Maintain open lines of communication with employees, writes Felix Eichler, to ensure they are happy and engaged with whatever HR software you have decided upon.
Of all the software employees use in their working lives, many of which are role-specific, none shapes the employee experience (EX) as profoundly as the company’s HR system. When HR processes don’t work the way that employees expect them to, it can be a great source of stress and frustration.
Moreover, as it is no longer restricted only to its traditional functions of managing employee records, tracking time and attendance, and recording performance reviews, the modern HR system is evolving into a fundamental driver of experience.
It keeps employees connected with their employer, manager and colleagues – a vital requirement for employee engagement. However, without employee acceptance or sufficient support, even the greatest HR system available will fail to fulfil its purpose.
Put employees first
According to renowned employee experience expert and author Ben Whitter, with whom we recently hosted a webinar on this topic, many companies aren’t listening to employees as much as they should when implementing new tech. They tend to apply old habits and mindsets that aren’t suited to EX. Instead, says Ben, there should be a focus on co-creation, empathy and a commitment to human-centricity.
These are hard to maintain, especially during these challenging times. So, when implementing a new HR system, employers need to consider the following fundamental points:
1. Put employee experience and wellbeing at the heart of your approach
Remember, end-users are just humans. Therefore, from the earliest stage – even before implementation – make sure you maintain open lines of communication.
Know your audience’s actual pain points and demands – this should inform the type of HR software you choose, rather than merely selecting the software with the best functionality. Importantly, listen to concerns and feedback before you act.
2. Practice co-creation
Put people above processes. Practice co-creation with employees to develop high-impact experiences and projects that challenge them to participate proactively in organisational improvement.
The process of co-creation can help generate an openness to change where employees feel they have an active role in shaping the future of HR. It also establishes a view of where there’s a need for behavioural change and fosters a better employee understanding of software benefits for themselves.
3. Enable employees to learn and grow
Scale and deepen the learning experience into the business by measuring success based on adoption and engagement. Support these learnings by celebrating successes along the way and getting people to talk about the positive outcomes.
Employees that are constantly learning are more engaged, loyal, productive and satisfied, resulting in an improved employee experience.
4. Provide ongoing support
Digital adoption is all about people. Strengthen the connection between people and tech by giving users the confidence that the company will support them throughout the HR tech adoption journey.
A Digital Adoption Platform (DAPs) is a self-service solution that can bring added value to your digital transformation initiative. They give people the confidence that they’ll be able to handle the change, thereby ensuring that no one gets left behind.
A DAP can act as an overlay on the HR system, providing bite-sized interactive guides for key HR processes employees might need to complete, for example, during their initial onboarding experience as a new starter. Notably, a DAP complements the new hybrid and digital-first way of working where employees are no longer entirely office-based, yet still able to access support help quickly and effectively.
We strongly believe that software and technology have one role to play in the future of HR – to enable workers and companies to perform to their fullest potential. As Ben Whitter said: “If HR software doesn’t do that, in any context, then companies will need to think again.”
Felix Eichler is CTO and Cofounder of Munich-based Userlane and has been named on Forbes’ 2021 list of 30 under 30.