3 Ways to Center Employees in an HR Transformation

Is the notion of a “people-centric” culture truly taking hold among employers? It is, according to a report from Mercer that asked HR executives what’s on the radar as they focus on technology as a way to help transform and improve their workplaces.

The Mercer report found that HR leaders across all industries are looking to create digital HR transformation using the latest innovations in technology. Why? Mainly because they say they understand that recruiting and retaining the workforce of the future requires “consumer-grade” digital technologies and experiences that today’s employees encounter in their everyday lives.

Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report, in fact, revealed that addressing employee expectations for consumer-grade technologies is one of the top workforce concerns for executives. A large majority (75%) of employers surveyed, however, say they are still in the process of developing a fully digital employee experience. Boncho Bonchev, principal in Mercer’s HR Transformation business, says that employers taking the plunge and driving this change will reap what they sow.

“A well-developed plan for transformation can help organizations better meet the needs of their employees and improve their experiences, as well as improve retention rates and yield long-term ROI,” Bonchev says.

In its report, Mercer offers three key methods on how organizations can best adopt digital HR transformation with a people-centric approach:

  • Design for specific employee perspectives and personas: When creating a digital experience, organizations should keep in mind the individuals, their pain points and their unique experiences. This emerging trend has organizations focusing on how to optimize HR content and service delivery, ensuring the right content and transactions get to the right people at the right time.
  • Adapt technology to meet employees where they are: No need to reinvent the wheel here. Many times, there are opportunities to standardize, simplify and automate HR processes with existing digital tools. Bottom line, don’t necessarily spend on new platforms or having employees learn new logins; explore the possibilities of meeting employees where they are with the existing consumer-grade apps.
  • Transform HR communications and culture: This is a great chance to improve HR-communication strategies by working to create communications that engage people, via push or pull communications. For example, Mercer’s report found that 38% of executives want to invest in artificial intelligence as part of the performance-management process, and 40% want AI tools to help identify employees who are at risk of leaving.

“CEOs are looking to create a transformed employee experience that is compatible with the company’s overall culture and customer-facing interactions,” says Debbie Slappey, senior partner, employee experience, at Mercer. “This evolution is about seeing a broader view of company culture, how well organizations engage with employees and how they can help employees thrive.”

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Tom Starner
Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.