Two-thirds of human resources executives today agree that HR is undergoing digital transformation, according to a recent study. Yet many organizations are finding that even after these costly initiatives are complete, employee engagement —a critical measure of HR effectiveness— isn’t moving in the right direction. And the broader challenge is a big one: Engaged employees represent just 34% of U.S. workers, according to Gallup’s latest annual survey.
Where and why are these HR-transformation initiatives falling short? In short, many HR leaders aren’t focusing enough effort on improving employee experience. Based on our experience, there are five potential reasons why transformation initiatives are failing to improve employee experience:
1. Prioritizing back-office improvements over employee experience. Certainly, nobody goes into HR transformation hoping to degrade user experience. But when you’re spending millions of dollars to upgrade or replace core HCM technology, it’s easy to get caught up in improving back-end processes and organizational design so much that employee experience winds up playing second fiddle.
2. Failing to map out the employee journey. Consider how easy it is to browse and buy on Amazon. The company understands the journey its customers travel even for day-to-day purchases and smooths every conceivable bump in the road. Similarly, your priority should be to design employee experiences around each unique journey. HR can take the lead in rallying every department—especially IT—to plan how they will work together to create a single place for employees to seamlessly manage their work needs, experiences, and transitions.
3. Not executing with a service mindset. Most organizations (72%) that successfully completed HR transformations did one key thing: They modified roles and structure within HR, IT, and other areas alongside their technology improvements. This often includes assigning a senior executive—such as a Chief Employee Experience Officer (CEEO)—and a cross-functional team focused solely on employee experience.
4. Not changing the way people experience and perceive HR. Your employees don’t care that one department handles IT service and another administers their 401k. They just want answers and solutions when they need them. Yet when we surveyed HR professionals, 93% said their processes spanned multiple systems and departments, contributing to a less-than-ideal employee experience. By using human-centered design to build HR services, companies can deliver them in a way that reflects employee needs and what they want. Solutions should give employees service and information in real time and shield them from back-end complexity.
5. Failing to connect the employee value proposition (EVP) to day-to-day work. Your purpose in HR is to connect people to their EVP, the benefits that employees receive in return for the value they bring to the organization. Without this connection, employees can feel that their contribution is irrelevant or undervalued, resulting in lower engagement and higher attrition. A human-centered approach to HR services, forging paths for employees through the bureaucratic clutter and lowering barriers to productivity, connects people to their EVP. When your technology manages, tracks, and prioritizes HR and IT processes behind the scenes, it lets employees get back to meaningful work, knowing their needs will be met.
HR leaders must focus on the employee experience if they want digital transformation projects succeed. ServiceNow provides an Employee Experience Platform that helps HR unite disparate back-end solutions to create a seamless experience to fulfill employees’ needs.