By Sinead O’Brien, Executive Director of People, Allegis Group EMEA
Innovation plays a considerable role in the success of our client solutions in EMEA and around the world, and it influences every facet of our internal operation. When it comes to advances in technology, we cannot afford to take the value of innovation for granted. As a successful global enterprise, we understand that a solution must put people first to deliver a lasting impact. With that in mind, the lessons of experience underscore three questions that can help an organisation align their technology strategy to empower the people it was meant to serve.
New solutions are implemented in order to improve the employee experience and business processes; however, they can come with some challenges. For example, a new CRM platform can fail to recognise past candidate data, information can be lost, or a new email platform might treat communications as spam. All this can result in the opposite of improving the employee experience and can lead to frustration and time-wasting. If employees are going to embrace a solution, the company will need to identify and address those challenges early in the implementation and before going live to all users. That’s why patience, user testing, and a focused vetting process are essential to a successful roll-out of any solution.
Even if a new solution works the way it is intended, it may still provide a poor user experience. For example, a new CRM or ATS may impose a more complicated data entry process that makes an employee’s workload more, not less, difficult. Even with the promise that a system will have a positive impact in the future, users will be critical. So ask, “How will the technology help people do their jobs better, faster, and easier today?” The successful employer will know the answer to that question and ensure it’s communicated to employees.
We are a global business with offices in cities all over the world. Technology has enabled our employees to have face-to-face meetings with colleagues in other countries. The flexibility of mobile has also enabled our employees to determine where they will conduct those meetings. Employees of all ages expect to use any solution or access any system on their phones. They want to hold meetings virtually and perform data-related tasks wherever and however they see fit. They want to interact anywhere, anytime. Likewise, access to people and resources through a single system is essential, and results should be immediate. We need to enable our population of men and women to engage with one another and their work over their mobile phones. People make friends, buy houses, shop for groceries, and go to the doctor through their mobile devices, and the experience is quick and easy. An employer similarly needs to embrace that type of consumer experience as a standard for the employee, as well.
Whether an organisation is adding a feature or implementing a new platform, the technology involved will only be as good as the people using it. Putting people first means the roll-out and launch of the technology must be exactly right. Leaders and proponents must be able to explain the why behind the innovation. The case for using it must be powerful, and users must understand what’s in it for them. Put the technology ahead of the people, and the organisation risks losing value on its investment. Tackle the people-first approach instead, and the technology investment will translate to a real advantage for the individuals using it and for the business as a whole.
(This article originally appeared in “Smart Power: A Glance at Evolving Talent Technologies.” Based on research and a survey of 1,000 HR decision-makers, the report provides an overview of talent management trends plus insight on technology solutions influencing how companies attract and retain talent.” Click the link to download your free copy.)