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Jason Smith
Chief User Experience Officer

How Hyper-Personalization Helps Improve the Employee Experience

Jul 03, 2018

By: Jason Smith

The issue of employee experience is becoming increasingly important. In fact, actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion per year.

As Lisa Loftis, a thought leader on the SAS Best Practices Team, wrote in her recent column on CMSWire, “companies that value employee experience as much as customer experience have a better chance at success than those that don’t.”

One way brands can hone their employee experience is through is hyper-personalization — a concept we wrote about recently with regards to improving the customer experience. 

To recap, hyper-personalization is an enhanced version of the personalization we all know and love. Rather than providing an experience based on a data-driven persona, hyper-personalization is about tailoring an experience for individual users. 

In this article I explain how brands can use hyper-personalization to improve their employee learning and development (L&D) — which will in turn enhance the overarching employee experience.

What is Employee Learning & Development?

Companies that do value the employee experience are investing heavily in learning and development (L&D). In the North American market alone, workforce training investment grew by more than 50 billion U.S. dollars between 2006 and 2016.

north-american-b2e-experience-v2

This investment has primarily gone into deploying learning management systems, bolstering intranets and strengthening in-house communication to promote knowledge sharing. It’s all part of the attempt by major brands to nurture their Business-to-Employee (B2E) relation, which has become a major part of the employee experience.

Employee Learning & Development Trends — And How Hyper-Personalization Fits In

Most organizations now have a workforce spanning four generations, and it will soon be five in the near future. From an L&D point of view, this is a significant challenge since each generation has their own learning style. Brands can no longer rely on a one-size-fits-all model, where a single piece of content can be used to train all members. 

A great deal of research has been undertaken to understand the learning styles of each generation, to which we have summarized below:

Baby Boomers (Born between 1946 and 1964) —This generation expects a more tailored learning structure. For baby boomers, the classroom continues to serve as a good learning environment, but they would like to have more interaction. They favor in-class participation, feedback and reflection.

Generation X or Gen X (Born between 1965 and 1980) — Gen X are often regarded as the most independent. They prefer enrolling on to self-directed educational opportunities which enables them to learn in their own time. 

Millennials (Born between 1981 to 1999) — The latest generation to enter the workforce have combined the learning preferences of the last two generations. They prefer highly personalized training on a self-directed schedule.  Millennials grew up with the internet so it should come as no surprise to see this generation wanting to have on-demand information through a channel of their choice.

Generation Z  or Gen Z (Born after 2000) — Gen Z are yet to enter the workforce in full force — but they are indeed the future of every economy. Like millennials, Generation Z also grew up with the internet, but a more advanced version of it. According to TalentMap, Gen Z are more likely to turn to their mobile devices for information and professional development rather than a seasoned professional. Though another study by Deloitte highlighted a concern about the potential lack of interpersonal skills that have been observed in this generation.

Why is this important, you ask?

These generations make up the majority of our workplaces. With hyper-personalization technology in place, brands can tailor messaging, L&D programs and other content based on generational differences. But the personalization doesn’t have to stop there.

How Hyper-personalization Can Improve the Entire Employee Experience

Although organizations are putting a great deal of time, money and effort into delivering a better learning experiences for their staff, many companies are failing to deploy hyper-personalization techniques which can enhance the process of employee training, and therefore the employee experience as a whole. 

Hyper Personalization

With right technology in place, brands can connect with their learning management systems, intranets and other platforms to take the employee experience to a new, more personalized level. For instance, by detecting behavioral patterns in search history, interests, classes taken and interactions with fellow employees.

When it comes to intranets, brands should seek to go beyond a one-size-fits-all model that includes company resources for all staff. dotCMs customers for example have chosen to build fully-fledged B2E portals, which provide a more personalized employee portal where employees can also access L&D programs, share knowledge and collaborate with colleagues. Unlike a traditional intranet however, a B2E portal is centered around individual employees, giving them every team member a unique, yet connected experience.

The Role of IoT Devices in Hyper-Personalization

IoT devices like the Amazon Echo aren’t just great for improving customer experiences — they’re ideal for helping to improve the employee experience, too.

Incorporating IoT devices into the employee experience can also streamline the employee experience as a whole. Deploying Amazon Echos within the office, for example, can help employees quickly access information, make calculations, convert currency amounts and schedule meetings. 

For example, Gettysberg College used dotCMS to launch their Alexa Skill which helped students and college staff alike with things like lunch menus and class schedules.

Don’t Just Get Personal, Get Hyper-Personal With Your Employees 

Delivering a hyper-personal employee experience can improve staff retention, job satisfaction and dramatically reduce the cost of recruitment. Plus, a healthy employee experience naturally leads to a better customer experience.

With the world’s current workforce being made up of several distinct generations, each one expecting something a little different when it comes to business-to-employee engagement, brands can no longer afford to adopt a one-size-fits-all solution to employee experience. Instead, it’s time to get hyper-personal.

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