Employee experience must not be discriminating

Blue-collar female workers are in the warehouse

I notice a very frequent issue in digital transformation programs when it comes to employee experience. In fact it’s the nth occurrence of something that’s been existing for ages but that’s less and less relevant and acceptable in the context of employee experience.

At some point ideas are being collected to improve the employee worklife, simplify processes, increase the HR offering,  and employee services are eventually designed. Most of times the idea is to start with a small scale pilot, what is common sense. The problem comes when a decision must be made about the pilot’s scope.

Digital initiatives are often discriminating

“What if we start with managers ?”. It can be a great idea if the pilot is about something that is more specifically relevant to managers but this is rarely the real reason. “There are audiences we must serve first. It’s always been like that”.

But :

• historically, innovative initiatives have always been delivered to the same targets first. Special HR offerings, tablets etc. It’s like if, on the other side on the management line, frontline workers did not need tablets (in fact they need it more than managers do) or a specific HR services.

• talking about employee experience and starting by discrimination is a nonsense.

• doing so is the worst signal sent to employees and is the opposite of what a business wants when it starts an employee experience program.

Digital transformation must not forget frontline workers

In many businesses we can see that frontline workers, those who generally don’t have computers, are left out the digital transformation. Workers on a construction site, cashiers… why don’t they have, for example, an HR portal accessible on their mobile to do things or ask questions while they are the ones who can never meet an HR person during work hours ?

I was please to see that Microsoft recently launched a new offering for frontline workers, including Staffhub, a new component of the Office suite designed to fit the needs of this specific population (shift management, planning…). But it’s incredible we had to wait until 2017 to see things dedicated to these people while they are those who can benefit the most of digital transformation. As a matter of fact not only they have real needs but also nothing has been done for them so far so the room for improvement is infinite.

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