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The Customer is King | Queen.

Who executes everything required to deliver on that?

Your employees.

Guess what else your employees are?

Also your customer.

The face of the workforce has evolved in the Experience Economy, the bar representing their expectations higher than ever before. In fact, the workforce of tomorrow is already here. Freelancers. The gig economy, complete with the rise of Uber and Airbnb entrepreneurialism. The mobile, distributed workforce. Think about the inbound, entry-level workforce who is steadily replacing your outbound, retiring workforce. How vastly different are the needs and expectations of those two demographics? How in the world do companies deliver a workforce experience that is as good as their candidate experience, which is supposed to emulate the customer experience? There is a tool, an intravenous, that can help meet the expectations of an increasingly mobile, social, multi-generational and multicultural workforce. And that’s HR Tech.

Company culture has the greatest effect on the success of an organization. Employee engagement enables companies to build strong, consistent brands that attract new business and reward customer loyalty. Engaged workers are more productive and provide better service than the average employee. None of that is news. The GOOD news is that technology can help empower, enable, and engage your workforce. The bad news is that there is so much technology to be considered. HR and workforce tech is the intravenous to engagement and culture inside and outside an organization. In fact, the days of HR tech being for HR people are over. 

The role of HR technology must be reimagined. It must be understood and embraced as an intravenous to the workforce; an amplification tool for your company’s mission, vision, values, performance expectations, culture, overall employee value proposition; both stimulator and shepherd of culture and leadership principles; a catalyst for connection and productivity; a unifying experience layer of who you are and how you work as a company, a division, a team. