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Frictionless HR – what does success look like?


Making people feel valued…

One of the chief principles of digital, frictionless HR is that it should address the needs of employees in the same way that customer-facing platforms do. In other words, it should help them to achieve what they want in the way that they want, and without having to think about it too hard. If they can easily access the services they need, and better engage with their colleagues, and achieve the outcomes they want, either with help or on a self-serve basis, then they will feel valued.

Implicit in all this is a lot of good design, and also, a great deal of cross-functional integration behind the scenes. It’s rather like the passage of a swan: it may be gliding serenely by, but you know there’s an awful lot of activity going on beneath the surface. This is why organizations need to look for HR solutions partners who can combine smart digital design thinking, broad domain expertise, and (of course) integration skills.

But it’s not just about current team members. Companies need not only to retain, but to attract talent, which is why success should be measured by the experience of candidates as well as that of employees. Frictionless HR starts before onboarding, with the recruitment process. It can and should be a major contributor to the external reputation of the organization.

… adapting to circumstances…

It’s also, of course, about success for the enterprise itself. Success, and flexibility. If we learned anything at all about the world of work in 2020, it was that many of the rules by which we lived – rules that were designed for the office, and that we regarded as immutable – had, in fact, outlived their usefulness.

Frictionless HR enables organizations to adapt more easily to new working contexts, not just in general terms, such as working at home, but in more specific ways. These include digital mechanisms for processes that hitherto were paper-based or face-to-face, such as annual performance reviews. The degree to which businesses can flex their HR practices is itself a metric of success, and it doesn’t need to be in the context of something as a big as a pandemic. Changes in employment legislation, market fluctuations, seasonal demand variations, shifts in international trading arrangements – all these are variables that a smart, seamless HR model will be able to accommodate.

 … and adding value to the business

There’s more. With a frictionless, digital platform, the HR team ought to be able to measure its own workload and performance more accurately, and to achieve faster ticket turnaround times and a significant increase in first-call resolution. It ought to have better visibility of the nature and scope of employee requests, and as we have just seen, it also should be better able to attract and retain talent.

There ought also to be noticeable success in individual HR areas, such as onboarding (see previous article), and levels of employee trust. However, in these instances it can be hard to measure the impact. Organizations perhaps need to figure out how to evolve sentiment analysis into what we might term sentiment metrics.

Overall, organizations can expect their operational efficiency to increase, and their operational costs to reduce (indeed, savings can be of the order of 10–20%). They will, of course, be better able to organize and take advantage of the resource that their workforce represents, which could and should increase job satisfaction, and which should, in turn, be felt by customers in the quality of service they receive. Finally, as a result of all this, and as we’ve already noted, businesses should see improvements in the perception of their brand.

Tailored transformation – from end to end

All these successes are not only possible in theory, but are being delivered in practice. By rethinking their approach to HR, as we saw in the first article in this series, and by introducing changes incrementally, as we saw in the second, businesses are creating a better, more people-focused working culture for their employees. They are making themselves more efficient, and more cost-effective. They are serving their customers better. And they are adding lasting value to their brands.

We see all this through the experience we have of implementing Capgemini’s Digital Employee Operations Powered by ServiceNow®, which can transform the HR function from end to end, and which we tailor in line with need, circumstances, and aspirations. Because when did one size ever truly fit all?

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

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.

Gretchen Alarcon is passionate about building products to transform HR and the employee experience with digital workflows. Recognized as a top HR tech thought leader, Gretchen brings a unique view of the challenges many organizations face as they reimagine the future of work.

Felicia Jones is an expert in the field of HR outsourcing and HR transformation, specializing in delivering HR solutions that leverage global outsourcing platforms, leading edge technology, and process standardization. She leads multi-site teams and projects to enable our clients to implement processes and systems that improve efficiency, reduce costs, and align HR as a strategic value-added business partner.