Driving frictionless interactions via a single pane of glass

Felicia Jones (Digital Employee Operations Leader, Americas) and Gretchen Alarcon (VP and GM, Human Resources Service Delivery, ServiceNow) talk about how delivering a frictionless HR experience and interactions enables your employees to access the right information when and where they need it via a single pane of glass.

Felicia Jones
Felicia Jones (Digital Employee Operations Leader, Americas)

Felicia Jones: Welcome Gretchen. I’d like to start off by asking you: why can’t people have the same kinds of interactions with their employers that they experience outside of work? Shouldn’t good customer service principles apply here too?

Gretchen Alarcon
Gretchen Alarcon, VP and GM, Human Resources Service Delivery, ServiceNow

Gretchen Alarcon: Well they should, and in fact they can! There’s no reason why we can’t all have frictionless experiences at work as we do in other areas of our lives – and that’s why ServiceNow has partnered with Capgemini to create its Digital Employee Operations Powered by ServiceNow® solution.

Yes, thanks Gretchen, for the record, this solution gives an organization’s employees a single, simple, and frictionless route to the information they need. They can use the device they want; they can self-serve, or seek direct help from an HR team member; and they can get HR information securely, and how and when they want it.

That’s right, yes and it makes the whole process natural and approachable which is key. If it feels awkward and outcomes aren’t as expected people will abandon it. What’s more we can’t assume that everyone’s needs and expectations are the same, so the service needs to be personalized – wouldn’t you agree?

Absolutely. That’s why sentiment analysis is being used in the market to enable companies to tailor and enhance their responses.

I also think it’s the reason why we are seeing an increase in the need for voice technology so that busy people can interact swiftly and securely with self-service systems while using natural language processing.

I totally agree. Much of the progress we see in the world is because people have asked questions that begin with:why can’t we…?” So, here’s another one for you: why can’t we remove barriers not just within HR, but between HR and other, related business functions too?

That’s a completely reasonable question, because when employees get in touch with HR about issues, it’s highly likely that their questions will extend beyond a single department.

For example, a calendar look up might lead to requesting time off. Or a question about payroll might lead to looking up your retirement account for example.

In both of these cases, input is going to be needed not just from HR, but from various finance and administrative department functions. To keep everything simple, natural, and approachable, all of these need to be available from the same point of access – through a single pane of glass.

Right, and that single pane of glass can vary, depending on the person’s preferences and whereabouts. So the next “why can’t we…?” question here is one of inoperability.

Some people default to laptops, others to mobiles, others to collaborative apps, and others switch between them. This means that HR teams need to cater to all these needs seamlessly.

So, if someone is taking an online learning and development course, the system needs to be able to remember the stage they’ve reached on their tablet, so they can pick up from that point later. Because if that’s what they do at home with apps such as Netflix, why can’t they do it at work?

Exactly. And you shouldn’t need to switch apps to get the answers you need. Let’s say someone needs help with their password, ownership of that process might rest with HR, or it might be with the IT department. It’s the system that ought to know the right answer, not the employee.

When it comes to questions such as “why can’t people have the same type of interaction with their employers that they experience outside work?” or “why can’t we have Frictionless HR?” what’s implicit in the answers is the need to remove roadblocks in business processes. Would you say that’s right?

Definitely, and it also requires bringing more intelligence into the systems that drive them. Ultimately, the route needs to be single, simple, and frictionless. That’s why Capgemini’s Frictionless Enterprise is something we are really invested in at ServiceNow.

This approach dynamically adapts to the circumstances of individual organizations, and addresses each and every point of potential operational friction – whether that’s between departments, functions, applications, data sources, devices, or something else altogether.

I couldn’t have said it better myself! And the result is something that works the way employees instinctively expect it to work.

Which gets me so excited. I love living at that interaction between people and technology and building processes that transform HR and the employee experience with digital workflows. That idea really resonates with me.

That’s great to hear. Thanks again for your time today Gretchen, it was lovely talking with you.

Gretchen Alarcon is passionate about building products to transform HR and the employee experience with digital workflows. Recognized as a top HR tech thought leader, Gretchen brings a unique view of the challenges many organizations face as they reimagine the future of work.

Felicia Jones is an expert in the field of HR outsourcing and HR transformation, specializing in delivering HR solutions that leverage global outsourcing platforms, leading edge technology, and process standardization. She leads multi-site teams and projects to enable our clients to implement processes and systems that improve efficiency, reduce costs, and align HR as a strategic value-added business partner.