Why employers mustn’t underestimate how tech can transform employee experience

By using technology to streamline administrative tasks, HR brains can be used for creative and strategic thinking, says Ben Kiziltug

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The benefits of technology know no bounds.  All over the world it is revolutionising workplaces – improving communication, innovation and efficiency for businesses both big and small. 

The Covid-19 pandemic is a perfect case in point. Throughout the pandemic, digital tools kept teams connected across regions and borders, automated processes as working models changed overnight allowing businesses to quickly adapt, and provided invaluable people analytics. With 44 per cent of HR professionals reporting a rise in the number of digital tools they use since the pandemic, it's clear these tools served as a lifeline for many businesses.

This is all well and good. But, as rising demand for technology increases its prominence in the workplace, is digital dominance in fact going to lead to digital overload?

There are growing concerns among employees and business leaders about whether technology is helping, or actually verging on damaging, the employee experience. With a myriad of options for communication tools, activity tracking and issues management, the reality is that the abundance of digital tools at our disposal may be threatening the productivity of our workers, as well as adding frustration to people’s days. 

With this in mind, businesses need to carefully consider the role that technology is playing in their business – and work to ensure it is supporting a positive people experience. Whether it’s through the creation of a smoother HR ticketing system, providing the ability to log absences easily, or the ability to turn off communication tools when focus time is needed, technology needs to be streamlined and have the user experience at its heart. 

And this streamlining process won’t just benefit employees. HR teams, the drivers of your business’s people experience, are being overloaded with requests and tickets from all areas of the business. In the last 12 months alone our HR team has handled the signing of 835 candidates, conducted 13,000 interviews and relocated 102 employees – and a staggering 40 per cent of their valuable time is also spent dealing with employee enquiries on HR topics. 

So what does this mean? It’s clear that we could be using our HR brains in a much more creative and strategic way, yet instead they are inundated with admin tasks and ticketing requests. By streamlining our digital tools we can cut down administrative work and reduce frustrations and barriers to productivity, freeing up our HR teams to really drive the people experience. 

And this has never been more important. We’re diving headfirst into another economic crisis – with rising inflation leading to an unprecedented cost of living for employees, and soaring overhead costs for businesses threatening to stifle their growth. The fact is that a crisis like this likely signals a recession. For leaders of any organisation, this could mean a time of rapid change, budgetary stress and decisions that must be made quickly. We need to ensure that businesses are fighting fit and working at their optimum to tackle the crisis ahead – utilising technology in the most effective way.

It’s clear that we can’t live without technology, and the benefits of tech to business success and economic growth are immense. But it’s important that we take a step back and check our businesses to make sure technology and its power is being harnessed in ways that are productive, and helpful, to employees and HR teams alike. The streamlining process is a win-win situation – and the time to take advantage of it is now.

Ben Kiziltug is head of Northern Europe at Personio