Employee experience has become a top priority for organizations across the globe, in fact, 95% of HR executives from our recent global Future of HR 2020 survey, confirmed they are prioritizing employee experience (EX) as a focus area. EX is all about creating a “consumer-grade,” simple, and engaging experience for employees. EX can be further broken into different ‘experience types.’ For instances, there’s the digital experience (i.e. the technology they are provided), then the social experience, the sense of collaboration and community; and, lastly, the environmental experience, such as the design of the physical workplace. So in short, EX can’t be looked at without fully understanding a) the work that people do, b) the tools they are provided with b) and the environment they are surrounded by.
As a consumer, we have come to expect a certain level of “ease” or “time savings” when it comes to a purchase or a service, from ordering food delivery to banking transactions to ordering a car online. If it’s not easy, the consumer will quickly turn to a competitor. Employees are really no different. Talent is highly sought after and high performing talent have a choice in who they want to work for. Today’s employees deserve an employee experience that allow them to navigate their work in a simple, seamless manner, just like a consumer.
So why is it that so many organizations make it so difficult for their talent to perform to the best of their ability? From onboarding onwards, the employee experience can often be frustrating and demotivating; it requires too much time and effort to get simple things done. Did you know that, on average, a new employee has to complete over 50 activities within their onboarding lifecycle?* One client described the fact that the new employee has to act as “the integrator” for tasks to be done, not the HCM system, not the process configuration, and not the HR function or the line manager.
It’s no surprise then that as of late, we have seen an increase in organization’s interest and new investments in Enterprise Service Management (ESM) and ESM technology to better support the employee experience. We define ESM as a framework for companies to provide employees a consistent, connected experience with a consumer feel, from the moment they request any business service to follow-through. ESM technology platforms, like ServiceNow, can cut across the verticals and functions of an organization, focusing on end-to-end service delivery with processes that take the employee from the point of requesting support to the point of receiving it with no missteps, dead ends or unnecessary delays. These processes are automated, connected and company-specific, designed to ensure the employee’s interaction with what may be a collection of support services is pain free. Delivering digitally enabled enterprise-level services experiences is absolutely critical.
In practice, ESM platforms can support employees in almost everything they do. For instance, getting new clients or vendors into the system or meeting compliance requirements. Such platforms are powered by a range of tools, including web portals, workflow process design, voice and chat bots, machine learning and artificial intelligence. In a nutshell, these technologies enable organizations to automate and streamline the often complex and cross-functional processes that employees must go through to accomplish what seem like simple tasks.
While who owns EX is still up for debate, ESM does represent a means through which HR, in particular, can help to support an improved employee experience, even in areas that have traditionally relied on many other functions of the organization to deliver an outcome such as with onboarding. In most large organizations, many functions and business act independently without thinking about how to deliver an improved experience to the workforce. This has resulted in an ecosystem of many touchpoints that are not aligned to a target employee experience. HR has the opportunity to support the design of the employee experience in a holistic, end-to-end, and connected way, and leverage the right technology, such as ServiceNow, to address the “moments that matter” to employees and workers of all types.
* Sapling, 2019