Many paths on quest to build an employee experience platform
1st September 2020
News | 1 Sep 2020
Technology cuts two ways in the quality of the employee experience. User-friendly HR systems with seamless connections can remove obstacles and empower workers, while disjointed, hard-to-use ones can have the opposite effect, dampening productivity and shaking employee confidence in the organization.
For several years, HR technology vendors have used a better employee experience as both an ambitious goal and a marketing phrase for all manner of products, from recruitment applications to pulse surveys. Now, some claim to sell a full employee experience platform. The idea is to have an integrated suite of applications that can handle an employee's entire journey in a continuous workflow from pre-hire to departure and make the experience as pleasant, engaging and productive as possible.
But employee experience often means something smaller, tantamount to a vendor saying that employees will have a better experience while using their software. In that case, the technology isn't built for the purpose of improving the employee's overall experience at an organization.
Leave it to a software developer to regard automation as the route to a better employee experience instead of an impediment.
"We empower our employees to be their best version," said Vivek Ranjan, senior vice president and chief HR officer at Zensar Technologies, an enterprise software maker and consulting services provider based in Pune, India. "Obviously, we have to ensure that we provide an ecosystem where they are able to. So, we did a very extensive 'insighting' just to understand, from pre-onboard to retired, what those experiences are."
Zensar then went about digitizing the employee journey, using AI and analytics to find automation opportunities in the moments that matter to individuals. The company used its existing co-creation model, which gives employees a say in product development, to redesign its HR processes, he said.
The result was a homegrown, mobile-friendly employee experience platform dubbed Talent@Zensar that is integrated with Skillsoft learning management and SAP SuccessFactors HXM (see screenshot).
"It's not just the app or the platform which is there, but end-to-end, complete reengineering and transformation of our processes and system so that we are able to provide that intuitive experience to our employees," Ranjan said. Zensar then productized the employee experience platform, rebranding it Humané and offering it this year as a SaaS offering to its customers.
The platform uses AI to give employees "nudges" about next steps, such as taking some training in Skillsoft, which, in the past, they might have chosen without knowing the exact relevance. Now, integration between Zensar's enterprise applications enables Talent@Zensar to pull in a demand forecast from the company's Salesforce CRM showing the types of products customers might want. The platform uses SuccessFactors data about employees' career aspirations and performance to determine if they have the skills needed to produce the new products or need additional training in Skillsoft.
"When they see the connection between the demand and their reskilling and upskilling, then automatically they get very enthused and excited about taking the training," Ranjan said. The mobile application also provides one-touch communication that lets employees contact senior managers directly if a special need arises during the COVID-19 pandemic.