As employees journey through work, they encounter both material moments that matter, like onboarding or a promotion, and everyday moments like getting a new piece of IT equipment.
A typical employee’s day may go something like this. They start by arriving at the office only to realize their network password has expired and they can’t login. They may need to quickly book a meeting room for an important client presentation. Then they need to find out how to get their client access to the guest Wi-Fi network. After nailing the presentation, they will need to visit the client’s headquarters, so they need to request a corporate credit card for expenses. And finally, not knowing if their corporate benefits package covers travel insurance, they search to find the company’s benefits and travel insurance policy.
All these moments are examples of when employees need service from their employer. Each one of these moments is an opportunity to delight employees. When organizations succeed, employees become raving fans. When they fail, employees complain and post comments on social media, or worse, they leave. The service they receive during these moments will significantly impact the overall employee experience, and employee productivity.
How well are organizations delivering service to employees today?
Over the last decade, born-in-the-cloud applications like an eBay, PayPal, Amazon or Lyft have transformed our lives at home. They take what's complex in our personal lives and make it simple, easy and intuitive.
At work however, employees feel like they’ve gone back in time. Work life is filled with frustrating, repetitive, and routine tasks. A couple weeks ago at the HR Technology Conference, industry influencer and thought leader Jason Averbook asked an audience, “what year do you think it feels like to your employees trying to get stuff done compared to outside of work?” “Nearly 70% responded saying it feels at least 10 years older and more antiquated inside of work than it does outside of work”.
ServiceNow recently conducted a first-of-its-kind global study of employee perceptions of their service experience and how it affects their work. The research shows that the service employees are getting today at most organizations is not meeting expectations. In fact, over half of employees do not feel that their employers are invested in improving the experience for their workers. Specifically, they do not find it easy to do things like:
Find information or ask a question about their benefits
Request equipment from IT like a laptop or mobile phone
Get an update about a previous request or issue they reported
Organizations that deliver great service to employees realize significant competitive advantages. ServiceNow’s study also found that there is high correlation between employees finding tools and systems easy to use and being able easily find information, with high eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Scores). Bottom line, removing friction and frustration from everyday tasks leads to better employee experiences and happier, more engaged, and more productive employees.
Why do organizations struggle to deliver services to employees?
With billions of dollars being invested in new cloud-based human capital management (HCM) systems, why are organizations continuing to fall short on meeting employee expectations around service? In response to whether or not all this technology is helping, Josh Bersin, a globally-recognized HR and IT industry analyst stated in The Employee Experience Platform: A New Category Arrives:
It’s not that cloud-based HCM systems are poorly designed or aren’t providing value. Quite the contrary. They are exceptional as core transactional HR systems of record and provide a wide range of talent management capabilities. They are intelligently designed to meet the needs of today’s modern HR teams. But they may not have been designed for employees as the primary audience or for an employee-focus approach to service delivery across the enterprise.
HCM systems can be constrained within the walls of HR, whereas employees need service across multiple departments. Some service needs are IT related, some are HR, some require Facilities, Finance, or Legal. And some of the more complex moments, like onboarding, offboarding, or a leave of absence require coordinated support and services across multiple departments. Josh Bersin highlighted this need his recent HR Technology Market 2019 research report:
When departments deliver services separately, with different portals, systems, and processes, they are only solving a piece of the puzzle. This creates fragmented, frustrating and inconsistent experiences. The burden is put on the employees to interact across these groups, which can create too much friction when they need to get simple stuff done.
Employee-focused service delivery
Organizations can take an employee-focused approach to service delivery by using frictionless workflows to drive actions across IT, HR, Facilities, Finance and Legal. Back office complexity is hidden from employees, replaced with a single, easy and consistent mobile-first experience. An employee service delivery solution must work with, and sit on top of HCM, IT, and other systems of record to provide simple, easy, unified service experiences. Josh Bersin also highlighted the need for an employee service delivery solution in addition to an HCM system his recent HR Technology Market 2019 research report:
Imagine getting help from IT by simply taking a picture of your laptop or speaking into your mobile device to find information on a company policy. Delivering frictionless service to employees is foundational to a great employee experience.
Organizations delivering employee-focused service
More and more organizations are recognizing the power of ServiceNow employee service delivery in combination with their cloud-based HCM investments. Below are some quotes from customers who invested in ServiceNow to work alongside their HCM suites.
“Workday was huge for us because it was our core, foundational data with HR functionality. So after we signed the contract with them, we quickly found a key part of the employee equation was missing.”
“We found the two technologies (Workday and ServiceNow) very complimentary of one another. And from a technology perspective, nicely integrated. For example, we could use the Workday deep links on our branded ServiceNow portal. That was very helpful, because an employee doesn’t honestly
care what system they’re in. What they want is their questions answered and to be taken to the right place to do what they need to do. So that integration was really powerful.”
-Lynsey Wherry, Vice President HR Strategy, General Mills
“We selected Workday for our Core HR system, but we knew it wouldn’t satisfy all of our needs, there were still tools we were going to keep, and we knew we needed ServiceNow to bring it all together through the employee portal.”
-Mairead Coughlan, HR Director, Dell
“The choice came down to ServiceNow and Workday. We had both systems in house—we used ServiceNow for IT, as well as HR case and knowledge management, while Workday was our HRIS. Both had onboarding, but Workday drove everything by email. With the ServiceNow employee service center, we could offer our hiring managers and new employees intuitive onboarding checklists, manage and assign tasks across multiple departments, and distribute targeted content to new hires—welcome videos, useful role-based information, and more. With chat, ServiceNow also made it easy for new employees to get instant online help”.
-Bob Davis, HR Director, Asurion
Every organization wants the right combination of the right technologies to drive business results and keep pace with change. Combining ServiceNow with the latest cloud HCM systems enables organizations to make it easy for employees to get service across departments and drive a modern human capital management strategy. Truly better together.