The Importance of the Employee Experience When Undergoing Digital Transformation

800 499 Andy Curry

In response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have made efforts to boost economic recovery during the past 18 months. As a result, some organisations have prioritised digital transformation by upgrading or deploying new HCM (Human Capital Management) or ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions with a real sense of urgency. 

Companies have turned to digital technology as a means to increase productivity and efficiency. And as millions of employees adjust to remote working arrangements, technology is also being used to help navigate major changes to working patterns and environments.

The associated financial and logistical impacts mean there is a need for increased automation, better connectivity and improved functionality within the workplace. 

Digitalisation is essential in the modern age – the benefits of having a centralised, streamlined approach are clear to see. However, when digital technology is introduced in a hurry, it can have detrimental effects on the business. 

Employee experience is as important as the customer experience

The impact of poor UX on customer satisfaction levels is well documented. However, the response of employees to new systems is just as critical. Some tech platforms do more harm than good if employees have a negative experience when using them. It is crucial for companies to assess the risks of implementing new tech before investing in a new solution. Otherwise, they might spend huge sums of money on new systems that end up causing more issues than they solve. 

Research by payroll services provider Symatrix suggests that 24% of employers believe one of their biggest challenges to be “staff consumed by administrative tasks”. This highlights the need for efficient systems to help reduce the administrative workload. On the other hand, the same study noted that 20% of respondents cited a “lack of skilled support and resources” as an issue. This is one example of how a rushed move towards new technology and software can be problematic. 

If your organisation already struggles to provide the required level of training, resources and support to employees, this issue will only be exacerbated by the introduction of new technology – especially if systems are not fit for purpose, there is a lack of necessary tools or training is not provided. 

In depth research and assessment is crucial

Cloud-based digital technology is designed to improve productivity, reduce costs, increase efficiency and minimise the risk of human error. However, implementing it can be counter-productive and stressful if employees end up with an increased workload or the system needs to be upgraded soon after it is introduced. 

This highlights the importance of in-depth research and assessment before committing to an integration or change in process. The long-term benefits far outweigh the initial time and effort spent on research, communication and trialling of options. 

Communicate and listen to employees

Employers must prioritise staff communication before investing in new HCM or ERP platforms. Employees should be consulted and observed to determine their requirements, preferences and issues with existing systems. Organisations need to understand what works, what could be better and what is not needed. Involving staff can help to prevent the implementation of a user experience that presents the same problems or does not function as effectively as it could. Employee input in the purchasing journey will save time and money, as well as boosting morale through staff engagement. 

Invest in training and support

The report by Symatrix highlights that 42% or IT decision makers cite “lack of in-house skills” as one of their primary concerns when considering the implementation of new HCM/ERP cloud-based systems. 

Investing in staff training and resources to support integration helps to reduce the potential for employee frustration, disengagement or rejection when new systems are introduced. In the long run, this will save your business time and money – even if the initial pay-out is higher. 

Informed decision making reduces problems

Over the coming months and years, we expect to see increased investments in HCM and ERP systems, as businesses look for ways to reduce costs and improve productivity. Whether organisations choose to upgrade current systems or implement new ones, decisions must be well planned and openly discussed before any commitment is made. 

Historically, many businesses have struggled with having the necessary in-house skills and workforce management to run HCM and ERP systems effectively whilst maximising the return. One solution is to outsource the integration and ongoing support to experts in the field. Doing so can significantly improve the process and limit future problems. 

Whether digital transformation is implemented internally or with the support of external sources, it is important to consider the employee experience throughout the process. The long-term value of an informed and shared decision cannot be underestimated.