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One goal is to deliver experiences so transparent that end-users don’t even notice the technology
If you asked your HR technology provider who its end-user was five to 10 years ago, the answer may have been “Well, HR staff, of course.”
Ask today and hopefully the response will be “Everyone in the organization.”
Traditionally, HR technology has been focused on addressing the functional needs of HR leaders, as well as payroll, benefits, compensation and talent professionals. These products have helped automate processes and streamline transactions, but have done little to engage employees.
In the last decade or so, primarily due to the rise of mobile technologies, people’s expectations of technology have changed dramatically, especially in the workplace. They want experiences that are simple, effective and enjoyable like consumer technologies. For today’s employee, as well as today’s HR and payroll teams, the quality of the product is as much about usability as it is about functionality.
Providing a great user experience for employees has become a smart business initiative and the new imperative for HR technology providers.
When their technology is more social, mobile and accessible, users become more engaged, productive and fulfilled, which results in a positive impact on the bottom line.
A great user experience is much more than just a clean user interface. Far from simply “looking good,” it comes from a mix of making a person’s work meaningful and focusing on what is most important to employees based on their role.
This requires a paradigm shift in the approach by focusing on the individual first and then building out solutions from the individual’s perspective, versus focusing solely on the processes. Designers of this new breed of HR technology consider the habits, experiences and expectations of people in real-world scenarios and then tailor the products to simplify their personal and work lives. The ultimate goal is to deliver experiences that are engaging and meaningful, or so transparent and natural that end-users don’t even notice the technology.
Typically, you expect to see user experience at its best in consumer-level products, software and websites. Social media sites, mobile apps and digital music services are additional examples of areas where user experience is increasingly emphasized today. With the dramatic evolution in the workforce in recent years, HR technology has demanded this kind of person-centered design.
Today’s employees expect the systems they use at work to mirror their personal experiences with technology. In other words, they expect their company’s HR solutions to “just work.” Software that gets in users’ way when they’re trying to complete tasks is considered obsolete.
The five critical considerations when searching for a human capital management solution designed for your entire workforce are:
Cecile Leroux is Ultimate Software’s vice president of product strategy and product management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
©2015. International Association for Human Resource Information Management. Used with permission.
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