Every year, companies waste thousands of person-hours handling basic requests from employees—things like ordering a new laptop or getting help with payroll issues. This is especially true when onboarding new hires. Fumbling simple tasks, especially those that require coordination between HR, IT, facilities, finance, and other departments, consumes valuable time, saps productivity, and eats away at morale. And yet nearly all of these tasks can be easily automated.
A new ServiceNow survey of more than 1,400 employees at large companies raises the bigger issue: In order to succeed at their jobs, your employees need more support with their basic needs. More than 40% say it’s too difficult to resolve hardware issues, get questions answered about their benefits, or obtain information about company policies. Only slightly more than one-third say their employers have automated processes in place to improve their experience. And a shocking 55% believe the organizations they work for don’t value their opinions and are unresponsive to their needs.
Companies need to excel at employee service delivery long before they even make someone a job offer.
Now, the good news: Companies have a huge opportunity to turn those trends around. Just as many organizations became laser-focused in recent years on creating great experiences for customers at every point in their journey, the smartest ones realize the huge benefits in doing the same for their workers.
Aside from boosting productivity, creating a better employee experience (EX) can be a strategic advantage for companies trying to both recruit new talent and retain the people they already have. Soon it will become table stakes for any organization looking to take advantage of digital transformation.
Reduce the friction
The key to creating a positive EX is executing well on employee service delivery (ESD). It’s a more complex discipline than it seems, especially as organizations scale. For example, at fast-growing companies that are constantly hiring new people, inefficient onboarding processes can sometimes cause new hires to leave a job within the first few months.
Companies need to excel at employee service delivery long before they even make someone a job offer—when a candidate you’ve selected has his or her first encounters with your organization’s people and processes. Later on, mediocre or poor ESD decreases employee satisfaction and pushes talent out the door. According to our survey, 45% of new hires have applied elsewhere after experiencing a bad day on the job.
Doing a poor job of offboarding employees can be equally problematic. Fewer than half of those surveyed say they’ve had a positive experience while leaving a company; even fewer said they would refer colleagues to their old firm or consider rejoining it in the future. An automated service delivery platform can provide a good experience to departing employees while helping companies save money as they reclaim laptops, software, and other assets.
Organizations hoping to reduce friction and accelerate time to value need to automate employee service workflow—not just for IT and HR, but for legal, facilities, and any other department that provides services to employees.
Great ESD is invisible
It’s not enough to create an automated service delivery platform. Employee expectations are sky-high, thanks to the fast, seamless customer experiences they enjoy in their personal lives, where they can hail a ride, shop, and watch their favorite shows with a simple tap or swipe.
To be successful, ESD platforms must meet a handful of critical requirements:
- Omnichannel. Your ESD platform needs to meet employees where they are, whether surfing the web from their laptop, using collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, tapping an app on their phone, or talking to a virtual agent.
- Consistent. It needs to provide a consistent and predictable experience across each of those channels. It should also integrate with other tools employees use every day to get their jobs done.
- Intelligent. ESD platforms must anticipate an employee’s needs and provide relevant assistance during moments that matter.
- Easy. For employees, the experience needs to be as simple and satisfying as ordering a ride from Uber or getting a delivery from Amazon Prime.
- Conversational. Virtual agents and voice assistants need to be trained to understand typical questions and respond to them in a human way.
Ultimately, your ESD platform needs to become invisible. Employees don’t want to know what person in which department they must contact to get their needs met. They just want questions answered, broken things fixed, and assistance when they need help. They should be able to make a request and have it fulfilled without even thinking about the people or processes that went into making it happen.
In a few years, employees will instinctively reach for their phones when they need an available conference room, to adjust their benefits, or tell facilities someone spilled coffee in the lobby. They’ll expect immediate, intelligent responses to all these requests.
If you can’t provide that experience, they’ll probably go find an employer that can.