Long gone are the days when HR and IT were separate departments. In workplaces filled with millennials and other tech-savvy team members, both camps are finding they share a common goal: cultivating a positive user experience.
According to a recent survey from the Information Services Group (ISG) survey, the primary purpose of company investment in new technology is to enhance user experience (UX) for their staff.
Employees are becoming accustomed to simple, intuitive interfaces and instant communication, and they expect their place of business will offer that same ease of use. The reality is that for both prospective candidates and current employees, anything less than a seamless tech experience will cause frustration, harm productivity and reflect poorly upon you as an employer.
The Stealth Cloud
HR departments are discovering that some of the best technology services available have already been freely adopted by employees without the knowledge of their superiors. That’s not to say that these services are necessarily being used for sneaky purposes – they simply provide more seamless functionality, and the workers simply picked up on this fact more quickly than their employers.
While IT and HR strategies often implement extra functions in a piecemeal fashion, these platforms combine a number of disparate services into one, user-friendly product. The idea has even given birth to a new term: the “stealth cloud.”
According to Personnel Today, some great examples of stealth cloud technology include Slack, a work-based instant messaging service, and Salesforce’s social performance management software, Work.com (formerly Rypple). Slack automatically archives users’ conversations for easy reference, and Work.com gives instant feedback on a number of important performance metrics.
What’s clear is that employees are on the right track – if systems are too complicated and unwieldy, they’re of no real use or service. Too many calls to the helpdesk for simple tasks means that the money spent on new feature-filled IT systems, training and updates was wasted. To combat this, user experience must become a business directive for both IT and HR.
Deloitte recently revealed that 17% of employees find their workplace to be more satisfying if they have access to adequate digital collaboration tools – 22% believe that if their employers provide these tools, it indicates that they actually care about employee morale. In employees’ private lives, they can collaborate online in easy and intuitive ways, and if their employers can’t offer this same degree of functionality, it’s bound to raise an eyebrow or two.
A failure to live up to this expectation can damage a team’s morale and hurt its chances of hiring quality talent. As Debora Card, a partner at ISG HR, points out, millennials, “expect their interactions with HR departments to be as easy and engaging as shopping on Amazon.” Without high-quality UX, companies project the image that they’re lagging behind, and in a competitive talent market, this should be reason enough for HR to take UX more seriously.
But this doesn’t mean taking the most recent HR tech and adopting it wholesale – companies must continually reinvent their HR in a way that aligns with their evolving goals. By finding a balance between user-friendliness and productivity, you can retain more employees and save the time and money otherwise spent on training and implementing overly-burdensome new services.
In addition to demonstrating to your employees that you care, it will boost workplace morale and productivity, and improves the employee experience overall.
LaunchPad Recruits specialises in implementing the best technology solutions for your HR business. Whether you're looking to implement video interviewing to screen candidates or need advice on which collaboration platform to keep your employees in sync, we can help make your route into technology so much easier.
(Main image credit: Pixabay)