I’m writing a short series of posts about trends I think are happening in the world which will come to affect the way HR carries out its work. My first was about HR and Big Data. In this one I’m going to talk about HR and User Experience, or UX as it’s commonly referred to. HR gets involved in so much (or at least has the potential to) in the workplace today that staying in the mainframe of what we think we should be restricted to is old hat. There are ever interesting ways to create an exciting workplace, and as technology and time moves on, we will have ever more innovative and creative ways of servicing the people we work with.
When we consider UX, first we need to get a grasp of what it’s all about. Thankfully, it’s an easy enough topic to understand in a very educated sense. UX is about making a journey easy, meaningful and purposeful for the user. Well, that’s my definition, which I think captures most aspects of UX. Consider when you visit a website and want to get to a specific piece of information. Is that user journey easy? Were you able to get the information? Did you have any difficulties in getting there?
Consider the use of mobile apps. Is the purpose of the app clear from the outset? Did you achieve your task quickly and without hassle? Was the information displayed clear and useful?
Consider going to the library. Was the signage clear? Did you spend longer in the library than you had intended to? Were there helpful prompts about where you needed to look?
Getting the clear idea, yes?
UX, then, is about regular daily interactions that we face. Some of those are cumbersome and hear-wrenchingly difficult like putting in a planning application for building work on your property, and others are blindingly easy like buying a lottery ticket.
So what interactions do the people at work face that have direct relations to HR?
– Finding out what benefits they have
– Applying for a job
– Reporting in sick
– Finding out what training they can attend
– Talking about difficulties with team members
– Arranging inter-departmental workshops
– Informing about maternity/paternity leave
– Listening to concerns about working conditions
– Reporting an incidence of bullying
– and the list goes on…
We have very good processes that will ensure we deal with these various pieces effectively. Which is partly what people want. Mostly, though, people don’t want to be dealt with efficiently. They want to be dealt with like people, by people. There is a place for efficiency to meet heart, and that’s where I think the future of UX for HR rests.