Why you should treat your employees like your customers

Why you should treat your employees like your customers

With the world currently in the grip of a digital evolution likened to the industrial revolution, the way we go about our lives is increasingly linked to what we can source from our smart phones, tablets and laptops.

But should our reliance on tech stop at home, or should we be able to integrate the right-here-right-now aspects of digitisation at work too?

Leighanne Levensaler, Senior VP of Products at Workday is adamant that not only should this be the case, but that employers need to start engaging with their staff the way a company would engage with their customers.

Speaking to HR Grapevine, she highlighted the importance of giving employees the benefits of ever-evolving tech.

“Consider what we experience in our personal lives as consumers,” she said.

 “The expectation for transparency, the information access that we have, the ability to support our decisions for things such as where we go to dinner or what flight to book - we are so accustomed to being empowered and equipped with everything we need right at our fingertips on our phones,” she said.

“If I can’t do something on my phone I get annoyed. We have all these expectations, and we bring them to work – but yet then our work environment doesn’t necessarily reflect how we want to work.”

While these frustrations clearly lead to negative implications for employers – such as low productivity or engagement – Levensaler said the issue can be alleviated by changing the way companies consider their employees.

“What’s interesting is that companies have begun to understand their customers with a lot more sophistication and the customer experience is paramount – they spend a lot of time tracking customer behaviour, targeting customers and really knowing every move a customer makes,” she said.

“What we’re starting to see in HR is that companies are thinking of their employees as customers too.

“This digital revolution is really affecting the way we engage with employees, taking a cue from the way we interact with customers and merging it with what we have in our personal lives, it's coming together and accelerating.”

This means integrating systems which allow user interface in a similar way to the apps that workers use in their personal lives.

And while this may seem to be a tract only appealing to the younger generations in the workforce, Levensaler believes it benefits all employees.

“There are five generations at work, and they all share a common trait in that they want to be empowered,” she said.

 “All five generations are consumers as well so I think tech appeals to the idea of ‘treat us as if we are your customers and equip us with what we need’.

“I think the expectations the millennials have is higher as they are digital natives, they don’t know life without this ubiquitous data so their expectations are a lot higher - but everyone benefits and is well served by this approach.”



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