HR system features that improve employee experience

This year’s ‘big thing’ is employee experience, otherwise known as EX. Whereas in the past, organizations have focused on specific employee issues and strategies, such as satisfaction, engagement, and organizational culture, EX is an attempt to take a more holistic view.

EX is not just your HR practices and systems, nor the implementation of quiet rooms, hammocks, or other Google-y fun, nor is it your employer brand, compensation packages, or an annual employee survey… though it may include all of these and more, EX is the sum total of each employee’s daily experiences at work.

Put simply, EX is everything an employee experiences in connection with the employer organization – from the first request for an application form to their last day and retirement party. Anything that touches the people working in a business is EX.

Why worry about employee experience?

There are a number of reasons why employers are beginning to look at EX as a whole:

  • The war for talent continues apace – with an ongoing skills shortage, EX can attract the best job candidates.
  • People are talking about you (whether you like it or not) – LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other platforms offer a way for employees to discuss and rate their employee experience – they may not refer to it as “EX” but that’s what it boils down to. Your EX is effectively a part of your brand.
  • A restless workforce – it may be a generational thing, it may not, but certainly, today’s workforce is more likely to switch jobs and employers than in the past, always expecting a better experience.

HRMS employee experience boost #1 – self-service

In terms of employees’ ‘HR experience’, it’s often the smaller, daily routine transactions that matter the most in the sense that they are taken for granted – but if there’s a problem, it often has a disproportionate impact (Why is it so complicated to just book a day off? Stupid HR!). Self-service functionality is the easiest way to make such transactions seamless and as routine, as they should be.

Furthermore, by conducting their own transactions via an automated HR portal, employees are not dependent on the availability of HR staff – they can book their leave, check their salary, choose their benefits package, all without trouble. HRMS self-service is the foundation of the employee’s HR experience.

HRMS employee experience boost #2 - personal development plan

Performance management can be overly focused on the past and present (What have you done? What are you doing now?) but an HRMS module that also focuses on an employee’s future development sends an obvious message that as an employer, you want this employee to stick around – you’re prepared to invest in their skillset and professional knowledge.

An individual development plan that promises new skills related to both the current responsibilities and potential new opportunities is a clear promise, and as such, an enhancement to the EX you’re offering.

HRMS employee experience boost #3 - automated onboarding

In the past, new recruits tended to generate paperwork – from copies of the Employee Handbook to contracts and T&Cs for signing, to the back and forth of emails and letters. More and more HRMS are offering automated onboarding, reducing the human element in this interchange of information and therefore improving the efficiency of the process.

Onboarding is also the period when a new hire is forming their first impressions of what it’s really going to be like working for their new employer. In other words, onboarding is one of the earliest (and formative) employee experiences and the right HRMS can provide a professional sheen to that early exposure.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall

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