Who is your HR process designed for? Human Resources or your people? The workforce is changing, and the quality of interaction that consumers experience with companies like Facebook, Uber or Amazon has become their expectation. Traditional company boundaries are falling, and fewer than one in five college graduates wants to work for a large company. How will leaders attract and retain top talent?

Designing HR services for people: The moments that matter

Designing great employee experiences starts with transforming from the traditional transaction and function orientation of HR, to orienting around services and treating employees as consumers. It means designing HR in terms of the questions that employees and managers want answered.

An employee that wants to go on maternity leave, for example, will ask a variety of questions over the course of her pregnancy and after her child’s birth: How much time can I take? How much will I be paid? How do I request my leave? What about benefits? How do I return to work?

In the old model, she contacts HR five or more times. With each call, she talks to a new rep (or searches a new policy), rehashing her personal situation, and then is left to figure out the next step on her own. Anticipating her questions and focusing on a thoughtful employee experience can provide end-to-end support to proactively address her concerns. And it can benefit the employer by maximizing that employee’s productivity before her leave begins.

To anchor the service delivery model around employees as the consumers of services, Accenture has identified a set of commonly occurring scenarios that require coordination across a number of functions, both within HR and beyond. We then redesigned our delivery model to provide “concierge service” around five “moments that matter” for employees and managers:

  • Joining the company
  • Transferring roles within the company
  • Leaving the company
  • Having or adopting a child
  • Just about anything related to payroll

These “moments that matter” represent circumstances in which almost all employees—including the technically savvy millennial generation—appreciate a personal touch. They also present opportunities for organizations to offer better and more satisfying experiences that foster positive perceptions of the company, produce meaningful outcomes and exceed expectations. This approach makes it possible for organizations to improve employee satisfaction and deliver savings, as repeat calls for the same issue are typically reduced by more than 70 percent.

Prioritize what matters most: Balancing hi-tech and hi-touch

Creating seamless employee services requires an integrated operating model – one that coordinates multiple processes and systems across a full array of digital and physical channels. This new employee services model provides for an expanded line-of-sight with the right balance of hi-tech and hi-touch channels, anchored on delivering against spoken and unspoken expectations of the consumer:

  • Personal and relevant: “Make the experience relevant to me”
  • Intuitive: “Should be easy to figure out, like Amazon”
  • Accessible on demand: “Need it to be available when I have time”

Employees should be able to choose the channel that works best for them, from self-service to high-touch and mobile to voice.

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To deliver exceptional experiences in the moments that matter, HR teams must use #data and #analytics to anticipate employee needs.

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In order to focus on the moments that matter, HR teams need to simplify and automate transactions. Manual intervention must be eliminated wherever possible, using robotic process automation, virtual assistants and artificial intelligence to handle high-volume, otherwise-manual transactions. This frees up HR talent to focus on more value-add services, including the moments that matter.

Become a trusted advisor

To deliver exceptional experiences in the moments that matter, HR teams must use data and analytics to anticipate employee needs. These needs can be simple, such as recognizing that if an employee changes his personal address, he might require benefits changes or it may have implications on tax withholding. But, with analytics, much more profound insights can be uncovered, such as the likelihood of employee attrition increasing after three to five years tenure without a manager title.

With the help of these insights and a service-oriented model, it’s possible to move from call triage to a trusted advisor. By digging deeper to understand the event behind the call to HR and anticipating what an employee may need, trusted advisors are able to address both the spoken and unspoken intent of the contact – addressing the core employee issue and not just the symptoms.

The results can be profound – not just improving retention and reducing attrition, but improving workforce performance to the point of measurable impact on sales and operating costs. It also may make the difference in attracting talent in this new, more global talent ecosystem.

Four things to think about if you’re considering employee services

How do you get started? Employee services extend beyond the traditional HR functional boundaries. Consider early how to best incorporate those non-HR activities into the employee services model. Here are four lessons Accenture has learned across its engagements:

  • ‘Baby steps’ may be appropriate to consider, rather than a full-scale transformation to concierge-type services.
  • The idea of a trusted advisor in managing moments that matter is offered in addition to (not a replacement for) enabling technologies.
  • Technology enables the trusted advisor as well as employees and managers. Capabilities such as integrated case management help drive positive outcomes, engagement and make a high-touch approach more effective.
  • Moments that matter are relevant for all generations of the workforce. Even tech-savvy millennials prefer high-touch services for these moments.

Contact us to find out how you can attract and retain top talent by becoming a trusted advisor and delivering exceptional experiences for your employees when it counts—in the moments that matter.

Jill K. Goldstein

Talent and HR Business Process Services Lead

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