Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Ask Employees What They Think When Designing HR Products


70% of employees hate the HR systems they have to use. I just made that up, but in my own informal survey of the 10 people sitting next to me, seven of them said they think the systems we use for payroll, benefits, HR, etc. was designed poorly. We use one of those “highly rated systems”.

Who do they ask when they conduct surveys about those systems anyway? HR people – right.

There is an old saying in the design world: Don’t just design for your customer, design for your customer’s customer.  The customer’s customer for HR Products is the employee.

But how many of the companies building HR products do that? I mean really do that? I will admit that I do not know all of the companies out there, I have not directly seen the processes of more than a dozen of them, but what I have seen is the results. Most of the software out there does not make it easy for an employee to do what they want to do.

You see it at trade-shows too. And you see it in that terrible sales and marketing stuff they send you. They don’t talk much about the employee. Oh sure – they give it lip service: Employees will love it, or It will make employees more productive. How do they know? Who did they ask? Mostly it is all about HR productivity and HR improvement and HR happiness.  HR is not happy if the employees aren't happy.

So to all you builders of HR product solutions; next time you build a new feature, don’t just interview a bunch of your customers. Interview their customers. Ask the employees what they need!