If we can do better for our customers, we can do better for our employees

Over the past decade new technologies have been embraced by companies looking to create exceptional customer experiences. But funnily enough we’ve not invested the same thought or energy towards providing an equivalent experience for employees.

Until quite recently, it was almost expected that employees should suffer through a myriad of separate systems: performance management, administration, payroll, communications, career guidance, employee wellness. The result was inefficiency and user frustration and friction.

Employees in the front seat

But now, driven by the big workplace trends remote work, hybrid workspaces, increased freedom, and competition in job markets, we’re seeing the employee experience of the future really take shape.

The same technologies and approaches used to delight customers – API ecosystems, user-focused design, integrated platforms, advanced analytics – are now being used to do the same for employees.

There are challenges to effectively introducing such an all-encompassing environment. We’ve found that an organisation’s ability to build this sort of experience doesn’t depend solely on smart people or the right technologies.

Having the right organisational structures and effective change management is equally important. In our experience, this organisational change needs to be driven by executive mandate and effective communication. This requires understanding and commitment from leadership.

A map and a super app

The journey to an effective new workforce ecosystem starts with consultation, understanding objectives and capabilities, followed by a process of “outside-in” design, i.e., design focused on the experience of the end user and supporting organisational objectives.

This is followed, ideally, by the development of a “super app” that gives employees everything they need, whenever, wherever, from hiring and onboarding through to a lasting, productive employee/employer relationship.

Let’s take a closer look at this “super app”. The app is a portal to a network of underlying systems that speak to one another and are logically connected.

These connections and communication channels are enabled through APIs – Application Programming Interfaces – which are tools that allow disparate systems to work together.

They’ve been widely employed in service of unified customer experiences and platforms, but they have massive potential for employees as well.

They handle the integration between your payroll systems, your employee onboarding systems, your COVID-19 screening apps, your service-desk apps, your teams, your collaboration platforms, etc. API ecosystems facilitate the integration of all of those technologies.

The super app then becomes, in effect, a single interface to all of these systems. You no longer need to know the intricacies of your IT department in order to log a service request.

Nor do you need separate applications for scheduling meetings, sharing documents or applying for leave. It’s all handled through one seamless, intuitive interface.

The benefits of such a unified platform are substantial. Employees have a seamless, convenient, and single point of contact.

That means they’re able to work more efficiently. Headaches and friction are minimised, and they’re free to concentrate on their value-adding work.

Behind the scenes, because systems are integrated and data rich, processes can be rationalised, and duplication and redundancies rooted out.

The result – if this is all done well – is increased productivity and employee satisfaction, and a reduction in costs.

 Open road

We’re beginning to see an increasingly unified vision of what a compelling, competitive, and productive employee experience will look like, one that doesn’t depend on contact with a physical workspace.

Wherever you are in this journey, iOCO is well placed to offer the full range of solutions to companies looking to exploit quick wins or build the ultimate employee ecosystem; from intelligent design to API ecosystems, security and connectivity to software development, change management to facilities rationalisation.

You’ll speak to a single team that can understand and solve for your specific challenges, making sure work isn’t duplicated and is always in service of the end goal: an employee experience that differentiates and elevates you in the new world of work.

Written By Rudi Barnard, Director, Strategic Sales at iOCO.

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