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Frictionless HR – making it happen


In the previous article in this short series, we looked at what HR might look like if the enterprise is made frictionless, and if processes can increasingly serve employees as though they were customers.

This time, we’ll be looking at what organizations need to do in order to make these changes happen.

No need for a Big Bang approach

The Frictionless Enterprise approach we introduced in the first article seamlessly connects processes and people, intelligently, and as and when needed. You might think, therefore, that what’s needed is a major, monolithic lift-and-shift, with all the disruption that this implies.

Indeed, a lot of organizations have the same expectation, and so it’s no surprise that they freeze at the prospect. But they’d be wrong. Not only can change at this level be implemented in small steps, but there are advantages to doing it this way.

Small, quick wins

Let’s say, for example, that a company decided to focus first on its on-boarding process. Sure, there will be elements to it that are linked to other HR functions, but there are others that are specific to this particular task. Removing obstacles, standardizing and streamlining where possible, and building a new digital platform such as Capgemini’s Digital Employee Operations Powered by ServiceNow®, will enable the company to be more flexible and creative. It will, for instance, be able to adapt its response more easily to circumstances, such as tailoring the on-boarding program by job location, or by the role and level of its new recruits.

These small, quick steps are easier to achieve than a comprehensive transformation program, and they are more likely to succeed, too. But they also generate other benefits. For instance, you might start with onboarding, see how it goes, and build in a feedback loop. You can then move to a related area, such as internal transfers, which may not involve new hires, but is still in the onboarding arena. Here, too, you can monitor results, and fine-tune processes before moving on. This “rolling thunder” approach means the organization can learn along the way what’s working, what can be improved, what can be adapted, and what other functionality might be added. It’s a form of continuous improvement.

It’s not just a case of what’s working in technical terms, either. By putting user engagement metrics in place – ServiceNow calls its own approach Listening Posts – the business can capture feedback in real time. Unlike a formal six-month culture survey, users’ immediate responses to a process will be unfiltered, and what’s more, they will be more readily actionable. So if reactions to the new digital on-boarding process have been noticeably less positive, say, among women in the US Mid-West, the organization can look into why this might be, straight away.

A virtuous circle

Taking immediate action of this kind delivers a further benefit. It shows people they’ve been heard: you gathered feedback, you acted on it, and you delivered an improvement. This increases their confidence in the process, which in turn encourages further feedback, and generates greater participation.

The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in digital employee systems is likely to add to this virtuous circle. It will be able to analyze online behavior, identify what’s going well and less well in the employee journey, and suggest possible actions.

The extent to which this can happen will depend on levels of AI maturity. Organizations vary quite widely in their progress in this area, if not in their enthusiasm, which is why they need to adopt an approach that suits their circumstances. Working together, Capgemini and ServiceNow are tailoring their offer, so they can deliver solutions from which businesses can benefit immediately, and on their own terms.

The multiplier effect

In short, success in one functional area such as onboarding creates its own momentum, and it can also act as a best-practice model for rollout across the entire HR function.

What’s more, the frictionless principle has a multiplier effect: as each new area of HR comes on stream, so its benefits are felt not just in relation to the respective functions, but across the entire discipline.

In the third and final part of this short series, we’ll take a look at the potential benefits of a comprehensive implementation of frictionless HR – not just for employees, but from a business perspective, too.

To find out how Capgemini’s Digital Employee Operations Powered by ServiceNow enhances your employee experience through implementing next-generation, digital HR operations, contact:

Read other blogs in this series :

Learn more about how we implement ways to detect, prevent, and overcome frictions in our clients’ business operations, helping our clients to move towards realizing – what we call – the Frictionless Enterprise.

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Delivering a Fricitonless Employee Experience