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Simplifying the Workplace and Life

Simplifying the Workplace and Life

Much has been written about “digital HR” and the challenge for HR to reinvent itself for the digital age. Deloitte’s vision of digital HR is of a sustainable HR function that maintains a dynamic tension between operating efficiency and creative disruption. In an age of disruption, HR will need to continue to evolve its operating model, service delivery model, and enabling technology platform—the “digital workplace”—to continuously hack the disruptions and deliver solutions designed around the HR customer experience.

In our model, the digital workplace is the connective tissue that powers digital HR. It is the always-on coaching assistant for the HR customer, continuously sensing what is required to achieve desired outcomes. It serves as a just-in-time support “bot” that delivers contextually aware assistance on any device and in any language, while working behind the scenes to engage other components of the HR service delivery model as required.

Moments that matter

To more fully explore what it means to simplify the workplace and connect HR customers to what matters most, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of Alexandro as he engages with the next-generation digital workplace to accomplish his goals. He’s a 58-year-old Boomer considering early retirement, a critical “moment that matters.”

Our early retirement workflow scenario envisions three hypothetical levels of digital workplace “chatbots” at increasing levels of sophistication:

  • Workflow Adviser—assists the HR customer through the life or work event workflow using natural language, while automatically gathering data from disparate systems and tapping into available training, research, and operational services support resources.
  • Solution Adviser—“understands” desired outcomes and leverages all available internal and external data to design and propose an optimized solution for the HR customer.
  • Human Adviser—“empathizes” with the human emotions and feelings likely involved in the HR customer’s decision process, and provides support—or referral to an actual human—as required.

To retire or not to retire…

Alexandro approached the new digital workplace with some trepidation. He had been considering early retirement for a number of months, ever since he suffered a mild heart attack the year before, but had been intimidated by the many decisions that would have to be made.

As the digital workplace chatbot explained to him that, set at the level of Workflow Adviser, it can listen, understand natural language, and talk back, Alexandro relaxed a bit. While he much preferred dealing with his old pal who had previously been the office HR generalist, he understood that times had changed. As he answered the questions posed by the chatbot, Alexandro was reassured to discover that the training, research findings, and operational services assistance made available through the system were quite extensive and appeared to be tailored exactly for his unique situation.

Alexandro assumed he would be mostly on his own when it came to making the final decision, so he was a pleasantly surprised when the chatbot then offered a more sophisticated Solution Adviser level of support. In this mode, the chatbot was able to articulate back to him his desired retirement outcomes, summarize key health, financial, and retirement location variables, and begin to present alternative scenarios. After a structured conversation driven by the chatbot, he was rewarded with a customized retirement plan almost perfectly optimized for his needs. After a discussion with the Solution Adviser chatbot to clarify the details, Alexandro decided to move forward and verbally authorized the chatbot to complete the retirement process.

The Human Adviser

At several different points in Alexandro’s conversation with the chatbot, the questions touched on how he was feeling about the process, how he intended to keep busy in retirement, and the role his spouse was playing in the decision. Once, when Alexandro had joked about his wife pretty much insisting he make the move, the chatbot had asked if he was interested in speaking to someone in the Retirement Community of Expertise (CoE) about his decision.

Alexandro was impressed that the system had managed to sense some of the ambivalence he was feeling about his life after work, not only managing to project a certain degree of empathy with his situation but also offering him the opportunity to speak with a specialist if that would be a help. It occurred to Alexandro that while this chatbot was obviously not truly able to empathize and commiserate with him the way his old HR generalist buddy had, the retirement information it provided was quite a bit more helpful, and the option of speaking to another human about his feelings was always available.

Work and life simplified

While the advanced cognitive and empathetic capabilities we are ascribing to our next-generation digital workplace chatbot are in the infant stages today, we are making rapid advances at the Workflow Adviser level of sophistication for Deloitte’s own digital workplace solution. We believe that both simplifying the workplace via Workflow Adviser services, and connecting HR customers to the information that matters most to them, will be key to digital workplace success.

As we increase digital workplace capabilities, however, we may find that the process of retirement itself has become digitally disrupted, and a complete rethink of how we leverage aging employees as part of the new contingent workforce will soon follow. After all, disruption tends to breed more disruption—which, by the way, is why achieving sustainable HR is so imperative.

About the Authors:

Michael Gretczko is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and the practice leader for Digital HR & Innovation. He focuses on helping clients fundamentally change how they operate, often working with large, complex, global organizations to guide transformation programs that enable HR organizations to reinvent the way they leverage digital to improve the employee experience and business performance.

Daniel John Roddy is a Specialist Leader with Deloitte Consulting LLP and a member of the Digital HR & Innovation team. He focuses on leveraging his decades of global HR transformation experience to develop and promote thought leadership that helps create breakthrough opportunities for our clients.


