How to fix your Cloud HR Suite . . . if it does not deliver a world-class employee experience

What if your Cloud HR suite lacks a world-class Employee Experience (EX)? Replacing it is not usually an option, because it is an expensive and complex project that requires a lot of resources. So what can you do to keep your Cloud HR system at the core and still deliver a world-class employee experience? EX and HR service delivery (HRSD) specialists might just be the answer.

In this blog, Sven Elbert, Senior Analyst HR and Talent at Fosway Group, explains why and looks at priority areas for improving the employee experience.

Digital HR transformation, but what about the employee experience?

According to Fosway’s latest HR Realities research, only 38% of HR professionals believe that their HR systems are ready for the modern workforce.[1] This is surprising as many HR teams have put the digital transformation of HR as their top priority during the pandemic.[2] HR digitisation efforts have led to 67% of organisations now operating on a standardised HR core, which is generally considered a positive step for EMEA headquartered organisations that have historically operated on a mix of local payrolls with some HR Core consolidation.[3] But, only 15% rate the employee experience within Core HR as excellent, leaving employee experience as the top driver for changing HR systems.

1] HR Realities Research 2021/22, Fosway Group.

[2] HR Realities Research 2020/21, Fosway Group.

[3] HR Realities Research 2021/22, Fosway Group.


Reasons for not achieving great Employee Experience (EX)

A sub-optimal employee experience is now always the fault of HR technology. But when it is, there are a number of reasons why:

  • The Cloud HR Suite is not sophisticated enough to provide tailored, personalised experiences: Global organisations need to be locally compliant in moments that matter. Yet, their HR solutions are often unable to cope with local or role-specific complexities. In onboarding, for example, a one-size-fits all approach is insufficient, as a personalised experience creates significantly better business outcomes.
  • Implementation issues: Design decisions during implementation did not produce the desired EX. Often, workflows are not designed to be as frictionless as possible for employees, consisting of too many approval steps or involving too many parties. Implementation methodologies are also more waterfall-oriented than agile and iterative, making changes later in the process very difficult.
  • Disjointed HR ecosystem: HR is always an ecosystem not just a single system. But, if it consists of too many solutions that are poorly integrated, data does not flow in real time and needs to be maintained in multiple places, making it increasingly inconsistent. Also, users have to use several interfaces, causing a poor user experience and a potential lack of user adoption.


Counter-strategies to solving tech issues in Employee Experience (EX)

Depending on the main causes, you can apply different strategies to fix some of the tech issues causing a bad employee experience. These can range from a costly rip-and-replace project, to throwing more headcount at the problem or trying to reimplement larger parts of the solution. The following table shows a more comprehensive overview of potential mitigation strategies.



Potential strategies to fix the issues

Lack of sophistication

  • Rip-and-Replace project
  • Augmentation of experience through HR Operations team(s)
  • Workarounds in Office tools
  • Implement an EX- and Service Delivery specialist solution

Implementation issues

  • Identify and enhance/ reimplement the broken experiences
  • Introduce a more agile and iterative way of working and implementation

Disjointed HR ecosystem

  • System consolidation to reduce diversity in the ecosystem
  • Implement an EX- and Service Delivery specialist solution


Employee Experience and HR Service Delivery Specialists

More and more enterprise organisations are using employee experience and HR service delivery specialists. Their aim is to avoid a costly rip-and-replace and implement a globally consistent experience layer across their HR Core and their wider ecosystem. This significantly increases HR’s opportunity space.

For one, they can put additional headcount to processes that require immediate attention. This was done during COVID-19 when many new processes had to be supported during the very early lockdowns and few HR Core solutions were able to hold relevant data.

But, leaving emergency situations aside, the flexibility of the workflow engine, the portal component and the integration layer of an employee experience specialist provides HR teams with a toolset to implement local process variations to reduce friction and to create a consistent user interface layer that functions as an entry point for a diverse ecosystem. These components can also be used to personalise the employee experience and create a personalised user experience by showing relevant news, tasks and opportunities to employees.

With their flexibility and sophistication EX and HRSD specialists provide an appealing way to fix some of the issues of a Cloud HR suite. At least temporarily, until these solutions eventually further develop the sophistication, the personalisation and the portals needed.


About Fosway

Fosway Group is Europe's #1 HR Industry Analyst focused on Next Gen HR, Talent and Learning. Founded in 1996, we are known for our unique European research, our independence and our integrity. And just like the Roman road we draw our name from, you'll find that we're unusually direct. We don't have a vested interest in your supplier or consulting choices. So, whether you're looking for independent research, specific advice or a critical friend to cut through the market hype, we can tell you what you need to know to succeed.


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