents handling employee cases chose this career to help people. They are going to get much more satisfaction using a tool that makes them feel like they are providing fast and great service to employees, rather than one that is focused on meeting their SLA.
Alex, why do you think it’s important for organizations to prioritize and improve the employee experience?
Alex: There is research out there that supports the idea that companies who provide a great experience to their employees are more attractive, retain talents, generate more revenue and drive more innovation. It’s no wonder why companies are pouring money into employee experience programs.
Creating a great employee experience is about fostering the right culture, providing the right environment and choosing the right technology. In my opinion, consumer-grade employee service can only happen if the culture and the tools allows it.
At PeopleDoc, we talk about how innovation is in our DNA. What innovative technologies do you think can be incorporated into our platform to improve the HR and employee experiences?
Anaël: We are invested in transforming our platform from one that uses easy-to-configure technology to one that uses self-learning technology. We have already implemented robotic process automation (RPA) which will help automate a lot of repetitive tasks for HR. We’re also developing AI and machine learning. We’re beginning with the automated classification of documents, and will apply that technology to the rest of the platform.
One particular use case that excites me is using machine learning to analyze different search terms, articles viewed, and request creation patterns to then match them with employee lifecycle information. This would allow HR to be proactive and suggest articles and forms to help employees when they need it most. New hire? Read up on our company 401k policy or new hire orientation program. In your 30s? You may want to buy a house or change your career path—here is an article on how our company can help you with that! Machine learning will offer great opportunities to personalize the employee experience.
I'm also very interested in chatbots. I know they’re really still in their infancy, particularly in highly complex fields like HR. Most of the technology providers are selling intelligence when there is none of it. But things are moving fast in technology and we’re paying attention to this trend.
Blockchain, in some way, could be interesting too as a new way to ensure data and document authentication. But it can also be seen as just another database technology, so for now I'm not sure that the return on investment is really worth it. But again, it’s something that is definitely on our radar at PeopleDoc.
Alex: As we build for the Future of Work and look to streamline and automate processes, we can’t forget about maintaining a great, personalized experience for employees. I believe that AI and machine learning technology will enable organizations to provide a high level of personalization to employees without requiring a tremendous amount of manual effort from HR. These technologies help deliver accurate customization at scale and save time spent on easily reproducible tasks.
Shane McCarthy is a global Product Marketer at PeopleDoc, Inc. He writes and speaks about HR service delivery, HR technology, and PeopleDoc, Inc. Prior to PeopleDoc, Shane worked as a marketing strategist for a leading maritime software company.
Shane holds a Bachelors of Arts and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. He loves his New York sports teams, even if they don't love him back most of the time.