How conversational care improves the HR and employee experience
by Shane McCarthy August 24 2018
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At PeopleDoc, we're on a mission to make HR more agile and more productive when delivering service to employees. In addition to providing a great user experience for HR, we're also committed to delivering a consumer-grade employee experience.
We recently outlined how we’re transforming our HR Service Delivery platform so HR can communicate with employees in a natural, secure and flexible setting. This shift to conversational care—a single channel for threading together conversations between employees and HR representatives—increases HR productivity and improves the employee experience.
I recently sat down with two of PeopleDoc’s Product Owners, Anaël Ichaneand Alexandre Fernandez, to get their perspective on how making our platform more conversational will improve both the HR user experience (UX) and the employee experience (EX).
How do your teams design products with both the employee and the HR user in mind?
Alex: We have a dedicated team at PeopleDoc focused on the employee, manager and HR user experience. To ensure we deliver a great UX, our process includes conducting user tests and interviews, and utilizing analytics to unlock usage insights. It’s very important that we find the right balance between HR productivity and employee satisfaction, because both are critical but can at times be conflicting.
Anaël: The only way to design for HR is to include HR in the design process itself. We have a dedicated process for building technology that solves our customers’ biggest challenges. Our process includes prototyping solutions, testing internally, rolling out to beta testers, gathering feedback and data and iterating and improving on the product. We even visit shared service centers to conduct hours of user testing to discover new use cases and gather insights and feedback on new features and our user interface.
Alex, how do you think employee expectations have changed over time and what do companies have to do to meet these expectations?
Alex: I read an interesting study from Ultimate Software and CGK that talks about how the next-gen workforce is less stable in their jobs and not as easily satisfied with their work situation. They have access to a broader choice of opportunities, and compare more than Baby Boomers. This behavior is similar to how we behave in our personal lives, for example, our buying behaviors.
The next-gen workforce is looking for positive and memorable experiences both in their personal and professional lives. That’s why attracting and retaining employees has become such a challenge, and investing in creating a consumer-grade experience for employees has become such a necessity.
How would you define “conversational care” and why do you think it’s effective for both HR and employees?
Anaël: Conversational care is based on the modern way we communicate. Like text messaging, it’s a single channel for threading together conversations between employees and HR representatives. For me, the biggest thing about conversational care is that it offers a great employee experience while still delivering a productive, secure and easy to use tool for HR. It’s intuitive and easy to adopt for employees and its single channel allows HR to focus on their work and prioritize as they see fit.
99% of cases on our platform have 2 or more exchanges with HR following the initial request and 80% have more than 10 exchanges. That’s a lot of conversations HR reps need to manage. So it’s important we provide a great product for both employees and HR users.
Alternatively, live chat makes HR more prone to errors and makes it difficult to provide great service to employees if they’re toggling between multiple live chat windows. Employees expect immediate responses and resolutions to their live chats, so I can easily see a scenario where an HR rep is rushing to answer an employee to meet their SLA and accidentally responds to the wrong open chat window—potentially sharing sensitive information about another employee.
Alex: Connecting employees and HR through conversations keeps a feeling of interacting with a human more than a system, a department or a service, while still allowing for efficient, asynchronous communication. Conversations are fundamental to building meaningful relationships between HR and employees.
Next week, the conversation with Alex and Anaël continues. They'll discuss why it's important for HR to transform the way they work and focus on the employee experience.
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.