Shaping the employee experience in a digital world: Tools it up

In today’s talent-driven economy, organizations that can foster a positive working experience for their employees end up championing the war for talent. In order to stay ahead of the curve, organizations must embrace the holistic approach of improving the talent experience to redesign and optimize their employees’ journey. An engaging employee experience is imperative to retain top talent in this largely employee-centric world. The role of technology in this endeavor has been paramount, especially in the post-pandemic world where digital transformation is a must for organizations. 

ETHRWorld launched an exclusive roundtable discussion exploring the countless ways in which people leaders across industries are leveraging customized tools and technologies to curate unique EX journeys in the new normal. With a rich panel of seasoned people leaders and industry stalwarts, the event is focused on acknowledging the technology solutions devised by esteemed organizations to accentuate employee engagement.

Sharing his take on the role of tech in redefining employee experience, Ganesh Iyer, Sr. Director HR, ADP, said, “Post the pandemic, organizations worked out ways to leverage technology and curate a positive commercial experience for their customers in the digital space. This digital-first approach should also be deployed to augment employee experience. In today’s talent-driven economy, maneuvering technology solutions to optimize employee engagement, wellness, retention, and inclusion are equally important as enhancing CX.” 

Underlining the changing expectations of next-generation workers, Iyer pointed out that “With next-generation, digital native talent streaming into the workforce, the overall expectations of the global employee base have shifted tremendously. Today, employees prefer complete connectivity between platforms so that they don’t have to access ten different pockets to get the required data. Therefore, taking HR operations to the cloud rather than developing stand-alone applications for different functions is imperative to driving employee experience and productivity.”

Taking the point further, Amit Kumar Das, Sr Director HR, Novo Nordisk, opined, “The pandemic and macro-employment trends like the “Great Resignation” induced by it accentuated the need for organizations to augment employee experience. In the post-pandemic world, the expectations of employees have increased. They look out for flexibility and hyper-personalization regarding working hours and location. Our organization has been working closely with technology leaders to service the requirements of the workforce in the hybrid environment. Providing access to platforms that enable remote collaboration and creating a positive working experience for the talent has been our top priority.”

Challenges in deploying new technologies

Highlighting the prerequisites for successful deployment of tools, Kushal Bhat, Director HR, RAZOR PAY, stated that “Before deploying any product, it is important to assess its business case in advance and conduct a usability test over it. Pilot testing a tool in a limited ecosystem before deploying it on large scale is important to identify the discrepancies and rectify them to optimize the outcomes of the tool.”

Citing the example of the Covid pandemic to elaborate on the challenges of deploying novel tools and technologies, Ranjit KP, HR Director, Palo Alto Networks, said, “In the initial stages of the remote working shift, organizations were prompted to install tools facilitating virtual working without testing and training employees in advance due to time constraints. Similarly, employees were forced to comply with technologies and regulations they were unaccustomed to. Such unforeseen events often disrupt the deployment flow.”

Tech-enabled declutter: Simplifying the life of employees

Referring to her organization’s unique initiative to support their employees during the lockdown, Shweta Mohanty, Head of HR, SAP- India, shared, “The democratization of technology-enabled our organization to optimize employee wellbeing even during the pandemic when the workforce was distributed across different locations. By leveraging a streamlined application developed internally with an objective to uphold the mental and physical welfare of the workforce, our organization was able to provide quality medical and psychological support to our employees and they are next of kin even when remote working was in effect.”

During the discussion, Neerja Bharadwaj, Head HR, GE India Technology Centres, GE Research, said, “Technology enabled us to innovate and devise a sleeker version of the portable workstations formerly used by our engineering staff to perform heavy bandwidth-consuming computations. Additionally, we installed VDIs(Virtual Desktop Instances) to enable our employees to access data remotely with their personal devices by leveraging cloud technology.”

The business case for enhancing the employee experience

In today’s rapidly changing and evolving world of work, it is now time to gravitate towards EX. Leaders should imbibe changes focused on creating positive perceptions of the workplace. There is no denying the fact that employee experience drives employee productivity and thus contributes to the overall productivity of the organization. As organizations set out to shape up the employee experience for the new normal, they are going to focus majorly on communication amidst the teams which are working in a disrupted ecosystem. In this situation, giving your workforce the choice of tools, customization, and simplifying the process will be remarkable.

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