The big disconnect

We all know that happy employees are more productive and efficient. Meaning they enjoy their job more as they have fewer ‘challenges,’ and the business is more profitable because there’s less time wasted.

Let’s look at some examples of what bad looks like – and we’ll pick on recruitment and onboarding to illustrate this.

There’s a recruitment software issue.

The application works, but it’s missing a field to add an essential applicant detail. Recruiter Sarah would like to have that information (and it’s urgent) but needs to find out why that field doesn’t exist – and she has no authority to ask a developer to add it in. So, she logs a ticket with the IT support desk to find out who can authorise the change. However, the support agent has no idea who ‘owns’ the issue and passes the ticket (just one of hundreds in the system on any given day) around the business to discover who can make that decision. It’s a simple issue, but Sarah and the support agent both waste time and effort trying to bridge the disconnect between urgent need and urgent action.

Instead of being a seamless process, onboarding is clunky and disjointed.

At a time when finance, HR, admin, IT, security, facilities, business services, and payroll should unite to deliver a wonderful first-day experience (see how we snuck those words in there?), it’s all a bit of a manual mess. New joiner John doesn’t have a laptop, email address or system access as IT didn’t have a start date. There’s no swipe card assigned to John in the system, so he can’t get in and out of the office or access the bathrooms or lifts. The payroll team are still chasing his IRD number to set him up to get paid, and HR hasn’t assigned him a mentor. So, everyone needs to rush around to make things happen – creating noise and escalating tasks to expedite them. For example, chasing senior approval to purchase a new executive laptop. It’s not a good look for the business or a great first day for John.

What both examples have in common is that they highlight a disconnect between the people, departments, and processes needed to streamline decision-making and access the knowledge required to resolve issues.

So, what does good look like?

Let's re-imagine those examples with a unified employee experience

Here is what a unified experience would be like for Recruiter Sarah.

Instead of contacting IT support about the missing field, Sarah goes to her Employee Centre (which provides her with everything she needs to do her job). She uses the search bar to look for the application by name or function and is presented with a list to choose from – much like a Google search. Once she selects the right application, Sarah can report an issue or request a change. Because she needs a new field added, she selects the second option. The form is contextual to the application she wants to change, so Sarah only needs to provide minimal information to answer: What do you need changed? Why do you need this change? And what is the impact of not having this feature added?

Sarah fills in the details and hits enter. From here, there’s no mucking around - the form doesn’t go to IT or a generic inbox that someone must manually triage. Instead, the request goes directly to the app owner who can approve or deny it, or collaborate with Sarah to clarify her requirement. Since Sarah is correct (oops, the missing field was an oversight!), her request is immediately approved, triggering a proven workflow to generate all the necessary tasks to proceed, such as approvals, risk assessment, testing, and compliance. These tasks are marked urgent and appear on the to-do lists of the appropriate teams in the correct order. So, with minimal fuss, Sarah gets what she needs quickly and receives a notification as soon as her field is all go.

This is what a unified experience (and a great first day) would be like for New Joiner John.

Unbeknownst to him, John’s unified experience begins months before his first big day in the office. It starts when the hiring manager, Brian, goes to his Employee Centre and searches for 'New hire'. Brian selects the Recruitment Request form at the top of the search result, completes the necessary fields (about eight of them), and then clicks ‘submit.’

This kicks off a two-level approval process. The first approval needed is from Brian's manager, Trudi. She receives an automated email letting her know about Brian's request, and despite being in the airport departure lounge, she reviews his request on her smartphone and ‘approves’ it before heading off on a well-deserved holiday. Trudi’s approval triggers the second approval needed - by the department head, Grace. Seeing that Trudi’s given the okay, she, too, approves it. This second approval creates a task for Recruiter Sarah, and she receives a notification to go ahead and start the advertising process.

Fast forward through the interview process, where John shines brightly, and Brian decides he’s a great guy and the right person for the job. The HCM (human capital management) system generates a letter of offer to John, which he accepts. Everyone is thrilled, and John’s start date is set.

What happens next is magic. HR submits a new joiner checklist based on John's role, which triggers a complex workflow resulting in sequenced tasks that different departments must complete to make John's first day as smooth as possible. The tasks don’t appear on each team’s to-do list until two business days before John's start date, ensuring that they can focus on what needs to be done until then and do so in the correct order, minimising human error. In John's case, his appointment generates four ICT tasks, seven business applications tasks, four HR tasks, two facilities tasks and three automations. In other words, everything required to make his first day a memorable one for all the right reasons. (To note: The end-to-end process is tracked and audited by HR service owners so they can improve it with every new hire).

The outcome? John's first day is seamless. He has everything he needs for his role and is seriously impressed with the excellent onboarding experience (and he tells all his friends). His fantastic first day results from the continuous improvement resulting from removing the disconnect between the recruitment, onboarding, security, facilities and IT processes. John and everyone else involved has a unified (and much happier) experience. And the IT, HR, and Department Heads are also far happier and more effective because they're not dealing with the 'white noise' of trying to make things happen on the fly.

These two examples illustrate just a few of the many disconnected experiences you can eliminate in your organisation. If you’ve ever requested someone from the legal department to review a contract for you, needed a marketing executive to run an event, or even asked an admin to organise a courier – you’ll appreciate how many unnecessary steps you can go through to get things done. And when you add in everyday requirements that should be simple, like reporting an OSH issue, raising a credit memo, organising catering for a staff morning tea, getting a duplicate payslip, or sourcing a new charging cable, you’ll have a doubled appreciation of the advantages that a unified employee experience can bring.

So, how do you unify an employee experience (without making it clunky)?

While the above scenarios could be achieved with emails and spreadsheets, it would require a solid process in place that all stakeholders, influencers and service providers are trained in and held accountable to. However, the risk of failure or process corruption is high, and due to a high level of manual input and tasks, the effort required to make the experiences seamless and smooth requires considerable time and effort.  

In both of our examples of ‘good’, you’ll have noted that all the stakeholders can quickly do what’s needed from their Employee Centre– which is their personalised portal into a single service management platform. With a trusted platform, bottlenecks are removed, and processes are intelligently bound together, automated, auditable, accountable, streamlined, infallible, and efficient!

To further improve the speed at which things get done, you can connect any of your business applications to the service management platform. So, you can automate manual and repetitive tasks in your ERP, CRM, IT support, knowledge library, HR and payroll, and more.

Unity is key

If you are wondering if a unified experience makes a bottom-line difference to your business, the answer is ‘yes.’

In this article by CIO, they say that employee experience significantly influences business success, especially around turnover and productivity. “According to Gartner,” writes CIO, “when employees report a positive employee experience, they are 60% more likely to stay with the company, 69% more likely to be high performers, and 52% more likely to report “high discretionary effort,” which is work they do above and beyond their daily responsibilities. Embracing a human-centric approach to employee experience can also reduce work fatigue by 44%, increase “intent to stay” by 45%, and improve performance by 28%.”

All of which we think are great reasons to ditch the disconnect.

Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

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