by Steve Stover

Finding the holy grail of centralized employee services

Aug 20, 2018
Cloud ComputingITSMTechnology Industry

How to deliver operational efficiency, provide a great employee experience, and ubiquitously deploy it via the cloud.

6 services swords rack weapons
Credit: Thinkstock

Running a business is far too complex to think that a one-size-fits-all solution can solve all problems. That’s why we see so many organizations stitching together Frankenstein-esque technology solutions out of spare parts. This type of organizational strategy can become disjointed very quickly. However, there are technologies and processes that unify a number of workflows and applications. For CIOs, these tools represent a veritable holy grail of technology.

With employees often remote or on the go, a cloud-based platform an ideal way to provide employee service management solutions. A cloud-based platform provides ubiquity for a modern workforce. It also goes without saying that the cloud offers financial benefits, such as avoiding up-front capital investments and maintenance contracts, and hardware investments to support the software.

One example of this is the employee service management platform, which helps empower CIOs in three core ways.

The power of a service catalog

A service catalog allows your organization to provide, in a single location, its available resources, including service descriptions and service level agreements (SLAs) that set clear expectations for service delivery time frames. A significant pain point for many employees when it comes to service delivery experience is the lack of transparency regarding the status of their requested services. A service catalog that includes clear SLAs for each of the available requests eliminates this unknown for employees, creating a better overall employee experience.

With a service catalog, your organization can provide streamlined services for every employee — regardless of which department is responsible for delivering a given service. This helps automate request processes by ensuring the same workflow happens for each request. Instead of manual input at every stage of the request process, employees need only to select the service in question, then click a button in an email to proceed with the request. This functionality improves employee efficiency and employee satisfaction, as they receive resolutions for their requests sooner and don’t feel left in the dark about the approvals process.

Not only does the service catalog make it simple for employees to find the services they need on the front end, but they also better enable service providers on the backend. By building out a robust workflow engine with your service catalog, you are able to get thorough data needed for completing service requests by providing employees with clear, detailed request forms.

Automate tedious tasks to improve business-wide efficiency

Burdening your teams with non-essential tasks is a surefire way to torpedo their efficiency. When those tasks are tedious, incident management and ticket submission processes that also take IT’s time, the entire company feels the productivity drag. This is particularly important because it eliminates much of the manual work that other systems require. For these reasons, a unified service management platform providing workflow and automation capabilities makes work more efficient for everyone.

One way employee service management solutions can alleviate the stresses of repetitive tasks is by integrating with a variety of different departments. Traditionally, many services within an organization require a laundry list of activities often involving stakeholders from multiple departments, many of which require manual data entry and tracking. With an employee service management solution that leverages automated workflows combined with business system integrations, all that changes.

Take the common HR new hire process for example. With a robust workflow engine in place, onboarding will be a breeze. The service catalog eliminates the back and forth email chains, enabling you to provide requesters with detailed request forms to supply you with all of the information you need to complete the request. Simply add the employee’s name, their start date, relevant devices and systems access, and more into the platform and watch the magic unfold. Once the request is submitted, automated workflows will trigger other events, such as alerting facilities they need to set up a new workstation, IT that they need to configure a laptop, and finance that they must add the new employee to the payroll system. If, during the onboarding process or further down the line, the employee has other requests, their information is already in the centralized platform and easily accessed by the necessary departments.

Engage with your employees like customers to promote growth

Company leaders should absolutely avoid treating their employees differently than they would treat customers. We spend most of our time and energy ensuring customers feel cared for and satisfied with our products and services. However, our employees tirelessly work to ensure an ideal customer experience yet we often overlook their own needs. This has to change. We must find tools and processes that allow us to treat employees like customers. It is easier to do so if we think of our organizations as providing services to employees.

The key is to provide employees with a cohesive service experience that they have come to expect as real-world consumers. A unified service management platform enables your organization to meet your employees where they are already working and engaged. Through application integrations with communication tools like Slack, mobile accessibility, 24/7 chat functionality, and more, you can engage with your employees in ways that they have come to expect in their daily lives.

Another way to streamline the employee experience is to provide employees with a one-stop shop service portal. Similar to support portals for leading consumer ecommerce sites, a portal can provide employees with direct access to virtually any resources they may need. From a knowledge base with self-service articles for employees who want to solve issues on their own and to one-click solutions that integrate with existing applications, business-wide. These types of capabilities limit the amount of legwork employees must perform to reach their efficiency potential.

When employees receive a positive and timely resolution to a service request, they can focus on their own growth and on impactful company projects. A full-featured employee service management platform that utilizes smart technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning  facilitates that seamless employee experience. From AI-powered smart suggestions for ticket categories or subcategories to automatically suggesting relevant solutions and knowledge base articles to employees and technicians alike, the service delivery process is optimized to make everyone’s lives easier.

In this set of capabilities awaits the employee service management holy grail

Individual workers are enormous assets, so your technology decisions must have their best interests at heart. As someone who manages your company’s technology platforms and regularly makes purchase decisions, you must look for unified solutions that address the needs of the entire organization. When considering solutions, remember the trifecta of value: deliver operational efficiency, provide a great employee experience, and ubiquitously deploy it via the cloud.