It’s a Brave New World — or rather a Smart New World — at least in the world where employees live outside the workplace. Then they arrive at the office and it’s like taking a step back in time, where even the simplest of tasks can seem effortful and frustrating.
“Employees want their 9-5 to look like their 5-9,” said Brian Kropp, Group Vice President, Gartner HR practice, at Gartner ReimagineHR 2018 in Orlando, FL. And their 5-9 lives are full of seamless, effortless experiences, largely enabled by digital technologies.
Why is employee experience so important? Because HR is — and will continue — playing a key role in enabling the organization to pursue and capture digital opportunities. Gartner research shows 67% of business leaders say the company will no longer be competitive if it doesn’t become significantly more digitalized by 2020.
Chief human resource officers (CHROs) will need to tackle five macro HR priorities to support digital ambitions, and employee productivity is a critical driver of those ambitions. And yet, employee effort is dropping dramatically.
“CEOs expect more performance and productivity at the same time that employees aren’t working as hard as they did before,” said Kropp.
Read more: Are Your Employees Quitting in Their Seats?
Technology has its limits
Many HR leaders are embracing technology as an enabler. Eighty-eight percent of CHROs say their organization needs to invest in three or more technologies over the next two years. In the process, HR is adding or bolstering HR information systems (HRIS), on-demand systems, and various technology upgrades – anticipating a range of benefits for employees and the organization.
The result? Spending on technology now amounts to 3.5% to 9.5% of the average HR budget.
The problem? These technology investments don’t guarantee better employee performance or engagement. Our research shows, for example, there is little difference in employee satisfaction with a digital HR experience when comparing HR functions that have invested in HR technology and those that have not. Satisfaction with HR functions that have invested in HR technology is 4 on a 6-point scale versus 3.8 for those that have not.