User experience is the number one reason HR software buyers shop for a new system, so how do you get sign-off from your CFO for a benefit that’s essentially unquantifiable?
Justifying the purchase:
All too often I hear of HCM software purchases justified like this: “The improved user experience will save every employee 5 minutes a day resulting in a $9.6m saving per year”. This might be true, but demonstrating proof of these types of financial savings is often impossible, and any evidence simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
One option is to quantify the investment using benefits other than the user experience. The obvious example of this is to reduce HR tech costs with a “rip and replace” on-premise to Cloud migration.
Unfortunately the most obvious example rarely bears fruit, both in terms of vendor costs and data migration costs: the 2016-2017 Sierra-Cedar HR System survey reports an average cost per employee increase of 43% and 57% for large and medium-sized organisations respectively. Without this wildcard, you really need to get creative in building a numerically strong business case – a tough ask for even the most experienced of HR managers.
Quantifying the user experience:
Given the lack of across-the-board price suitability of Cloud migration, let’s persevere with quantifying user experience a little more. In doing so, it’s clear that there is one clear and indisputable fact: regardless of the size of your organisation, your employees are your number one expense by some margin.
It naturally follows that the most common investments are then justified by:
- Elimination of paper-based processes
- Reduction in the time to process transactions
- Increased legislative compliance
Here are two real examples that illustrate these points in the context of user experience.
Example #1. Approximately 50% of an organization’s workers are non-desk based and have little-to-no access to a desktop computer, resulting in them having to complete weekly paper-based timesheets.These are physically passed on to a manager for authorization before being handed to a local time keeper who manually inputs the data into HRIS for payroll processing, a time-consuming process which reduces the overall effectiveness of the entire workforce.
If the example organization provided a mobile time entry user experience, the same employees would be able to enter and view the status of submitted time, managers could approve time more efficiently and time administrators would be able to focus on more strategic responsibilities.
Example #2. When advertising for new staff, desk-based managers within an organisation must fill out an online vacancy requisition form. Unfortunately the confusing user experience and lack of validation on said form leads to a 90% error-rate, resulting in extra HR approval steps and feedback being added into the workflow.
During peak hiring seasons, this results in a HR processing backlog and a delay of up to 2 weeks in getting a vacancy live. This in turn leads to a loss of business as new staff cannot be hired quickly enough to meet customer demand.
If a clear, concise and properly validated online form were to be introduced, managers would get the process right when initially posting adverts, resulting in a more streamlined workflow, improved time-to-hire and valuable freed HR resources.
As you review your employee services and your current challenges one-by-one, you’ll find that improved user experience can help solve some very real business problems that are both quantifiable and justifiable.
As great as ROI is, you can often push the calculator too far. Some of the most valuable benefits of user experience are entirely qualitative:
- Improved engagement
- Stronger employer brand
- Increased data transparency
- Real-time insights
- An app people want to use
It’s these – perhaps more than the ROI – which deliver the ultimate value on your investment.
Get in touch with us today to arrange your free audit and learn how Applaud’s user experience can solve business problems and deliver a fast return on investment.