Source: Simplifying the workplace—and life | Michael Gretczko | Pulse | LinkedIn


This article was originally published at HR.com – The Human Resources Social Network in November, 2016

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Architecting the HR Customer Experience: Design thinking applied to the ConnectMeTM Mobile App

Architecting the HR Customer Experience

What if you could deliver an HR customer experience that is analogous to what big online retailers are doing to create a customized shopping experience, one in which HR customers are able to clearly see their options, access information, and take action more easily? What do you think the impact might be on your employment brand, retention, and engagement ratings? By applying design thinking to reimagine and architect the HR customer experience, companies can deliver an experience that feels more like a world-class retail experience—one in which HR customers perform activities digitally, both at their computer and on the go, in a way that can increase both engagement and satisfaction. This is the story of how a team came together and applied design thinking to reimagine and architect the HR customer experience in a digital world via a next generation employee mobile experience, the ConnectMeTM Mobile App.

In business, the customer is king. Companies go out of their way to try to give customers the best experience possible, whether in a store, on the internet, or through an app. The HR customer experience, however, is often very different. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report revealed that there are more than 7 billion mobile devices in the world,[1] and more than 40 percent of all Internet traffic is driven by these devices.[2] Yet HR teams are often far behind in deploying mobile-ready solutions. Fewer than 20 percent of companies deploy their HR and employee productivity solutions on mobile apps today.[3]

Employees, particularly Millennials, increasingly expect to interact with their employers via their mobile devices, and they may think it’s strange when there isn’t a mobile app for recording their time, submitting expenses, or accessing HR.

In our story, design thinking is being applied to create a prototype for a new HR app. The app is designed to be a single destination for HR services that connects employees to what matters most to them—from pay stubs to performance management and even a self-service help desk so employees and managers can clearly see their options and take action.

Design thinking framework

Design thinking is a structured process that can help solve problems and deliver business value by focusing on customers’ needs to create offerings that are intuitive and deliver value. At its core, it involves observing customers in their natural settings, deeply understanding their physical, cognitive and emotional needs in order to develop “personas” as a way to design services and products. It relies on creativity and innovation to generate ideas quickly and testing prototypes that generate further ideas, digital tools, and solutions.[4] It is important because “when companies can connect with their customers’ emotions the payoff can be huge.”[5]

Design thinking applied to the ConnectMeTM mobile app

Step 1: Vision. The vision for the ConnectMeTM Mobile App is to improve employee engagement and satisfaction by taking the digital workplace platform one step further, allowing employees to cut the cord and complete HR activities when they aren’t at their desks.

The team’s approach involved defining and designing a prototype over an 8-week timeline that included three “design sprints”—a time-constrained, five-phase process that uses design thinking to reduce the risk when bringing a new product, service, or feature to the market. At the end of the 8 weeks, the team delivered a prototype that defined, demonstrated, and acted as the basis for building out the new mobile solution.

Step 2: Look & listen to defined HR customer personas. With the vision in place, the design team turned to the HR customer personas that had already been defined, representing different HR customers. These included a new graduate (Madisyn), an experienced hire (Jason), a line manager involved in the recruitment of new talent (Susie), and an HR Ops service rep (Pete). The personas include descriptions of each of their behaviors, patterns, attitude, goals, skills, and environment, with the goal of designing the app to meet the needs of these typical users.

Step 3: Understand & synthesize HR customer needs. Voice-of-the-customer interviews and customer stories gave insight into the moments that mattered most for each of the customer personas. New hires Madisyn and Jason shared the events, both positive and negative, that shaped their recent onboarding experience. Susie, a line manager, told the story of how she worked her way up to management and how her success had been the result of recruiting top talent. Susie shared that the first 90 days were critical to the successful transition of new hires into the company. Pete, the HR Ops service rep, spoke to the importance of bringing a human touch to the recruiting experience by engaging recruits with each interaction via ongoing communication regarding their application status and next steps.

Step 4: Generate and prioritize ideas. The team identified HR service domains and ranked problem areas that HR customers face across the domains. The team felt the top three focus areas for the mobile app should be onboarding, leaves of absence, and performance management, as all three had a preponderance of problems to solve and an opportunity to shape the customer experience as part of the broader ConnectMeTM customer-centric design.

Step 5: Prototype, test, refine. During Design Sprint 1, the team reviewed process flows, wireframes (electronic sketches of screen layouts), and a prototype of the solution. The solution delivered an onboarding experience that integrated pre-hire, Day 1, and activities during the first 90 days on the job.

Design Sprint 2 integrated leaves of absence and performance management wireframes to the mobile solution. The team also got an early glimpse into the higher-fidelity onboarding solution. After more testing and more refinements, at the end of the 8 weeks the team delivered a prototype for the mobile solution that could be both vision and model for building the actual app.

This is just one example of how HR can apply design thinking to reimagine and architect the HR customer experience to generate higher engagement and satisfaction. The process can be applied to any number of HR processes, and doesn’t have to involve a digital solution. However, our Bersin by Deloitte colleague, Josh Bersin, recently shared that the $14+ billion marketplace for HR software and platforms is reinventing itself. This shift from cloud to mobile is disruptive—an all-mobile HR platform is not only possible now, it’s the direction in which the market is heading. Design thinking can help align your organization in the same direction to create a more satisfying HR experience for your people.

