Torque’s Sally Acton shares why a personalised employee experience should be your top priority


Sally shares the two WWs and an H of the process, saying it’s easier than it seems.

The audience of a recent CHRO South Africa webinar titled 'Personalising employee experience at scale' heard from Farrah-Lynn Spies, group employee benefits and funds manager at Massmart, Gareth van Rensburg, MD of GoFETCH, and Sally Acton, MD of employee experience consultancy at Torque, about how to enhance your employee experience using back-end technology solutions.

Sally set the tone by saying that personalising employee experience at scale may seem like a daunting task, especially in large organisations but in fact, it’s easier than it seems.

She explained the two WWs and an H of the process: the what, why and how to go about doing it.

What does it look like? Sally says employees will experience a personalised onboarding and from the moment they join the company, be shown information that is pertinent to the brand they are joining, receive welcome messages from their teams, be shown training and development paths, career guidance, health and wellness information, tools to do their jobs, and benefits.

Why should you personalise employee experience? Sally says that it improves employee happiness and productivity in the workplace. Employee experience impacts everything in your business – productivity, retention, your workplace culture, and more.
Employees are consumers of the workplace. Happy employees are more productive and innovative. The better the employee experience, the better talent you attract and keep. And top talent know that they are the best and know they can make demands, that’s why they expect hyper-personalised rewards and benefits.

How can you start creating this personalised experience? The first step is to identify where the data comes from. Sally says you can get data from payroll, recruitment, training, staff satisfaction, productivity and absenteeism reports. The second step is to start with your basic segments, where your employees are located, their roles in the business, language preference, seniority and channels that are available for communication. The third step is to incorporate the data collected to find out how they feel about certain things, what they want from their jobs, what motivates them, where they need help, how some are dealing with mental health and fit they are in challenges.

Fara-Lynn Spies, group employee benefits and funds manager at Massmart said taking a data-first approach allows businesses to make informed decisions because then you are not making decisions based on a hunch or instincts.

She added that it also allows businesses to be proactive as you can use the data to provide insights into things like demographics and employee preferences so you can provide benefits that are valuable to the employee.

“Being able to also spot trends can also assist businesses to get ahead of the curve instead of just being reactive and I think a data-led approach can also lead to both intangible and tangible cost savings to businesses and enhancing the employee value proposition, which is key in retaining talent.”

Gareth van Rensburg MD of GoFETCH says that the benefit of a central database is that you have the ability to act and to move forward with your employee experience, objectives and priorities.

“The added benefit is that you have a stream of data coming into this repository from different places, so you have line of sight of leavers, arrivals, engagements, failures and successes and you are able to react to that and build automated processes and escalations.”

He adds that getting the segmentation right allows people to identify and to start targeting with precision people in different roles, locations, different brands, and so on.

The next level of data driven-HR
Sally also shared the two back-end technology solutions, Chatbots and Predictive Analytics.
She says chatbots are increasingly becoming powerful in the employee experience space especially with a geographically diverse workforce.

“Chatbots can use application programming interfaces (APIs) to look at different data sets and can be used effectively in assisting people to look at leave balance, their onboarding, working times, and benefit information.”

She adds that if you start to create really great enriched date sets on your employees you can start to use predictive analytics to have a look at when you are seeing trends of absenteeism and why. It will be able to tell you to get more staff or resize and when you need to start recruiting based on the trends you have seen in the past.

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