HR should focus on user experience in HRMS
Deploying a sophisticated HRMS solution in the organizations has put tremendous pressure on HR teams and vendors to drive user adoption, compute ROI and consolidate benefits realized. Organizations may invest a fortune in bringing the best technological solution to the workplace, but will it ensure that employees use it leading to improved outcomes?
In today’s virtual environment, where an employee interacts with the screen more than any other person at the workplace, HR Leaders are emphasizing on the kind of experience being delivered by these HRMS solutions and apps. User experience (UX) doesn’t necessarily mean only user-friendly interfaces and a great look-and feel of user screens. It involves applying business rules to that makes job faster and smarter driving engagement and productivity. The need to design experiences that simplify processes is crucial for user adoption. The technology-savvy workforce has been born in a digital world surrounded by gadgets, laptops, mobile phones, GPS devices and social media tools – employees are constantly in touch with easy-to-use highly intuitive platforms. Hence, organizations need to meet similar expectations at workplace and bridge the gap between personal and professional workstations.
The onus lies not only with technology teams that would help create and deliver such platforms but also with HR that understands the need for user-centric processes. As of today, an employee is overwhelmed with applications, workplace tools and overly complex business processes. Hence, HR should help emphasize only those elements that provide a meaningful and superior employee experience. To do this, identification of the following three components of the UX in any technological solution is important:
1. Value: Are the needs of an employee met? The UX has to be designed keeping in mind the alignment between user needs and product features. It must fulfill a specific user need. If the feature is not useful to an employee, there cannot be an expectation of adoption or improvement in the overall HR processes.
For example, for a field worker, expense management on a mobile device would be highly beneficial. If the mobile functionality is designed in such a manner that a field employee is unable to raise a claim for medical reimbursement online, then the system is not meeting its primary objective for which it has been designed - eliminating the need to courier documents (i.e facilitating convenience and eliminating paperwork).
2. Usability: Are the employees able to complete the intended tasks? This aspect of UX is not about engagement or visual appeal, rather it is about facilitating the ease of usage.
For example, an employee would like to have a consolidated view of his/her month-on-month pay slip. The document management system on the HRMS should be able to give that information. If an employee has to struggle to find this information on the system or would leave the process mid-way, then the system is not easy-to-use and is no longer useful even when the required functionality was present.
3. Adoptability: Will the employees use this product? Despite having elements of value and usability, there can be issues regarding the adoptability. The solution should be compelling and enjoyable for the users to regularly use it. Good design and content along with easy access, hassle-free installation and change management during the transition are few prerequisites to drive user adoption. An organization might invest into a best-in-class system but would fail to bring its employees onboard due to lack of any of these elements.
As HRMS solutions are evolving every day, all vendors are providing excellent features and to differentiate these products based on functionality is becoming tougher. The content and design is no longer a differentiator. Hence, the choice is being made on UX.
An employee might want a quick solution to apply leave through the cellphone but on the other hand would prefer a functionality of a resume builder on desktop rather than on a mobile solution. HR needs to understand these nuances before expecting the employees to embrace changes brought by technology platforms.
If the employees are spending hours calling up the helpdesk to resolve queries related to accessibility, and usage of content then probably HR would bogged down by a lot of administrative work and the entire exercise of transforming the workplace by an-easy-to-use HRMS would seem futile. It becomes imperative for HR to understand the importance of UX as it is a key stakeholder in selection and deployment of HRMS solutions.