Being Awesome at HR Service Delivery

Last week, my colleague Dwane Lay, who is pretty awesome, shared Scott Stratten’s The Book of Business Awesome and The Book of Business UnAwesome – a two-in-one entertaining and informative read – with me. The Awesome side of the book covered two concepts:  1) It discussed and offered several examples of how one employee (most of the time a front-line, customer-facing worker) became or changed the brand perception of an entire organization. 2) It highlighted ways that organizations used social technology to be awesome. In a nutshell, they used it how it’s designed to be used – to have a conversation, which involves listening and responding to people. Pretty simple right?


Enter the UnAwesome side of the book: a highly entertaining collection of cautionary tales – many of them from enterprise organizations – of companies or employees that screwed up big time and worse, tried to cover it up or did nothing to fix it. Many of the stories involve misusing social technology to disseminate a message, sell products or try and “trick” social media users into paying attention to or writing about them. But the reccurring theme of the stories on the UnAwesome side of the book was that organizations were not using social technology to enhance their ability to make personal connections with their audiences.


Stratten makes the point that successful businesses today are not that different than they were 50 years ago, they’re built on relationships. All social technology should do is make it easier for us to build relationships with more people. This is a difficult concept for marketers who are used to answering, “How many leads did you generate? How many impressions did you get? What’s the ROI on that?” I’ve never been asked, “Did that initiative build relationships?” Often, we are trying to produce the best short-term, on-paper results possible, which leads to some of the UnAwesome marketing tactics Stratten discusses, which in turn leads to UnAwesome and sometimes downright disastrous results.


I started thinking about how UnAwesomeness is not just reserved for marketers and social media users. Some companies are pretty UnAwesome at communicating with their employees (who are pretty valuable given that one of them can be the brand perception of the entire organization – see concept one, paragraph one). Many organizations are trying to do more with less when it comes to HR service delivery and achieve those good-on-paper results we like. They’re implementing HR Shared Services Centers, automating service delivery or outsourcing HR altogether.


Those are not bad things and if handled correctly, can not only save your organization money but improve your HR service delivery and your employees’ experiences with HR. The key is not to lose that personal touch or the opportunity to build a relationship with each employee. The technology you use to support your HR service delivery shouldn’t make responding to employees’ requests and communicating with them less personal, it should make it MORE personal.


Each time an HR agent fields a call or an email from an employee, they have the opportunity to not only provide them the information they are looking for quickly and efficiently but to connect with them on a personal level. HR support technology like an HR Case Management platform gives you the ability to do this from miles away with thousands of employees.


HR leaders, like marketers, sometimes forget that the purpose of technology should not always be to do more with less, save money, make money, or measure performance. Businesses are built on personal relationships. When we’re using technology, we need to remember that and see it as an opportunity to be awesome.

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