Home! Home! Sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home!
Those words feel as true today as they were in 1823, when they were first sung to an audience in Covent Garden, London. It’s probably the reason that Home, Sweet Home became John Howard Payne’s most famous lyric and still adorns everything from tea towels and door mats to wall art and greetings cards today.
And it’s because we love our homes so much, that we want them to feel welcoming, look great, and make the best of every positive feature there is—not just for us, but for everyone who enters.
We want our home to reflect who we are. We find satisfaction and contentment in creating a warm, welcoming and inviting interior that’s clean, functional, stylish, and presentable. New research backs this up too, with over three-quarters of Brits calling themselves houseproud. After all, our homes have the power to make us feel good, to motivate us, and to inspire us.
And it’s not a far stretch to apply the same principles to organisations and their people. They too want their ‘homes’ to reflect their culture. They too want to exist in clean, functional, stylish, and presentable environments. They too understand that working environments have the power to motivate and inspire.
Before the pandemic it was office spaces that were considered the home of an organisation.
But since the pandemic a lot of organisations have found themselves physically homeless. And for those that still have offices, they’re no longer the central, bustling hub that they used to be—the spaces that could communicate brand and culture with every sign, desk, floor finish, feature, and flourish.
So, now we’re not going to the office much, what passes as the universal organisational home?
The answer is their digital environments. And when it comes to their workforce, one of the the principal digital offerings for most companies is their HR portal.
So, it’s time for HR managers to get a little houseproud and start asking themselves, “What does our HR software say about us?”
First impressions are lasting impressions
It’s not just a saying—it’s based on some of the most robust cognitive biases in psychology. The primacy effect means that, all being equal, we’re more likely to remember the first experience or information in a sequence, above all subsequent experiences or information. While anchoring bias describes our tendency to base our judgments, opinions, and interpretations on our initial experience or information.
And once our first impressions are formed, they’re likely to stick around, for better or worse. That’s because confirmation bias means that we’ll carry on focusing on information that confirms those hastily formed opinions. While the halo effect extends a positive first impression in one aspect of a person or object, to all other aspects of that person or object.
So, what does that mean for your choice of HR software?
Give your people the keys to the door
The first thing that every HR system needs is an employee portal. It’s no good giving your people a digital environment to rival TikTok’s LA offices, then making it difficult, or even impossible, for them to come and go as they please.
That means your HR software needs to be reliable, have high availability, and be accessible from anywhere at any time.
For example, a progressive web app, which incorporates the enhanced capabilities and reliability of a native app with the accessibility, speed, and barely-there system impact of a website, could be the perfect choice.
And it’s not just for the obvious reasons. It seems logical that there’d be a connection between aesthetics and emotion, and so it’s probably not surprising that studies have proved a beauty-happiness connection.
But did you know that there’s a strong correlation between aesthetically pleasing design and perceived usability? Yup, people are more tolerant of usability issues if your software looks good.
And there isn’t a software on earth that can claim to be forever bug-free. So, looking good is an important contributor to positive employee experience. And of course, if you’re happy to be somewhere, you’re more likely to stay.
Roll out the welcome mat
Provide a great onboarding experience.
Don’t leave it to fate. Don’t leave it to your line managers. And don’t leave it to the new starter to figure out for themselves.
If it’s a clunky, complicated, and careless process, then that’s the lasting impression that new starters will carry with them into the first few months of their employment, and maybe beyond.
But choosing a software that allows you to tailor onboarding for different roles, departments, or offices, and automate repetitive aspects of the process, can win major points with new starters. And if you build an engaging, comprehensive, and reusable onboarding process, then every new starter will bring a positive new attitude into the organisation.
Reflect company culture at every opportunity
In terms of HR software, the company culture exists where the digital workplace meets human goals and behaviours. And getting the company culture that you want, doesn’t just happen. It must be carefully curated, supported, and developed through procedures, policies, and communication. And once in place it can organically grow, as well as be nurtured with leadership-by-example and continuous employee feedback.
HR software that allows you to tailor the employee experience to your own company culture, with everything from customisable workflows to company branding will help you to standout against other employers. And powerful analytics and reports mean that you can encourage the natural evolution of your company culture as your business grows or encourage others to support the company culture whenever it’s needed.
HR software that helps to support company growth is essential. But it should also support the career development of each person within the organisation, whether that’s through reskilling, upskilling, lifelong learning, or access to new opportunities.
That’s the kind of digital environment that fosters loyalty, employee satisfaction, and a positive brand perception.
Come one, come all
What message does it send out to your people if your HR system can’t give the same great experience to everyone?
It says that everyone is valued, but some are more valued than others.
Whether they’re gig workers, freelancers, zero-hours’ contractors, consultants, or any other type of non-standard worker, everyone should feel part of the team. And everyone should be able to enjoy the same great service from the HR department.
Thanks for everything. Come back soon!
In a time when talent is in short supply and temporary workforces are becoming more common, the offboarding process is an often overlooked recruiting and promotional opportunity.
Just as the primacy effect can be used to HR’s advantage during onboarding, so the recency effect can be put to good use during offboarding. Departing employees are likely to tell others about their experience with your organisation and their last experience is the one that will stand out. So, their story is more likely to be positive after a warm and respectful send-off.
Build them up, show your gratitude for their service and talents, and show your support for their future. And make any transactional processes, like returning equipment, as smooth, standardised, and hassle free as possible.
That’s it, folks. That’s our tour around the ideal digital working environment. An HR software and system that says welcome and make yourself at home. A system that’s clean, functional, stylish, and presentable. An environment that’s motivational, inspirational, and makes people feel happy.
So, if the question is “What does our HR software say about us?” there can’t be a better answer than that.
After all, SenseHR is the software for companies where People matter.