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Employee Experience Journey Automation for Employee onboarding

Have you implemented solutions like Workday or SuccessFactors lately?

Read this article for a full analysis of why Workday, SuccessFactors, or other HCM (human capital management) software are not your employee experience automation software for processes like employee onboarding and off-boarding. At the end of the article, you will also learn why companies are investing in employee experience automation software for onboarding, off-boarding, and important moments in between. 

"Employee Experience” is the Future of Work

As the dust settles and companies navigate the post-pandemic workplace, "employee experience" is fast becoming the way forward.

This is a chance for HR leaders to get ahead of the industry trend and make the most of it as fighting turnover and attracting top talent is a top concern for CEO's in most industries.

Employee Experience: The Future of HR Tech

Employee experience is so new, at least as a market segment of HR Tech, that it's still included under "engagement" in most reports.

Leading global HR Analyst Josh Bersin explained it best in his article published last week, "HR Technology Market Disrupted: Employee Experience is Now the Core."

He claims the new center of gravity within HR tech has shifted and that "Employee Experience and Talent Intelligence Systems are now even more important."  

Bersin explained that while Human Capital Management (HCM) platforms remain a necessity, it’s the value-add for enterprise companies that have shifted.

That is, the workplace has a need for a more mature and dynamic HCM model that is capable of versatility. 

These needs are best satisfied with more specialized HR tech that has the potential to integrate with existing HCM platforms.

Indeed, more than 80% of the global HR tech market revenue is generated by HCM platforms.

But the market share of HCM is slowly losing ground as the "engagement and connectivity" segment (which includes employee experience) continues to grow. 

In fact, "engagement and connectivity" is on track to nearly double its market share growth within HR Tech by 2025.

It's predicted to be the fasted growing market segment, seriously outpacing the stagnating "recruitment process" category.


Bersin explains that HCM was built on an industrial model adopted from the Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) systems blueprint.

The problem is that solutions like Workday, SuccessFactors wasn't designed for people - who constantly grow and change.

Companies are now adopting layering tools on top of the HCM for engagement, assessment, and learning and development, experience, automation to name a few.

The core of gravity within HR tech has shifted from HCM, the core platform to this newly identified layer, "employee experience, that make the employee experience better" 

What Employee Experience Is In Practice

The concept of employee experience also referred to as "EX," has been slowly evolving from an obscure topic in academic journals over a decade ago to an increasingly popular subject among HR professionals. HR is moving from being a cost center and compliance-driven, to being a strategic key stakeholder to ensure that companies can attract, engage and retain top talent.

Preppio’s own Talya Bauer, Ph.D. was the first researcher in this field over 20 years ago, where she coined the 4Cs of onboarding, which later became the 5C's and now the 6 C's of onboarding and other now well-established best practices.

For example, it is about doing more than just Compliance when onboarding new hires. 

Talya Bauers's research has shown that adding Connection, Confidence, Culture, Clarification, and Check back to the mix will help:

  • Reduce turnover
  • Get new hires up to productivity faster
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Help with eNPS and employer branding

The best HR teams spend a lot of time doing this work today and have been doing it for years. 

With employee experience automation software, HR teams can follow up on each new hire, their manager, and team members and save time at the same time by using personalized workflows that coordinate and orchestrate the communications between the company, new hires, and their managers, at scale.

Think about the difference in employee experience when you do not feel like a number on a spreadsheet joining a big company, you actually feel cared for and important!

By late 2019, when leading global HR Analyst, Josh Bersin wrote, "The Employee Experience Platform: A New Category Arrives," the phrase was gaining popularity.

The post-pandemic global workplace propelled the arrival of what some call the "human era" of HR. Employee experience fits this description well as it's an employee-centric or "human" focus.

Think of employee experience as advancement along with the evolution of HR maturity.

The graphic below illustrates this evolution, starting with a purely utilitarian approach to the workplace followed by productivity, then engagement, and finally [employee] experience. 

This evolution of employee experience also reflects a move from extrinsic to the intrinsic motivation of employees.

That is, "Employees work because they need a job" to "Employees work because they find meaning and reward beyond a paycheck."

This transformation is an increasingly popular trend in the post-pandemic workplace.

"Employee experience is not just a program to improve retention or productivity, it's now core to your brand." 

~Josh Bersin, The Crusade for Employee Experience: How did we get here?

Consumer Experience Mirrors Employee Experience

Employee experience is often compared to the customer, or consumer, experience in concept and practice.

The following similarities exist between these two experiences:

  • Employee personas are developed in much the same way as customer personas. 
  • The company (or employer) brand is recognized as a key aspect of attracting customers (or employees). 
  • Personalization for both customers and employees helps the company connect with both and increase engagement.
  • Journey maps are created to enhance the experience and understand the customer or employee lifecycle.

Thus, for both the customer and employee experience, it is essential to enhance and maintain a connection.

Employee Experience Automation software for onboarding, offboarding and other HR processes is a must for companies that want to attract, retain and engage top talent 

Josh Bersin shared in his 2019 article, mentioned above, a great example of how employee experience workflow automation can help drive employee experience and help companies modernize HR while saving money.

He paraphrased Diane Gherson, the CHRO of IBM, saying that

"… over the last seven years, IBM has reduced HR spending by almost 40% through automation, intelligent systems, chatbots, and more predictive applications."

When you think of "employee experience," you likely imagine connection, one-on-one communications, personalization, and quality over quantity.

And all of this is spot on. 

You might follow with, "Then how can automation support employee experience?"

The answer is that it is the only way for enterprise companies to do so.

Let's face it – it is simply not feasible for HR to physically connect with hundreds or thousands of employees to ensure they feel good or that they receive the right info. Using Excel spreadsheets and hoping managers follow checklists is not the way. Using HCM platforms is not going to excite new hires or your managers either.

Automation is the answer BUT not just any automation. It needs to be human-centric automation and not auto-generated e-mails that the top-of-the-line HCM systems are capable of.

With strategic planning, human-centric workflow automation is created based on employee personas to help personalize the experience and it is done through short and sweet messaging to employees in a format they love from their personal lives, SMS and chat messaging from onboarding chatbots.

Consider the following employee experience factors made possible by human-centric workflow automation using SMS and chat-messaging from chatbots in MSteams, Slack or Workplace by Meta:

  • New hires receive a welcome video from the CEO from an automated SMS.
  • Direct supervisors show they care by checking in regularly with employees, thanks to automatic "nudges and coaching”. from chatbots in MSTeams, Slack og Workplace by Meta" 
  • Buddy programs run smoothly as a gamified experience where buddies get praise for helping new hires
  • New hires receive a welcome package and access to tools without fail at the right time all with the help of automation that coordinates with IT.

How To Shift Your Focus To Employee Experience: Next Steps

The chances are likely that your company already has an HCM in place.

The good news is that incorporating technology to help you with employee experience automation is the easy part if you know what to look for.

Schedule a no-commitment call with Preppio and learn about different options specifically for your company.