We recently ran a LinkedIn poll and posed a simple question: “In your organisation, is the HR digital infrastructure suitable for your needs and easy to use?”
There were three possible responses:
- Yes – it’s a breeze
- Sometimes – when I can find it
- Never – I call the Helpdesk
The first thing that amazed us was that over 7,500 people viewed the accompanying post. That’s a record for viewers of our posts.
However, the data we gleaned from responses didn’t really surprise us, with the story being just as depressing as we’d imagined: 77% of respondents feel their HR Digital Infrastructure is either never, or only sometimes, suitable to their needs and easy to use.
Imagine if those numbers related to customers rather than employees – you’d quickly go out of business.
How the different Business Functions responded
These are the “customers” – the people who expect the experience to be the same as they have in their personal lives, and the message really couldn’t be starker: Precisely none of them thought their HR technology was easy to use. The vast majority (92%) only used the tech when they knew they would find what they were looking for and the remaining 8% didn’t even bother – they just called the help desk
To us, the zero score for ease of use from these employees is the biggest indictment for HR. If our customers don’t find our systems intuitive, we need to seriously rethink the experience.
Customer Service people are those on the other side of the fence. They spend their days answering questions, getting things done and getting things fixed for people. This is their world, and they look on the HR experience in the way people look on Marmite – they either love it or hate it.
Interestingly, they were exactly 2:1 split with two-thirds thinking HR is a breeze and one-third never using it – they just called the help desk. Nobody responded in the middle!
In a survey on the suitability of a Digital infrastructure, we were surprised that 20% of technologists who responded just picked up the phone. The rest either love it (40%) or use it when they know what they were doing (40%).
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the group of people who “make things happen” is the only one to not pick up the phone. They get things done and are evenly split between those who found it simple and those who soldiered on.
12% of HR wouldn’t even use their own technology – they just asked the help desk, whilst 23% thought it was a breeze. The remaining 65% (two-thirds) of HR used the Digital experience only if they could find what they were looking for.
This really underlines the need for a review of Digital HR. Less than a quarter of HR themselves find the technology easy to use – and they’re the ones who supposedly know what they’re doing!
Are HR Complacent about their Digital infrastructure?
Of the 13% who considered that HR’s Digital Infrastructure was simple to use, the largest group of people was… HR at 44%. Compared to this precisely ZERO Businesspeople/Employees thought the infrastructure matched their needs.
This tends to mirror the findings of PWC’s HR Technology Survey, 2020 in which it was found that 45% of the C-suite felt that HR Tech was improving Employee Experience compared to 23% of Middle Managers.
This disparity really does point to the need for a shift in HR. Unless HR embraces a listening approach, starts to think of Employees in the way that Marketing thinks of customers, and uses data rather than opinion to bring about change, HR Digital Transformation is going to fail.
About the Author
Keith Williams is ex-HR Services Technology Director @ Unilever and is a Director at KMW3. He uses his global experience to help organisations with HR Digital Transformation, digital Employee Experience and conversational Chatbots.
You can contact Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)7876 252278