What does being more strategic really mean? What can organizations do to not only meet employees’ desire for more personalized experiences, but to anticipate their needs and create a powerful experience that provides value in a much more meaningful way?

When you have detailed workforce and employee data and the time to analyze it, some amazing things can happen. HR organizations can listen more deeply to the voice of their consumer – the business, workforce and individuals that include employees, managers and other workers – to better understand expectations and rethink how they service their workforce. HR can become even more than a trusted advisor by understanding that while some moments are particularly important, every moment really does matter when trying to access HR information or transact business.

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Today, employees expect their employer to know them as individuals, to anticipate the support and services each person needs, in some cases before they need it.

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Every moment matters

When you adopt the ‘every moment’ mindset, new insights emerge that make it possible to drive the total experience, as well as business and human performance. For each employee:

  • How easy is it to find and review the information they need, like their latest payroll stub?
  • Does it feel like HR is anticipating their needs, such as concern over the ability to work safely, or return to work in a pandemic?
  • How do they feel during and after an interaction with agents/advisors – both people and technology? (Was it personalized? Did it feel like you knew them?  Did they feel included, important and valued?)
  • Are you making it easy to get things done, like requesting vacation, getting access to a building, or logging time?
  • How long do they need to wait for an inquiry to be resolved? Are expectations set at that first interaction? Is the request a black hole, or can they track its progress like a package? 

While some moments, like onboarding, a promotion or having a child, are particularly significant, the experience is really made up of all the moments that an employee has– including the most basic interactions.  Today, employees expect their employer to know them as individuals, to anticipate the support and services each person needs, in some cases before they need it.

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I need to get approval for my vacation by asking my manager.


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I can submit my vacation request after seeing others that have already been scheduled.


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I receive recommended vacation times and destinations based on my preferences, other co-workers’ needs and business commitments.

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And this is only the start. Given the explosion of new ways consumers are using technology, a treasure trove of new data is available.  At the same time, employees are becoming more open to sharing their data as a matter of standard practice. Are you taking advantage by:

  • Capturing and analyzing data from the employee portal, social media, AI advisors and employee inquiries? For example, which content is accessed most frequently? Which content, after being reviewed, still results in an inquiry?  Are AI advisors providing the answers and experience people need?   
  • Leveraging the willingness of employees to provide satisfaction information via pulse surveys or other timely and frequent measurement methods? Analyzing sentiment automatically through the use of AI?
  • Tapping into the data from employees’ participation in digital wellness apps (health, financial and others)?
  • Using sensors and biometrics to ease the worker experience, such as when accessing facilities, or enforcing safety standards?

Imagine what kinds of insights come from these questions! What benefits can be achieved with all of this new data?

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Proactive, insightful action

What if you could predict that a key employee is dissatisfied, and improve their day-to-day work situation before they decide to look for another job, slashing employee attrition rates? And, how about paying people at a frequency that makes sense for their personal requirements? What if you could sense when teams are under high stress, and proactively encourage more exercise or suggest a coffee break?  What sort of productivity improvements might be achieved? What new and innovative ideas might be discovered?

At a major freight company, managers use a mobile dashboard that presents a snapshot of key data about the local workforce. Who’s taking vacation in the next month? Who’s continually having challenges getting into work on time? Who is celebrating a personal milestone? This allows managers to better support and respond to ‘every moment’ by understanding each employee and their needs with more context. Improved morale and employee retention, not to mention productivity, are sure to follow.

Aided by the power of the cloud, digital apps, mobile and wearable technology, and changing employee expectations —the ability to tap into this data is improving. Freed from transactional tasks, leaders are asking how they can better understand the data and how best to use it.

Becoming a strategic HR organization

HR has an enormous opportunity to be even more strategic in driving workforce performance and engagement. Thinking about this deeply from an employee perspective makes it possible to:

Capture insights

  • Provide insight into operations to show how improved responsiveness and a focus on micro-moments can really improve outcomes like retention and presenteeism.
  • Showcase and empower the business with information on how people feel, how they are treated, the frustrations they have, the moments that feel really great and more. This can help employees feel more supported throughout their employee lifecycle, leading to better retention and greater insight into leadership development, diversity and inclusion efforts and priorities.

Action insights 

  • Incorporate lessons learned into leadership, culture and training initiatives, which could make the organization stand out from others.
  • Provide new and easy ways to engage with the workforce, and for the workforce to engage with HR, to get feedback on their overall experience, including ‘micro-moments.’
  • Create a control tower to mine and capture these micro-moments of data and use analytics to inform the design of portals, mobile interactions, and more. As an example, if we know that 50 percent of inquiries are associated with payroll, support for payroll inquiries can be front and center on the employee portal. It might also be an area of focus for a virtual agent deployment and additional reviews to eliminate issues.

How can you put data to use for the benefit of your company? What questions will you ask? We’d like to hear from you.

Allan Racey

Global Talent and HR Development Lead – Accenture Operations

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