Mike DiClaudio, Principal Advisory at KPMG, explains to HRT readers why millennials, the original “digital natives” are pioneering the Employee Experience in organizations and how AI is becoming an inevitable part of modern HRTech toolkit. Mike is an expert across the full HR value chain, including strategy development, organizational design, technology selection and implementation, and, overall HR transformation.
HR Technology has historically been organization-centric. With “consumerization” of the workplace, how do you see technology addressing unique employee needs?
Our relationship with technology doesn’t end when we walk into work, so as digitization happens in the marketplace, employees will expect that technology at work will be simple and intuitive, no matter where they are. Technology specific to Human Resources will help business and HR leaders improve current and prospective employees’ experiences in a variety of ways, including speeding up the recruiting process, improving training and development opportunities, and fostering greater collaboration and productivity. Most important, it will help employees complete their jobs more efficiently, especially as AI, intelligent automation and connected devices become more integrated into the workforce .
Where do most organizations sit on the employee experience maturity curve? Why is that?
Many organizations are starting to see the importance of the employee experience, but there is still work to be done. Improving their overall brand is no longer enough to attract talent. A shift has been occurring in the workplace since millennials entered the workforce, and it’s continuing as millennials comprise more managerial positions while Gen Z takes entry-level positions.
Understanding the shifting expectations requires businesses to not only evaluate this from an organizational perspective, but, keep the approach human-centric.
They must listen to their employees so they can implement the programs, training and experiences that will not only attract talent, but retain them over time.
Employee experience is set to be the new competitive advantage. How can employers leverage AI to fuel differentiated employee experiences?
Employers can leverage AI to create differentiated employee experiences in a variety of ways and we expect to see more possibilities as the technology evolves.
Three immediate ways we see AI impacting the experience are to develop personalized compensation packages based on an employee’s role, preferences, and productivity; uncover insights on workplace trends and challenges, which can then be used to create stronger rewards programs.
Organizations need to start by defining the moments that matter to the employee most and enhancing these experiences at thee critical touchpoints that influence what employees think and do. Alternatively, when companies uncover friction points across the employee lifecycle, these often are opportunities to think about their technology strategy and where they may be able to leverage capabilities to improve the experience – whether this is digital, social or environmental.
Embedding AI into a company’s unique Employee Value Proposition is no longer an option, but required, to not only deliver on the talent brand, but drive engagement.
How is the enterprise work culture changing in response to the needs and demands of generational groups like Millennials and Gen Z and what role do you see technology playing to engage them more meaningfully?
Millennials and Gen Z are digital natives, accustomed to convenience and desire by meaningful experiences. They bring these same expectations to the workplace. Just as they will abandon their shopping cart if the checkout process is too complicated, millennials and Gen Z will look for up-to-date and intuitive technology within the workplace. New technology can help with something as simple as offering online training and development, and as complex as eliminating “busy work” through automation . By using technology to eliminate menial tasks, employees will be elevated to more strategic responsibilities and thus, more engaged.
How does business culture, including HR, need to evolve to accept the full promise of predictive workforce?
Employees at every level of an organization will need to embrace the idea that advanced technology will change the way they work, but, will not replace them. In fact, KPMG’s 2018 Global CEO Outlook survey reveals that 62 percent of respondents said AI and robotics technologies will create more jobs than eliminate them.
Additionally, employees will need to understand how technology will enable them to focus on outcomes rather than tasks. For example, automating the candidate sourcing could cut the process down from three days to 10 minutes, giving HR leaders time to focus on other things that could add value to their organization like developing a new performance management technique or onboarding process. These opportunities will allow employees to reinvent and diversify their career paths, and ultimately position them for more dynamic work experiences.
How can smaller companies leverage technologies like AI and ML to punch above their weight when it comes to their employees?
Technologies like AI and machine learning help businesses work smarter. Smaller companies that may have fewer resources can benefit from these in offering more personalized compensation packages and strengthening their rewards programs. Furthermore, AI can help these companies find candidates who are a better fit for open positions, saving them time and resources in interviewing prospective employees.
What are some of the biggest pitfalls you see organizations making when executing their employee experience strategy?
One of the major hurdles is understanding just how crucial the employee experience has become in attracting and retaining talent, and that it is an evolving journey. Trends and technology will change, and with the employee experience should evolve with that.
HR leaders need to look beyond an employee’s function in the organization to the totality of their experience. From hiring and onboarding, to manager and team dynamics, to how they perceive company culture, and more, every touchpoint plays a critical role in shaping an employee’s experience.
Big data and AI will help paint this picture for executives so they can better attract, understand and retain employees.
What are the essential skills for HR leaders in the digital age?
HR leaders in the digital age will have a more holistic understanding of technology’s impact on the employee experience . This ranges from using technology to help recruit candidates, to suggesting tools to make an employee’s job more efficient. As these skills evolve, there will be new specialist positions; for example, what I call the “Workforce Shaper.” The person in this role will be responsible for understand the talent a business needs to succeed and the best way to fill this role with human talent, both permanent and flexible, and with technology solutions. Equally important, the “Employee Experience Architect” will work hand-in-hand with the Workforce Shaper to build an experience that meets the real-time demand of the organization’s workforce.
KPMG is a global network of independent member firms offering audit, tax and advisory services. The firms work closely with clients, helping them to mitigate risks and grasp opportunities. KPMG member firms can be found in 154 countries and territories. Collectively they employ 200,000 people across a range of disciplines.