What is the value of the user experience when it comes to human capital management systems?
It’s an increasingly common question to sink your teeth into if you find yourself working in that space.
When talking about the user experience, adjectives such as “intuitive” and “seamless” hold high real estate.
The need for a smooth and satisfying user experience is well known by HR practitioners. And the industry has recently been spending a lot of cash to achieve the high levels of user adoption of tech that can accelerate business results.
Yet money doesn’t guarantee success – ask Man Utd fans about that. Despite their implementations producing higher levels of usability, many companies don’t necessarily deliver on high levels of engaging user experience.
The issue that they are likely not understanding well is that usability is just one part of the user experience.
According to the standard ISO 9241-11 definition of usability: “The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.”
So, based on this, we see that the user experience encompasses the whole experience – and a lot of this has little to no connection with the specifics of software.
The digital experience has been shaped by elevating customer expectations and assumptions over the last couple of years. Just look at the user experience in ecommerce and how better the digital experiences have become.
In terms of marketing, the reach is beyond the actual transaction and focuses on shaping the whole experience from pre-sale to post-sale. Here, brand and product awareness are generated across various channels, enticing digital travelers onto ecommerce touchpoints and buying products and services.
After the point of sale, ongoing communication is upheld to take care of the customer, helping to foster brand loyalty.
If you were to categorize these phases, we could break them down into: utility (where to find a product and buy it), usability (the ease of finding and buying a product), desirability (the level of enjoyment in finding and buying a product), and overall brand experience (the connection felt to the brand and the product).
Applying this to HCM
When it comes to applying this to human capital management systems, it may seem relatively straightforward. For example, a worker requests time off, and their manager approves it. But that isn’t all there is to the experience.
There are very important aspects of usability when it comes to developing an engaging process for time off requests.
From the worker’s perspective, usability features such as having a calendar that shows workdays, a summary balance that displays PTO availability, and displaying recent history would provide beneficial.
As for the manager, features that include resources to aid staffing levels as well as projects, plus work activities that would be affected by the absence of a particular worker, would all help to highlight the general context.
Then, encased around these user experience capabilities is the supportive culture that companies try to maintain within their business, such as policies that demonstrate the value of their workers’ time and effort, and how they approach issues around work/life balance.
Such a working environment can only enhance the experience of workers and strengthen their personal connection to the organization.