Article: For digital transformation to succeed, listen to what employees need: Jasmine Gorimar

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For digital transformation to succeed, listen to what employees need: Jasmine Gorimar

In an exclusive masterclass by People Matters and Keka as part of the #SMECorner initiative, Vishal Joshi of Keka and Jasmine Gorimar of Mahindra Group discuss the different ways of building a great employee experience.
For digital transformation to succeed, listen to what employees need: Jasmine Gorimar

In the modern workplace, organisations are looking to digitalise processes. As employees become a precious resource, more and more organisations are looking at digital transformation to drive improvements in employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX). But for SMEs and MSMEs that might not have the experience or the funding, a few questions arise: where should they begin, what tools do they require, and how can they plan their digital transformation?

In a conversation with People Matters, Jasmine Gorimar, Digital Transformation Strategist, Mahindra Group, and Vishal Joshi, Manager - Customer Success, Keka, share their perspective on leading digitalisation initiatives for better EX and CX. 

Gorimar believes that to accelerate the digital journey, one should stop assuming that an employee experience study done in the first year will be valid for the next five years. Joshi feels that it is important to engage with employees, identify their needs and digitalise them. The two are of the opinion that digitalising individual processes and looking at digital capabilities might all go to waste if an organisation doesn’t have the data or insights on the impact it creates on employees. 

Best CX is delivered anytime, anywhere

As businesses move towards a hybrid workforce in the new normal with half the employees working remotely and the other half in office, customer and employee experience becomes integral. In this environment, Joshi believes, experience is the new product and time is probably the new price. As businesses compete for customers based on the quality of their experience, customers are also increasingly becoming aware of the time an enterprise takes to reach the desired outcome. 

Sharing his experience at Keka, the HR payroll software, he reveals how the customer onboarding process is completed in over 15 to 20 days, and during this period, customers are able to utilise the solution and understand what it is they are looking for, resulting in smoother implementation that has a positive impact. 

To get that competitive edge, businesses have to make their CX simple and digital, so it is delivered at any time, anywhere in a rapidly efficient manner. Once that is achieved, you not only gain happy and loyal customers, but a higher NPS rating, good references and promotion on social media. As digitalisation simplifies the processes with minimal rework, employees too become much more engaged. 

But Joshi cautions that digitalisation and automation are only the beginning of a long journey towards a great customer experience and, in the future, companies need to focus on metrics such as higher customer retention rates, reduced churn rates, and higher lifetime customer values.

Digitalisation of EX vital to going hybrid

Since employees are the most precious resource today, employee engagement and experience have become a boardroom-level conversation in most organisations that believe employees can raise customer satisfaction if they develop the right experience for them. EX covers certain key areas such as employee onboarding, employee engagement, constant feedback, and the like.

With the pandemic and the popularisation of hybrid work culture, the digitalisation of EX has become a necessity for all organisations. Joshi explains its importance as he shares how the features designed in Keka such as pre-boarding, onboarding, internal surveys, posts and announcements, help give a voice to employees. This, in turn, makes them feel engaged while increasing interaction and productivity. 

Digitalisation has also been a game changer in boosting employee retention in an era where companies are competing over the best talent. 

Macro trends shaping EX 

Gorimar believes that achieving digitalisation is what helps organisations move towards a full-fledged transformation. And when it comes to EX, it is important for organisations to go back to basics, which includes the need for inferencing stories out of data and gaining insights to devise their EX strategy. 

For any transformation to occur, Gorimar reveals, it is extremely critical to have the data along with understanding what each employee has to say. 

Before an organisation jumps in to create a roadmap to boost EX, one needs to baseline themselves. Here, data and analytics are of utmost importance. No two roadmaps are ever going to be the same: what works for one organisation might not work for the other as employees are not creating standard products for the market. Experiences, expectations, and business are all different.  

Leading the journey towards digitalisation

Gorimar believes that digital needs to be innate with the functions, especially in 2022. If employee experience has to be digitally transformed, the business model needs to change. One needs to go back to the roots, and check those aspects of business and work that impact the employee core or the retention of the employee in the organisation. This includes performance management and compensation, among others. Even minute flaws in these processes can have a deep impact on EX and the retention of employees. 

And if digital has to be innate with the functions, then HR should be the one leading it. While small enterprises and MSMEs might not have the breadth and depth of funding and experience, or even skilled candidates, it is always wise for the digitalisation leaders and HR to collaborate on this endeavour. 

Where to begin: The checklist

An organisation needs to categorise their HR capabilities or processes into three key areas: the first impacts the employee core, the second involves non-critical processes that have a strong impact on employee experience and the third includes processes that have no impact on employee experience or retention. 

The core of the employee experience is where compensation, transparency on how much the employee is remunerated, and tax deductions, among others, are involved. These are the basics. For small enterprises looking at transformation, it is essential to target the core first as that has the maximum impact. 

The second focuses on the feedback you get on EX, which includes reimbursements and collaboration, which might cause discomfort but won’t hamper employee retention.  

The third and the last is where there is no impact on either employee experience or the core. 

A quick word of advice by Gorimar for small enterprises is to focus on the core since sorting that out would be 70 per cent of the work done. The 30 per cent will be achieved if smooth reimbursement processes, easily downloadable reports, self-service and support are put in place. 

For organisations to achieve the best, they need to understand the nature of their employees, the culture of the workplace and the kind of communication that has been cascaded from the top.

Prepping for each stage

According to Gorimar, the first stage is digitalising processes. Once you’ve independently digitalised processes, you have to look at how these processes interconnect with each other. That’s where digitalisation comes in. You start inferring stories based on the data, see emerging trends, and understand where you are heading as a company. For digital transformation to occur in an organisation, the business model has to change. Gorimar believes that at small enterprises and MSMEs, implementing business model change is far easier as you have a smaller team. There is agility and the ability to be flexible through policies and processes and to quickly make smart changes.

A lack of stringent governance systems in SMEs is a huge advantage when it comes to digital transformation, as compared to major enterprises, where it will consume more money, effort and time. 

Set your priorities straight

Vishal stresses that data plays a crucial role in defining where an organisation wants to go, from where they are today. Digitalisation is where MSMEs should invest in and plan their roadmap.

Gorimar speaks about HR and how segmenting employees is fundamental in that respect. The HR needs to know the kind of employees they have within the organisation and how to map the three buckets to each of these segments. Another important thing to keep in mind is to do thorough research to know your candidates and employees. It is essential to know who will be recruited in the future, who will be part of the teams, what will the nature of those teams, etc.

Conclusion

To get the maximum value and kickstart a unique digital transformation journey, one needs to define the metrics. When it comes to EX, data and insights into where you are and where you want to be are important. Before you begin your journey of digitalisation, Gorimar asks to benchmark and baseline yourself and then compare yourself against it. The transformation process can easily go to waste if there aren’t any analytics backing it. 

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Topics: HR Technology, #SMEcorner

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