As a marketer, I’ve been trained to segment audiences based on a variety of variables (i.e. age, gender, behaviors) and to deliver tailored messages to each audience based upon what we believe to be their desired goal, objective or experience. This concept is extending beyond marketing and advertising as companies look to provide employees with a workplace experience that meets their expectations and needs. In today’s on-demand world, technology plays a big role in that employee experience as we have come to expect access to tools to help us manage our professional lives as easily as we do our personal lives.

Here is where I come into the blog series in which Mollie Lombardi of Aptitude Research, Ben Eubanks of Lighthouse Research and Advisory and I will examine employee experience from three unique perspectives. I will be exploring the impact technology – specifically, Human Capital Management (HCM) technology – has on the experience of three key audiences: business leaders, HR administrators and employees. Our Co-CEO, Randy Cooper, touched upon this recently during a recent episode of HR Happy Hour with Steve Boese when discussing how HCM systems have changed as the intended user shifted. Here is Randy’s take on the role HR systems have played in the employee experience over time.

First-generation (1.0 HCM) – designed with the HR administrator in mind, 99% of the population in a company didn’t use these early systems

Second-generation (2.0 HCM) – these best-of-breed solutions were more focused on engaging employees but they were limited to specific areas (i.e. talent management)

Third-generation (3.0 HCM) – holistic HR systems designed to be used by 99% of the organization are starting to emerge

A 99% adoption rate is an ambitious goal for any type of technology; to achieve this objective, employers and solution providers must understand what each of our three key employee segments wants or expects from HR technology. For the purposes of this blog, let’s stick to a high-level overview.

Employees – want intuitive tools to help them manage administrative tasks (i.e. request time off, update personal information, enroll in benefits) quickly and easily

HR Administrators – want a system that automates administrative tasks and empowers employees with self-service so they can become more of a “gatekeeper” and less of a “doer” (think configurable workflows; employee and manager self-service; single database)

HR/Business Leaders – reporting, reporting, reporting and more reporting that provides insight into organizational trends and behaviors to help make more informed decisions

As Mollie pointed out in her blog, individual experiences can be vastly different even when the object (or person or event) providing the experience is the same. When implementing any technology, it is important to consider how different employee segments will use the technology so you understand the effect it can have on their overall employee experience. This will ensure you will know what you need to create a better employee experience through the technology you select. In the next blog in our series, Ben will dig a little deeper into how HR can accomplish this task.