When you think about streamlining business processes, what comes to mind?
Better collaboration between sales and marketing? Better alignment between legal and research and development?
There’s no doubt there’s a lot that can be improved to facilitate better communication, collaboration and analysis within the business environment. But one area that seems to get overlooked is human resources and benefits.
Human Resources is Employee Engagement
It gets overlooked because no one enjoys the benefits experience. Think about the last time you needed to update paperwork, choose a new insurance plan or set up your retirement portfolio — it wasn’t enjoyable, was it? In fact, it probably wasted a lot of your time.
Before I continue, I know what you’re thinking — “This isn’t a human resources magazine. Why are you talking about this? What does it have to do with customer experience or social business or information management?” A-ha! Exactly. Human resources has EVERYTHING to do with customer experience, social business and information management, among other things, like employee engagement.
Recently I spoke with Chris Wakely of Thomsons Online Benefits to better understand how companies can optimize the benefits experience. He should know. Thomsons' premier benefits management software, Darwin is a cloud-based global benefits management and employee engagement platform, used by some of the world’s most innovative companies.As it turns out you can apply the same brand marketing strategies targeted towards customers to employees. It’s fairly obvious when you think about it, but apparently not obvious enough or more company’s human resources experience wouldn’t be as bad as they are.
5 Ways to Improve the Employee Experience
Create a Holistic Employee Experience: The customer journey doesn’t start when the customer buys something. Rather, it starts when a customer has a need. Same is true for companies. They’re always on the lookout for skilled talent. Looking from the outside-in, many prospective employees have fantasies of what it must be like to work at the company. They may be wooed successfully during the hiring process, but as soon as they are hired and handed over to another department, it’s a different experience altogether. How can a company so successful at making and marketing their product to the masses, fail so miserably at engaging employees?
Instead, map out the strategy for successful employee engagement from the moment they are recruited (perhaps even before), interviewed, hired, managed and promoted by the company. You won’t get far, however, without the right processes in place. It’s important to understand all the information that is collected, shared and accessed along the way, as well as to understand where it lives and how it can be used to create a holistic, meaningful, and helpful experience for the employee.
Wakely says that some companies have even begun what they call “onboarding in a box.” Upon your first day, employees are given an iPad or a USB with clearly crafted and branded instructions on how to access the company intranet so they can get started with the “paperwork.”
Monitor Behaviors, Automate Outreach: Marketing automation is prevalent within most every company. It’s used to target customers based on their behaviors demonstrated within an email or online or through their mobile device. Successful companies are constantly monitoring and creating unique experiences for customers based on basic behaviors. Did you abandon your shopping cart? Not to worry, Nordstroms will send you an email to remind you. Download a white paper? Someone from the sales department will be following up with you on the phone. Companies do this — not because it’s clever, but because it works at closing deals and making sales. So why not do it to improve the efficiency of open enrollment or increase employee giving?
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