(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Ultimate Software, a leading cloud provider of people management solutions. Ultimate’s people-centric approach to its solution, services and its own culture have resulted in a customer experience that’s responsible for its 96% customer retention rate. Very impressive! Enjoy the post.)
As a business, we focus on the customer. Even if you’re in government or the non-profit world, you have someone that fills the role of “customer”. We want those individuals to be happy with our product or service. We want them to have a good experience when they interact with or organization.
The same philosophy holds true when we talk about software. The customer is a user and we want them to have a good user experience. Often the user experience is mistaken for how visually appealing an application looks. But the user experience is about much more than aesthetics. A great user experience enables people to perform a task efficiently and successfully, while at the same time being enjoyable.
Creating a positive user experience isn’t easy. Especially when you have a unique corporate culture. However, one company that’s allowed the user experience to drive the decision making process with excellent results is LivingSocial.
For those of you who don’t get their daily deals, LivingSocial is a marketplace to buy the “best things to do” in cities around the world. Based in Washington, D.C., LivingSocial currently operates in 11 countries worldwide and has 40 million users around the world.
As a company, LivingSocial is very aware of the importance of the user experience. Their members’ user experience drives sales. So when it comes to a human capital solution, the employees drove the process. LivingSocial included employees in the selection process for their HCM solution. Colleen Wood, vice president of human resources at LivingSocial, said they asked for employee feedback in a couple of key areas:
How would employees use the system? You can implement the fanciest solution in the whole world but, if no one uses it, it’s not really a success. An employee’s first interaction with LivingSocial is through UltiPro. Once an employee is onboarded, here are some of the things they can do:
- Receive company information and news
- Collaborate with managers on their career development plans and performance
- Access paychecks and direct deposit notices
- Request time off
What devices would employees use to access the system? When a majority of users will access the system using their mobile devices, then the system needs to be responsive. UltiPro Mobile is compatible with any HTML5-friendly smartphone or tablet browser so there’s no need to download anything. Employees are able to get company, human resources and payroll information instantly.
Now, just because LivingSocial allowed the user experience to drive their decision making, it doesn’t mean the business didn’t get the results they wanted. According to Wood, they’ve seen big results in two areas:
Onboarding – At LivingSocial, the employee’s first day is their most important day with the company. It needs to be perfect. UltiPro helps new employees feel connected, engaged, and productive from day one. New hires at LivingSocial are able to quickly complete and sign any required documents electronically. They can also connect with other team members through social media networks, choose a mentor, and select training opportunities.
Data and Reporting – The LivingSocial HR team was able to use the reporting feature to provide accurate, real-time metrics to the senior management team needed for strategic planning, compliance reporting and daily employee management. No more manual headcounts, report reconciliations, or data entry delays.
At Ultimate Software’s Connections conference, LivingSocial was recognized for their hard work in aligning their employee-centric culture with technology innovation. In announcing the award, Chief Technology Officer Adam Rogers said they demonstrated excellence in multiple categories. “With core values that include live hungry, makes strong moves, and champion good ideas, LivingSocial was a clear winner for our 2014 Innovation Award.”
My thanks to LivingSocial for sharing their experience. (And for continuing to offer great deals!) As HR pros, we have to think about how our employees will use technology to be effective and productive. Lucky for us, Ultimate Software collaborates with its customers to design solutions that are usable and effective, and doesn’t stop innovating. If you would like to learn more about Ultimate Software and the user experience, sign up for a quick demo here.1