Employee Engagement Employee Experience HR Tech

How a strong focus on employee experience is forging the way for more innovative HR tech

June Blog1

Employee experience is big business at the moment, and with good reason.


If there is one thing that the impact of the pandemic  has taught us, it’s that we are all human beings first and foremost. No matter how starched your shirt, how shiny your Mac, or organised your Slack, when things get hairy, everyone wants to know there is a soft place to land. 

Good employers know this, and tailor their employee experience accordingly.  

According to well-known HR thought leader, respected author and popular speaker Josh Bersin, this strong focus on employee experience is forging the way for more innovative HR tech.

Check out our YouTube channel for awesome videos on everything from the science of employee recognition to creating an internal communications strategy for enhanced engagement.

During a recent virtually-conducted HR Technology Conference and Exposition, he stood as a keynote speaker and led a discussion on how a design-oriented focus on the employee experience is driving technology away from somewhat redundant systems of record, towards platforms that allow employers to fashion tailor-made HR ecosystems that speak to the particular needs of their employees. 

As the founder of the well-known Josh Bersin Academy, which focuses on professional development in HR, Mr Bersin is very well positioned to provide commentary on this vital aspect of the prevailing tech trajectory. 


READ MORE: Successful businesses invest in employee experience - here's how


Citing the example of the newly-launched Microsoft Viva employee experience platform, he pointed out that the type of tools innovative businesses need right now are the kind that allow them to simplify, automate and digitise their processes using a combination of ready-to-go systems and creator tools that go beyond app development to integrate with collaboration and productivity systems. 

“There is also a growing need to personalise an employee journey, and use data-driven, AI-enabled systems that slot together seamlessly so workers are empowered to do their jobs more effectively and manage their work lives in a friction-free way,” stated Mr Bersin. 

So what should businesses look out for when selecting core HR systems, talent marketplaces, listening tools, recognition and reward technology, and people analytics? Here are a few recommendations based on the insights of the HR employee experience guru himself: 


Contemporary core HR systems


  • Choose systems of record that leverage employee data by opening up their APIs and allow HR to use the systems to create and develop employee journeys.

  • Look out for offerings from providers who are focused on maturing their tools by building them out with complementary offerings. 

  • Opt for elegant systems, ideally with integrated analytics and a help desk, a social network, and an employee experience layer.


Ingenious talent marketplaces


  • Select a platform that supports talent mobility by focussing on agility, opening up the system to give people time to work on other projects, change roles and participate in developmental assignments. 

  • Ideally, systems should facilitate the exposure of internal roles and projects by matching employees to projects based on their experience.

  • Align with vendors that allow your business to disrupt conventional talent pipelines by turning recruiting inward and giving existing employees the ability to apply themselves, or refer likely candidates from their personal work relations and acquaintance pool. 


Inventive listening tools


  • Consider platforms that enable HR to send pulse surveys and gather feedback, fast. Surveys should ideally be capable of being pre-scheduled or created spontaneously as the need arises, based on pre-sets or customisable templates. 


READ MORE: Employee experience - It's what Millennials really want


Groundbreaking reward and recognition technology


  • Invest in a purposeful recognition application that fosters the practice of day-to-day, social recognition and more formal, performance-based recognition. By combining the power of goal-based and values-based recognition, your chosen platform should work to align strategy and culture for improved performance.

  • A good employee recognition and reward platform hosts a comprehensive range of employee-centric rewards to reinforce the behaviours that drive organisational success with reward experiences that are meaningful, memorable and personal.

READ MORE: Digital employee recognition has never been easier than with bountiXP


State-of-the-art people analytics


  • Your chosen system should allow you to measure success and track performance 24/7, ideally by combining in-depth program knowledge with a data-driven approach to prove the connection between behaviour and business performance.
  • Look out for platforms that draw on hundreds of individual user data points in order to generate easy-to interpret people analytics and talent data, displayed in simple visualisations that help to enhance program effectiveness.

  • Collaborate with a provider who understands that each user group’s experience of their platform is different and has to be mapped according to user journeys depicting current and desired interactions, as well as anticipated thoughts, feelings and concerns as their interactivity levels increase.

  • Ensure that managers, administrators and super users of the platform are able to analyse, track and report on performance, recognition and engagement data. 


BONUS HR TECH TIP: Whenever you invest in a new tech platform, check that the migration onto the system will be an easy switch. Some traditional set-up models can take anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks, but there are products on the market that significantly reduce the time to activation. Opting for SaaS solutions with applications that come ready-installed and configured allows for faster deployment, which brings down installation and administration costs. 

Now you know! Check back soon for more helpful advice and awesome industry resources.

In the meantime, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for great video content that gets straight to the point on topics like the digital employee experience, the power of recognition, and how innovative HR tech can shape the future of your business. 

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