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Businesses are obsessed with their customers. They spend enormous amounts of time and money understanding their customers’ wants and needs, building responsive touchpoints and really getting to know them.

There’s no denying that how a customer experiences a company’s services is crucial to that company’s long-term success.

But.

What about the people working for the company who are each responsible, in one way or another, for delivering that delightful customer experience?

The employee experience (EX) determines the customer experience (CX), yet it doesn’t get nearly as much attention. And let’s be honest, in-office baristas and foosball tables – while nice to have – don’t exactly inspire retention in the long term. Nor are they all that useful in a post-pandemic working world that is now mostly fully remote or hybrid.

A mother of a problem

In 2007, Google increased its paid maternity leave from 12 to 18 weeks. This was game-changing stuff in a country like the USA with very little employee protection or benefits. The move garnered much public applause and encouraged much-needed policy changes at other tech companies. But what really fluffed Google’s feathers was that its retention rate of new mum employees increased by 50%.

In an industry infamous for lacking diversity, the loss of female employees is a big deal. Rather than deploying tactics such as rousing speeches and expensive recruitment drives, Google got smart. It applied its sophisticated customer experience mapping techniques and tools to better understand its employees’ changing wants and needs in the workplace.

By using the right technology cleverly, businesses can treat their employees with the same thoughtfulness they do their customers. The result? Greater employee engagement, happier customers, and overall business growth.

The smart HR approach to employee engagement

Once upon a time, workplace culture defined the employee experience. It was a top-down approach that made some companies known for their complimentary fruit bowls. Now it’s the employee experience that not only drives culture but also determines a company’s profitability.

Employee empowerment plays an enormous role in the employee experience. Unsurprisingly, when adult workers are treated like adults, they report a more positive workplace experience and demonstrate greater engagement.

This puts the HR function firmly in the business spotlight, and today’s practitioners are expected to develop and lead best practice employment engagement programmes. Core to this is running EX platforms as part of the HR technology stack.

A self-service portal is a simple yet effective solution that allows people to manage their workplace admin in their own time. Employees can take care of all sorts of routine yet necessary HR tasks, such as leave requests, and access their payroll data as and when they need to.

How to choose the right employee self-service software

As with most business software solutions, there are many employee self-service portals to choose from. Shopping around is vital, but careful consideration must be given to how well the tech supports an empowered and thoughtful employee experience.

Here’s what to look for:

  • The platform must be customisable. Flexibility makes it possible to precisely match features to the business and its employees. It also pays off in the long run as the tech can evolve with the company’s growth and changing needs.
  • Mobile accessibility goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Employees should be able to access the platform from any device, anytime. Information transparency is also essential, given that online engagement is expected to return up-to-the-moment data results. So, when an employee checks their leave balance from their cellphone, for example, they want to see exactly where they stand in real-time and not have to log in from their desktop next week after the payroll cycle.
  • The HR self-service portal must provide a personalised experience. Personalisation goes beyond simply slotting the correct user’s name into place – although that’s important. A self-service portal must ensure that employees can access their correct personal data and other information relevant to their roles with absolute ease and security.
  • On that note, the need for robust security cannot be stressed enough. An employee self-service platform holds a lot of private and sensitive information; it’s critical that an employee’s financial or health data is accessible only to those with authorised access.
  • A self-service platform must also be user-friendly and intuitive to ensure a hassle-free employee experience. Nobody likes having to click around for hours only to end up back on the home page. Exasperating admin can ruin one’s day, and it’s a total time waster. And chances are that in such a scenario, the employee will redirect their request to HR, adding unnecessary work to everyone’s task lists. But with an easy interface that works sensibly and responds well to employees’ needs by simplifying processes and providing the right information, well, happy days.

HR professionals no longer need to dream of getting the help they need to make employee administration simpler for all involved. The best, all-in-one employee self-service software is ready and able to get to work and boost engagement. Meet Sage 300 People.

Automated EX is good for HR

A cloud-based self-service platform like Sage 300 People – boosted with the People ESS feature – offers employees secure independence in areas often fraught with frustration. It has a mobile app that lets people get real-time information and important alerts on the go.

HR professionals can also save time with these benefits. No longer burdened with tedious tasks related to employee admin, HR people can get involved with more strategic business issues that grab their interests.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the working world further and faster into the cloud. There’s no going back now. If anything, remote working is only going to increase as employees demand more and more flexibility.

For HR practitioners, this presents an enormous challenge; how to design and deliver an employee experience that encourages engagement regardless of physical distance. Today’s HR tech stack needs to include self-service software that empowers employees, manages their data securely, and easily responds to their wants and needs.

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