- By Sherril Hanson
- August 5, 2022
To dig into the end user experience of companies deploying technologies to support employee experience (EX), Dash Research recently interviewed three organizations that implemented various solutions.
All three worked with isolved, a human capital management (HCM) software provider that offers tools across the EX spectrum, including traditional HR technologies, as well as employee recognition and performance management, learning management, giving and volunteering, and supportive technology such as conversational virtual assistants. isolved focuses on the small to medium sized business market, which might be a sweet spot as corporations of all sizes try to solve the recruitment and retention challenges currently facing the market.
Dash Research spoke with three companies ranging from 30-120 employees in size and with lean HR departments, in some cases just one person. There were common themes among them:
- Get the basics right and keep employees central to any change.
- Lean into technologies that can automate and digitize, freeing up HR time to focus on other issues.
- Small companies with sometimes limited budget can still move the needle on employee experience.
Get the Basics Right
When technology is not meeting the needs of the employee end user, not only does it sometimes hinder productivity, but it can become a day-to-day nuisance to the employee.
Sagar Lakhani, Human Resources (HR) Manager at Insulation Supply Company, is using isolved for payroll after a former vendor was not meeting expectations. The change had upper management support, so the internal sell to change vendors was an easy one. Lakhani pointed out that payroll is not necessarily a shiny innovative technology, but when it is not working right, it affects everyone in the company. Making the switch helped Insulation Supply Company move to a system that is easy and fluid, with only a few buttons to click to get through the process.
Lakhani says, “When our former payroll system wasn’t meeting our needs, employees were telling us that it was time-consuming to make their entries. They ended up using valuable time. It was definitely a point of friction we needed to quickly address.”
Marketing and advertising agency LaneTerralever is using isolved for onboarding and payroll. People Operations Manager Audrey Gardiner says isolved has helped their efforts to maintain data, which had formerly been a time-consuming task.
Mary Kay Kirgis, HR Generalist at Crescent Community Health Center reports that Crescent is an organization that is growing quickly, almost doubling in size since 2020. Crescent has been using isolved for applicant tracking, COBRA compliance, and onboarding and has also added in the Learn and Grow and Share and Perform modules. Kirgis reports the changes had C-level internal support, and were very well received by employees. Time savings, ease of use, and less paper were welcomed by both managers and HR.
Kirgis says, “One of the things that motivates us to make a technology change is to make things easier for our employees. Of course, cost considerations are important, but we really want ease of use for our employees, for example only needing to log in one time.”
She continues, “We also wanted to revamp our annual review process and work towards getting it off paper, which is easier for HR and easier for the employees.”
Automation and Digitizing
Each HR professional mentioned time savings. The HR professionals were most excited about the time savings that they could then leverage on other actions that are valuable to employees.
Lakhani reports having more time available to work on recognition plans.
Meanwhile, Kirgis mentions the streamlined processes around benefits enrollment, which used to be extremely tedious and confusing. “People shouldn’t have to work that hard to get these basic HR-related tasks done,” Kirgis says.
Additionally, by modernizing recruiting and onboarding, the company has eliminated many formerly manual processes, massive amounts of spreadsheets, and paper, the bane of many small-department HR professionals. Kirgis says this made room for focus on future strategic HR initiatives.
Moving the Needle on EX
All three HR professionals have been fortunate to experience low churn during these turbulent years.
According to Audrey Gardiner of LaneTerralever, “Even though our organization isn’t large, we offer robust benefits and a clearly defined culture. We are a company that is sought out as an employer. We think it’s especially important to set our company values and lay out why they are doing what they are doing. A united purpose is crucial.”
Gardiner adds that they focus on giving frequent readouts on collected feedback (The company reaches out on eNPS monthly.) and offer lots of opportunities for recognition. There are weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings, with the quarterly one tied to a fun event or an opportunity to give back to the community.
Lakhani shares that Insulation Supply Company focuses not just on compensation but on culture, fit, and flexibility. As a small company with limited budget, allowing for flexibility is an easy win. Additionally, the company works to overcommunicate the positive, expanding on the good news and what is great about working there. The company has expanded its benefit offerings and increased holiday pay.
Crescent Community Health is a non-profit with a limited budget, but has also tried to work in flexibility in schedule as much as possible looking at possibly implementing flex/agile Fridays for non-patient facing staff or four-day work week when appropriate. The company looks for benefits that do not cost the company all that much, but are an excellent value add, such as pet insurance, mobile car wash, and detail and oil changes.
The employee experience ecosystem is brimming with a wide variety of offerings that span engagement and measurement, performance management, rewards and recognition, giving and volunteering, and the more traditional HR back-end technologies. For smaller to mid-sized companies, it is not easy to leverage every solution out there. There is no one size fits all and often smaller companies need to start with the basics and expand, focus on what the employees need to have a frictionless and engaged EX, and be creative with their budgets to create a corporate community that can attract and retain workers.
Customer Data & Analytics, Customer Relationship Management, Contact Center, Personalization & Optimization, Customer Data Platforms, Customer Insights & Feedback, and Employee Experience
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