Experience Design and Persistence: The key ingredients for HR Tech implementations

At a recent HR Leadership roundtable, amongst some really great company, wine tasting and in cold pouring rain, the topic was certainly hot “What does it take to go on a HR Technology journey?” Is it just great technology, AI, Data, Mobile first, <<insert new buzzword>>, Human Centred Design (HCD), EX, CX, physical workplaces, digital mindset, Leadership or a bit of everything?

No prizes for guessing a bit of everything in 2019 and years to come. Caryn Katsikogianis, Chief People Officer at Woolworths Group and her team shared their journey so far in implementing People technologies and where they are headed. Commencing with the basics of payroll transformation in 2013 and implementing MVP in SuccessFactors (starting with Recruitment modules focusing on candidate experience) in the past few years , they are now looking at very different challenges. Their people, managers and leaders want more from the technologies. They want to continue the challenge of moving from “systems of record” to systems that bring teams together, accessible by their people wherever they are and ultimately enable rich and meaningful conversations powered by great user experience. Here are the key takeaways on the how:

  1. Experience design is key: Woolworths Group held listening sessions using Human Centred Design approaches to really understand the moments that mattered. They identified 14 big concepts that were important to their people in order to put their customers first. They applied these concepts with their recruitment implementation by really focusing on candidate experience and considering what does it really feel like to work there. They also did this by using “mobile first” principles. But ofcourse, it isn’t just enough to have great technology, having great employee handbooks for Onboarding to making team rooms come alive and injecting fun into them was all part of re-imagining the EX! For ages companies have known that involving users in testing was and is important. However, Woolworths focused on involving users through design thinking, all the way to implementing and embedding!
  2. Be persistent: The ERP days are well and truly over (or they should be anyway)! It doesn’t all have to be big bang and then die a slow painful death due to lack of care. Business needs are continuously evolving, so being persistent in evolving and creating systems that are flexible to change with business change is crucial. This principle was applied in sticking to cloud templates and not over-complicating their configuration. They also “locked-in” their updates and upgrades for a short few years to ensure the system was embedded and users were “comfortable” with using them. Of course, this had its pros and cons! But they are now all up to speed with the latest and greatest and have a strong list of opportunities they are continuously pursuing to tighten processes, compliance and keep up with evolving business needs!
  3. Finally have great partnerships: Woolworths had and continues to have great partnerships with organisations that are leaders in digital technology to power their digital mindset and agenda.

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