Increase Employee Engagement with a Worker Experience App

October 6, 2014 John Gorup

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We recently had an interesting discussion at Appirio. The discussion was around, are we a “customer first” company or an “employee first” company? This may seem like a philosophical question, but the answer can often play out in many day-to-day decisions. It’s also a tough question to answer. Our company mantra is “Customer, Team, and Fun.” The first in the list is “customer”, but the next two are about the employees. What also makes this question difficult is that for a business to be successful, they have to be great at both parts.

Salesforce has produced great applications for companies to deepen their relationships with their customers. Looking at the Force.com platform itself, it is not that difficult to use it as an application for deepening your relationships with your employees. At its heart, Force.com is a solid tool for workflow, mobile-readiness, and social capabilities. Because of this, we see a Worker Experience application built on Force.com as a key part of an HR technology strategy.

We have built a template Worker Experience application for an imaginary company called OpaCity. The idea was to build out sample functionality for a company that wanted to deepen their relationships with their employees. The following are just three of the use cases we see fitting into a Worker Experience application. The first one is about making sure your employees have the same customer service experience as your customers. The second takes a look at using Force.com as the base for your Wellness program. And finally, we take a look at a way to use Force.com to record employee feedback.

Treat your employees like customers.

The saying, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes,” is all too often true at companies. Companies that roll out all kinds of customer service programs can often have stale and confusing employee service technology. Carving out an HR helpdesk out of the Service Cloud is not that difficult. Also using Salesforce Communities makes creating an application to build your helpdesk an easy task.

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The above screenshot is the top of our OpaCity Worker Experience community. Having one place to create cases for Human Resource problems or IT help makes life simpler for employees. Below we see the interface for creating HR Helpdesk cases.

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Using record types, case types and sub-topics we can make sure that cases get routed to the right people, just like customer cases.

Treat your employees like people.

Corporate wellness is becoming an increasingly important employee program. At Appirio, we have developed our CloudFit program to keep our team fit and to promote a healthy culture. We have also  built applications on Heroku that integrate with FitBit, and Salesforce’s Wear Developer Packet is making it easier to incorporate wearables. But the simplest thing to do is use Chatter as an encouragement tool.

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Wellness coaches have access to a Chatter group we join to promote programs, answer questions, and give encouragement.

Give your employees the recognition they deserve.

Is there anything more of a bummer in the corporate world than the yearly review? With our OpaCity demo, we use Chatter as a front-end to push data into Workday. In this case, Workday is the “permanent record” of feedback for employees. Users simply have to use the hashtag “#shoutout” and @-mention a fellow worker in a Chatter post (see below)

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From the record in Chatter we kick off an integration to the employee’s Feedback record in Workday (see below).

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Now, when HR starts a review cycle of an employee, all the feedback from his peers can be considered. Force.com acts as a system of interaction, while Workday acts as the system of record. Organizations that have both Workday and Salesforce should look into connecting the two as a part of their IT Strategy.

Everything a company knows about customers is true about employees. There is a competition for talent, and building an application to deepen the relationship between worker and company is a good strategy. This is especially true as workforces become less tied to the dying “cubicle culture” that has been the norm for the last century. So whether your company is “customer first” or “employee first,” Force.com can be a great platform for both.

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