Let’s treat HR services like a commercial enterprise would

Learning to design for an App-driven experience




Today there is an amazing opportunity for HR services: copy the best of the best that we, as customers, experience in our private lives, package this into an App, and offer it to our employees as an internal ‘service.’

“We love the concept of a ‘frustration free’ HR experience, so we wanted to incorporate that into all of our measures," explains Matthew Willden, who up until recently was responsible for the global employee experience at Amazon’s HR services. As he tells SSON’s Barbara Hodge at Shared Services and Outsourcing Week North America, in Orlando, earlier this year, the real value is in identifying and then chasing down the negative outliers.

<<< watch the interview below>>>

“This kind of flips the Pareto principle of the 80:20 rule on its head,” he says. “What we learned was that we can have the biggest impact on engagement by fixing these outliers. For example, we looked at top percentile of negative measures – the kind that don’t get resolved as you’d expect and fixed them at source.”

This strategy uses Human Centered Design thinking, he explains, according to which if you search the extremes, and solve for those extremes, what you'll find is that you raise the bar on everyone's experience. HR shared services often guesses at experience, says Matt, “designing for ourselves.” But really, there is no substitute for measuring to establish a truthful baseline.

One word of warning: in analyzing feedback, or surveys, you need to recognize that averages are ‘lazy’ – they tend not to move and don’t tell you about real experiences, Matt warns. You need to find the more extreme groups [i.e., feedback] and get more granular to get to the real health of the service.

The consumerization of employee experience is where the focus is today. Think about the high-end experience we expect in our private lives. That is our target, says Matt, nothing less. “There should be a sense of pride in how we, in HR, provide services to our organization,” he adds.

Today, that means getting to mobile experiences. “Put it in an App, and offer self-service,” suggests Matt.

Customers want to do things when they want and where they want. But, if they need help, it needs to be quick to hand. We need to design services with this in mind, says Matt – nothing else will work quite as well.

Watch the interview here:


Note: SSON and ScottMadden will be producing a report on leading HR Services benchmarks in September. If you would like to reserve your free copy of the report, please email us now .