For a tangible example of design thinking in action, we invite you to experience Deloitte’s ConnectMeTM Mobile App at this year’s HR Technology Conference.

About the Authors:

Michael Gretczko is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and the practice leader for Digital HR & Innovation. He collaborates with large, complex, global clients to identify and bring to market innovative products and solutions that deliver on their business needs.

Marc Solow is a managing director with Deloitte Consulting LLP and leads Deloitte’s initiative to deliver Salesforce.com-based technology solutions for HR organizations.

Maribeth Sivak is a manager with Deloitte Consulting LLP where she focuses on full life cycle global human resource transformation initiatives. Maribeth is also an active blogger, focused on the intersection of design thinking and the HR customer experience.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

This publication contains general information only and Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Deloitte shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

Copyright © 2016 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.

Further Reading:

[1] Jason Dorrier, “There are 7 billion mobile devices on earth, almost one for each person,” Singularity Hub, Singularity University, February 18, 2014, http://singularityhub.com/2014/02/18/there-are-7-billion-mobile-devices-on-earth-almost-one-for-each-person.

[2] Mary Meeker, “Internet trends 2015,” Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, 2015, http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends.

[3] Digital HR: Revolution, not evolution. Global Human Capital Trends 2016, Deloitte University Press, February 29, 2016.

[4] Design thinking: Crafting the employee experience, Global Human Capital Trends 2016, Deloitte University Press, Feburary 29, 2016.

[5] Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas and Daniel Leemon, The New Science of Customer Emotions, Harvard Business Review, December 6, 2015, https://hbr.org/2015/11/the-new-science-of-customer-emotions.

Source: Architecting the HR Customer Experience: Design thinking applied to the ConnectMeTM Mobile App | Michael Gretczko | Pulse | LinkedIn

From the Digital Workplace to Digital HR to Sustainable HR

The Path to HR Sustainability

The path to HR sustainability

For those of us active in the realm of HR and business, “digital HR” and the “digital workplace” have been hot topics. But as is often the case with new terminology and buzzwords, they can mean different things to different people. We’ve thought a lot about the challenges HR faces and the role of “digital” in addressing them, and it’s more encompassing than many of the definitions we’ve seen. The digital workplace is what powers digital HR, which in turn enables HR to sustain itself in the face of disruption.

Related links:

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Global Human Capital Trends 2016
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Sustainable HR is the goal

First, let’s look at the end goal—sustainable HR—and what that means. Business disruption is rampant—new business models, new technologies, a challenging economic environment, and the overall quickening pace of business are all disruptive to “business as usual.” Workforce demographics and trends—retiring Boomers, high-expectation Millennials, workforce-on-demand models, team-based work—are another disruption. HR sustainability is about HR (1) maintaining its stability and focus despite disruption, (2) being adaptable in the face of disruption, and in turn (3) helping the business be stable and adaptable in its response to disruption.

Digital HR enables HR sustainability

Next, let’s look at how digital HR enables HR sustainability. When we thought about how HR becomes sustainable, we kept arriving at the same four capabilities—what we call the 4Cs. HR should be able to…

  • Create capacity, freeing up time by eliminating mundane repetitive tasks and enabling HR professionals and customers alike to focus on more value-added activities.
  • Grow capability in its own people and in its customers via a rich, curated, just-in-time learning environment.
  • Empower community, tapping into a variety of internal and external networks as sources for information, learning, and collaboration.
  • Boost credibility within the organization by consistently meeting its customers’ needs.

Digital HR, a top 10 Global Human Capital Trend for 2016, enables HR to accomplish the 4Cs by applying digital principles to HR operations. While this could involve a mix of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud (SMAC) technologies, it encompasses more than technology. It’s also about using design thinking to reimagine HR processes and the HR customer experience, trying new approaches, gathering feedback, communicating bilaterally (company to employee, employee to company, employee to employee, company to company), and continually making iterative improvements.

The digital workplace powers digital HR

Finally, we come to the digital workplace—one of the ways organizations can accomplish digital HR. The digital workplace is a solution for engaging employees in all the services they have available to them at work. It’s about automating transactions that are manual today (creating capacity). It’s about targeting information and learning content to employees to help them do their jobs (growing capability), just as social media sites target posts based on member preferences. It’s about bringing the social communication concept to the workplace to connect people (empowering community). And it’s about harvesting data to enable analytics that provide informed insight about how the company is operating and how employees can better perform their jobs.

We have more of our thinking behind the digital buzz (and how we’re addressing it with our own mobile digital workplace, ConnectMe), in our publication, Sustainable HR in an age of disruption. Check it out for additional insights on the digital workplace and how it can propel digital HR on the path to sustainability.

About the Author:

michael-gretczko

Michael Gretczko is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and the practice leader for Digital HR & Innovation. He collaborates with large, complex, and global clients to identify and bring to market innovative products and solutions that deliver on their business needs.


Source: The path to HR sustainability – HR Times – The HR Blog