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How can we keep the ‘human’ in human resources?

Connecting with your employees in a digital environment

Inclusion and Diversity|Talent|Total Rewards|Wellbeing
COVID 19 Coronavirus

By Michael Tyukodi | December 4, 2020

Workflows and processes are obvious features when searching for the right HR tech. But what about the people on the receiving end?

With COVID-19 flipping our world upside down, the need to connect with employees has never been greater. In many organizations, HR departments have been forced to morph into digital communications experts almost overnight, and have been challenged to connect employees with the resources they need while maintaining a personal connection. There are many resources, systems and applications that can help — that’s both the good and bad news.

So, how do you pick the best way to connect? Do you choose the system that simplifies employee workflows because IT invested in it heavily? Or do you choose the human capital management system that links employees to the processes (you may also know these as “journeys”) they need to follow to make life easier for back-room HR departments? Or do you focus on the people who drive your business and find methods to improve their employee experience in a way that will stand the test of time?

What if you could do all three?

There are 12 levers that drive the employee experience, and they include employee-specific (not process-oriented) measurements of:

  • Trust
  • Inspiration
  • Inclusion
  • Voice
  • Support

Yes, a chatbot might be cool and provide quick answers, but it doesn’t inspire people or build trust. It takes a personalized, digital experience to do that, especially when remote work is at an all-time high.

Trust

Building and gaining trust is probably one of the most personal things there is. Trust is earned when leaders say what they mean and do what they say. Organizations can improve trust by combining personalized messages with data to transparently show how business decisions are made.

Even in difficult situations, like furloughs and reductions in force, the right digital communications solution provides leaders with an outlet to reach the entire workforce — but on an individual level. The right solution provides a platform for leaders to build trust through clear communications about what is happening and how the organization is helping those who are affected.

Inspiration

Inspiration can come from many places. People are inspired by passionate leaders, groundbreaking innovations and unique challenges. But let’s be honest: Your employees aren’t inspired by HR tools and applications. So how do you connect inspiration to your employee experience?

At the height of the pandemic, Willis Towers Watson’s leadership team provided inspiration on a personal level and they did it using digital tools. Leaders recorded videos from their homes, communicating their empathy while also providing strategic direction. In addition to learning what our CEO eats for breakfast and lunch every day, I also learned where I could find resources to help me manage working from home while helping two of my children through their virtual school days. It’s amazing how a short, inspirational video can put people on the right path.

Inclusion

How can employees be at their best if they can’t be themselves at work? Many organizations offer employee resource groups, support partners, third-party vendors and volunteer organizations — and they’re usually right at employees’ fingertips. But do employees know they exist? Or how to access them? Organizing these resources and promoting them to employees shows that the organization celebrates and is committed to equality and diversity.

Voice

The right digital platform can do more than just push information out. It can also serve as the place where employees can give their opinions and create a two-way conversation. Implementing a continuous listening strategy helps gauge:

  • What matters to employees
  • How employees perceive the organization and its direction
  • How engaged employees are

A great way to measure your organization’s execution strategy and gather insights that will drive action is by giving your employees a voice. Imagine a workplace where there is a two-way conversation in which employees weigh in on key topics through surveys and town halls and then hear how the company has acted on prior feedback. Now, that sounds like a human experience.

Support

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s probably that we all could use some support at some point in our lives. You may not even know you need it, but the right nudge can prompt you to act. On a very basic level, a personalized digital platform can use demographic data to offer support resources in areas that are devastated by wildfires, hurricanes and even local COVID outbreaks.

For example, picture an employee whose city is experiencing rolling brownouts on the last day of open enrollment. With the right digital platform, employees can launch apps from their phones, access their single sign-on links (that typically would be buried deep in a workflow process), login and complete their open enrollment transactions.

Putting the ‘human’ back in human resources

Now, imagine all these elements addressed in one place that is focused on the employee — the human being. Instead of presenting your workforce with a series of workflows or generic articles, this place suggests actions that individuals (with individual needs) can take and directs them to information they want – all in a single place.

A digital — but personalized — communications platform, combined with vendor tools, case management systems and human capital and benefit workflows, will give your organization the best path to simplifying the employee experience and connecting with employees by bringing them the information they care about and need.

When you put the human connection back into the employee experience, business results will follow.

In an age of increased work-from-home situations and demand for the right talent regardless of location, a digital environment is a must-have for employers that want to achieve a high-performing employee experience for the long haul — not just during the pandemic and its recovery. When you put the human connection back into the employee experience by delivering the right information to the right people at the right time, business results will follow.

Author

Director - New Business

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