The opportunity that technology and digital capabilities provide not only to the clients or business but also to the overall HR proposition. It is not just about how HR becomes a much more digital function but how employees design a digital employee experience that is human, inclusive, and innovative.
“We are all product owners in HR, where employment is a product & value is in experience,” said Tanuj Kapilashrami, Group Head Human Resources, Standard Chartered Bank.
Employee experience (EX) is the battleground for productivity: But who owns it?
It is no longer nice to have. It has become absolutely essential. Tanuj cited research and shared that only 18 percent of EX is driven by HR professionals. By fixing a portal by which colleagues can apply for leaves or managers can approve leaves, you can impact employee experience only by 18 percent. But the overall EX is significantly broader than that.
Employees don’t care if HR professionals and IT facilitated the entire process, all they care about is how was their experience in engaging with it. Did it make them feel that they belong to the organization? Or it was a poor experience that made them feel disconnected?
EX agenda has to be well connected among the various owners in the organization, suggested Tanuj .
“EX is not an HR thing but ‘THE THING’ in the company”
It is important that employment is designed as a product and experience is driven by each and every stakeholder in the company.
Here’s how Standard Chartered is leveraging digital to design a human experience
The idea of democratizing access and the speed at which the employees can access has been a critical element of digitization at Standard Chartered Bank. And all of these efforts are towards becoming a more human business, shared Tanuj.
Standard Chartered launched an app called feedback 365, developed internally to provide a real-time, in the moment feedback. It is available on mobile devices and is integrated with the calendars. Further its digital learning platform has been designed to make learning accessible to all. It is AI backed and what it does is it curates personalized learning content for employees. Realizing that there is a human and social impact to learning, the platform has communities where everyone can come together and share reflections and ideas. They also use ServiceNow based myHR portal providing a single place for colleagues to access services, tools, and information. “We are using Walk Me to guide colleagues across all HR tools to provide real-time in the moment HR support,” added Tanuj.
Standard Chartered is also creating an internal gig economy, by matching short term work assignments with internal talent and skills without the overhead of moving roles. It has done this by implementing a tech platform, enabled by AI, which is its version of a talent marketplace.
In the first market i.e India when it was launched, in the first month it unlocked four and a half thousand hours of additional productivity.
Tanuj shared how these initiatives and the value driven from it have reiterated that technology can be used not only to automate transactional processes but also to create a learning culture, enhance productivity, and design a better human experience.
Inclusion & Technology
With the pandemic further accelerating the need to digitize as the entire world of work becomes more virtual, the way we use technology and the purpose for which we leverage it is being relooked at. It has indeed gone beyond a nice to have element in the organization and become a core driver of change. As HR and business leaders move ahead in their digitization journey, they need to focus more human aspects like inclusion.
The idea of inclusion is core, as we look to design better human experience, believes Tanuj. But how can it be implemented?
Human centered design techniques
What has helped Standard Chartered is real focus on inclusive design at the very start of the project. “We have found that human centered design is extremely powerful,” said Tanuj.
Using human centered design techniques and principles while creating all of the HR products and processes Standard Chartered has been able to create more inclusive and relevant solutions for all of its colleagues.
Diverse project teams
The team designing the HR solutions must have a diversity of customers and represent varied perspectives. “Ensuring a right diversity of thought has been absolutely key at Standard Chartered,” shared Tanuj.
The other thing that worked for Tanuj and her team was that they have proactively reached out and looked for technologies that mitigate bias, especially in areas like recruitment.
Further having the leaders beyond HR, participate in designing these new processes and driving change ensures that employee experience becomes an organizational agenda. This helps change the narrative in the company and make employee experience not just the responsibility of HR function.
Supplementing seamless technologies with humans
“When we use great tech with human empathy, real magic happens,” said Tanuj.
Standard Chartered experienced this recently when they hosted a global learning week where they ran over 400 events virtually across 60 markets. About 55,000 colleagues took part in a learning week focused on future skills. Now what was it that really stood out in the learning week?
“For the hearing imparied colleagues and to ensure that they are able to benefit the most from this learning week, we had human interpreters who were available to interpret the sessions for them,” shared Tanuj.
The project team was conscious of the needs of all of its colleagues while designing the global learning week to ensure a more inclusive experience.
The pandemic has presented a real opportunity for leaders to embrace technology and the many benefits it offers, now it is up to them how they leverage it to reimagine employee experience and drive a real change in their organization and business.