HR agility vs. employee experience: Where should you invest?
by Jolene Nicotina November 06
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There has been a lot of discussion around whether to prioritize candidate experience or employee experience. We believe you can’t have a truly great candidate experience unless your employee experience is top-notch (those candidates go on to become employees, after all). Now, a new debate has us thinking. Should organizations prioritize investing in employee experience or HR agility? At HR Tech Conference, we rounded up three HR leaders (and PeopleDoc customers) from American Express, Nestle and GoDaddy to get their take.
Emphasizing employee experience
A positive employee experience leads to an engaged workforce. And, companies with engaged employees have seen a 4% increase in sales growth. So, it comes as no surprise that HR is moving employee experience to the top of its list, with executive support. Employee experience can mean a lot of things, from compensation and benefits to an office’s interior design. But when it comes to HR services, a positive employee experience means personalized, self-serve support content; modern technology tools; and easy-to-navigate processes (especially for complex situations like maternity leave or relocation).
Advocating for agility
For HR to provide employees with consumer-level service, they’ll have to be prepared to offer timely, personalized support and meet employees where they are (whether that be on mobile, Facebook, Slack, etc.) You’re likely wondering, where does HR get the extra time to do this? Optimizing workflows, automating processes and spending less time on compliance issues frees up the resources HR needs to provide better employee interactions. That said, investing in the tools to help HR be more agile sets the necessary groundwork for offering great employee experiences.
So, which comes first?
Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer in terms of where to focus your efforts. Many organizations have traditionally underinvested in employee experience. Now, as more research validates its impact on employer brand, retention and engagement, they’re rightly shifting their attention. On the other hand, HR’s capacity to provide employees with seamless and intuitive digital experiences will be limited by the degree to which their operations espouse the same qualities.
Here’s the good news: There’s a way to tackle both at once. An HR Service Delivery platform benefits employees while also improving the efficiency of HR operations. This story by Erin Montgomery, VP of HR Systems, American Express, is an example of how the company solved for both employee experience and HR automation:
“[When I started at American Express], I received an email with 20 different files of pages I had to print out, sign and send back. Many of them weren’t even relevant. For example, I didn’t live in New York and there was something about New York wages. And I’m never answering the phone...and I had to sign something saying that I wouldn’t transfer calls. It wasn’t personalized. We took all of those documents that were part of the onboarding process and, first of all, made them [digital]. We made it so that they could be electronically signed and automatically stored in the employee’s file on PeopleDoc. We’re solving for the employee experience by taking it from ‘What kind of company still makes me print and fax my paperwork?’ to something that’s electronic, easy and pretty slick.”
Jolene Nicotina is the Content Marketing Manager for North America at PeopleDoc, Inc. She works on making sure HR professionals have all the latest information they need related to HR service delivery, HR technology, and PeopleDoc, Inc. Prior to PeopleDoc, Jolene worked in marketing communications for the healthcare technology industry.