by Claudia Quinton, Head of Workplace Transformation
I’m not one to ‘throw a sickie’. I enjoy getting out of bed and heading in to work each day. But can you say the same about your employees? Or are your people frustrated and demoralised by the high level of of process and bureaucratic hoops they have to jump through to complete even the simplest of tasks, such as booking leave or submitting expenses?
I’ve been turning the spotlight on employee experience in a series of papers and blogs recently. And this idea of a frustrated workforce unwilling to get out of bed in the morning is something I discuss in my latest paper*. That’s because, whether it is a high level of employee attrition or too much absenteeism, the impact of a poor workplace experience can have a hugely detrimental impact on the business.
Counting the cost of employee attrition
For example, the costs of searching for new employees, reviews, screening, interviews, offers, negotiation, on-boarding, co-worker networking and the inevitable learning curve can quickly mount up. One estimate suggests that UK organisations alone are losing £340bn from employee attrition. So, there is clearly a need to retain talent for as long as possible.
Pivotal to this is providing employees with a positive experience in the workplace. That means enabling them to engage seamlessly with HR and business processes, through the channel of their choice, from anywhere, at any time. It’s about empowering employees to self-serve and manage basic requirements themselves; and enabling managers to spend less time chasing up resourcing approvals and more time managing their teams and getting new joiners embedded in the business. How? With robotic process automation speeding up talent onboarding and handling labour-intensive tasks.
This latter capability doesn’t have to come at a huge cost to the business. Simply by adding a digital tool on top of an existing process, it is possible to transform a laborious admin task, quickly and at relatively low risk.
Happy employees equal happy customers
In my paper I quote Sopra Steria’s Engaging Generation Me brochure, which states: “Crucially, the workplace that empowers its people with real-time data services, intuitive easy-to-access employee services and automated self-help will be better placed to achieve broader strategic customer experience goals.” I use this quote to illustrate how a positive employee experience has wide-ranging strategic ramifications. In this instance, I suggest that a happy, empowered employee is a more productive employee, one more committed to delivering customer-service excellence.
This is nothing new in the world outside the workplace. Tech giant Apple has been giving customers an intuitive, personalised experience for many years. It is constantly bringing out new products apps that work around people’s lifestyles. Now it’s time for HR to follow suit. Working with other leaders across the business, including IT and finance, HR needs to re-define how people engage with the organisation, using intuitive, tailored employee services that make people want to ’ditch the duvet’ and come into work.
For more on this, read my opinion paper ‘A transformation business case that writes itself’.