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Consumerization of the workplace: changing employee experiences one “like” at a time
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Consumerization of the workplace: changing employee experiences one “like” at a time 

As consumers, we have become accustomed to everyday platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Facebook knowing our interests and providing tailored options. Digital experiences outside of work have made life simpler, easier and more convenient. Mobile – and cloud-based applications – have taken what is complex and made it simple, easy and intuitive. 

But no one would call workplace technology simple, easy or intuitive. Most modern workplaces function a lot like they did in the mid-90s, with information manually moving from department to department, outdated processes hampering results and a muddled infrastructure. 

With the changing demographic of the workforce and the war for top talent, the consumerization of the workplace – bringing the conveniences of everyday technology into our work lives – has become essential. When Generation Alpha – born between 2010 and 2025 – enters the workforce in 10 years, these digital natives who integrate technology into their lives flawlessly will expect no less from their workplace. When it comes to the never-ending war for talent, recent ServiceNow research of 500 human resources executives across 12 countries and 20 industries reveals that providing excellent employee experiences, enabled by technology, is becoming the new way to win.

Top talent can work anywhere, and they are choosing companies that embrace advanced technology to make work simpler, faster and better. A fundamental shift is under way, as organizations adjust to the fact that cool office perks are no longer enough. Employees want great digital experiences that make work, work better for them.

So, if the last 10 years have been the consumer technology revolution, the next 3-5 years will be the technology revolution at work. We’ve started to see this shift, as businesses have spent the last couple of years catching up with things like voice technology, cloud-based tools that enable remote work from anywhere and bring-your-own-device policies that permit employees to use the tech they’re most comfortable with. But there’s much more progress to be made.

There are processes and tasks within an organization that could benefit from cloud technology and AI offerings commonly included in consumer tech and services, like when smartphones use AI to recommend tasks or apps based on your habits, and the ability to reset a password from anywhere. The employee service experience is a major area that will see untold benefits from the consumerization of the workplace. A few opportunities for doing so include:

  1. Providing instant answers to questions. Businesses can reduce the HR case load and make it easier for employees to access the information they need by providing self-service access to HR information
  2. Automatically routing cases to the right people. Automated workflows can improve efficiency, accuracy, and time to resolution by automatically routing cases to subject matter experts.
  3. Orchestrating action across multiple departments. Automate workflows across departments like IT and HR to improve complex processes, such as employee onboarding.
  4. Allowing employees to request any HR service. Making it easy for employees to quickly make requests and get help minimizes the time they spend doing tasks that in the past have been frustrating and slow.
  5. Providing a consumer-like service experience. Using the consumer tools employees are already using in their everyday lives to provide a modern workforce with a personalized service experience that’s available any time on any device.

Businesses have been embracing digital transformation to create efficiencies, improve outputs and automate mundane tasks. However, if they want to compete in the talent war, provide a great workplace for the next generation of employees and get preparations in place to accommodate Generation Alpha, it’s time that the technology we use at work catches up to offering the same conveniences as the technology we use at home. Now, businesses need to focus on providing employees with personalized and seamless digital technologies, which is at the core of the workplace experience transformation. 

By Marc Lecuyer, General Manager, Canada, ServiceNow.

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