With experts predicting up to 44% of workers are planning to change jobs, there’s no room for error in making the right HR technology investments. Not only is the employee experience at stake, progressive employers are looking to their technology partners to be agile, responsive, and innovative business partners.
There's a new wave of HR technology innovation upon us, and it's bigger than anything we've seen before. The big shift in HR tech is that the solutions are no longer about HR — they’re about work, life, humans — how we function and thrive. HR is learning how to better leverage technology to not only manage the workforce, mitigate risk, and operationalize compliance but to deliver learning, skills, holistic wellbeing, collaboration, communication, and leadership. In other words, HR tech is becoming LIFE TECH IN THE FLOW OF WORK. And the investments are only getting bigger.
Whatever we’re calling The Great Reassessment, it’s clear 2022 is the year of human-centered recovery strategies. This is truly The Year of the Human when it comes to work and workforce experience. We need to better understand the power of data for design and insights, technology as fuel for experience, and a whole person approach to sustain and nurture people. This whole person approach includes empowering human performance, and it also includes understanding what humans should perform and what is best left to machine learning, automation, and intelligence-assisted workflows. I often discuss the notion of “automate to humanate” for this very reason; automation, with the right intention, augments your workforce and fosters collaboration by adding and extending value, generating insights, making recommendations, and providing guidance.
We also need to remember we will soon be a world of digital natives. Yet many are still designing and using technology like digital immigrants – then wondering why we can’t “drive adoption” from our “end users.” Simply put, work needs to be digital. It needs to be human. And it needs to be personalized. Any solution delivering and supporting a holistic experience needs to be contextual, both individual and personalized, and focused on delivering individual performance outcomes. When people win, customers win. When customers win, business wins.
Let’s agree to have a fresh conversation around workforce experience. For some years now, we’ve touted employee experience as the Holy Grail of Human Capital Management, wondering how we could create efficiency of workforce services, talent management, and employee satisfaction. Unfortunately, we put graphical user interfaces (fancy name for a “skin”) over a back office HR system and called it “experience.” We did this without thinking about the new audience we were hoping to meet where they were; the employee. We did worse by measuring user adoption of technology and tools, and we wondered why we didn’t see intended improvements or outputs.
A fundamental shift in our understanding of workforce experience — measuring how work gets done, how the act of getting work done makes people feel, and designing with humans at the center of data, technology, and business strategies — will get us to a place of measuring and delivering workforce experience design for human performance. And we mustn’t forget this experience is owed to and well-deserved by every part of your worker population: candidate, full- and part-time employee, gig worker, contingent labor, all. Obsess over the workforce experience as you would customer experience.
Well-designed human experience is personal, and by that, I mean personalized. Personalization of workforce experience recognizes who our employees are, uses data and other inputs to provide information or recommendations relevant to me, and continues to provide contextual information on my journey. When you design a personalized experience, it makes things more useful and easy, produces the right outcome quickly, and drives appreciation and engagement as a result.
The new age of experience is here, and it is much more than just a skin or even a piece of technology. A personalized approach to workforce experience design is an integrated, holistic way of ensuring each employee feels supported, empowered, and like they belong. It is an integrated, holistic way of realizing that humans are looking for connection to where they work and what they do. Finally, it is a world that brings together content, communications, transactions and information to allow people to be their best possible selves. The new age of experience is here— let’s bring it to life in a truly experiential, lovable way.
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Jason Averbook is a leading analyst, thought leader and consultant in the area of human resources, the future of work and the impact technology have on that future. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Leapgen, a digital transformation company helping organizations shape their future workplace by broadening executive mindset to rethink how to better design and deliver employee services that meet the expectations of the workforce and the needs of the business.
Prior to founding Leapgen, Jason Averbook served as the CEO of The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC). In 2005, he co-founded Knowledge Infusion LLC and served as its CEO until 2012, when the company was sold to Appirio. Earlier in his career, he served as the Chief Business Innovation Officer at Appirio Inc., where he led the HCM business. He has also held senior leadership roles at PeopleSoft and Ceridian Corporation. Jason has more than 20 years of experience in the HR and technology industries and has collaborated with industry-leading companies in transforming their HR organizations into strategic partners.
Leapgen is a global digital transformation company shaping the future of work. Highly respected as a visionary partner to organizations looking to design and deliver a digital workforce experience that will produce valued outcomes to the business, Leapgen helps enterprise leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business. Contact us to get started.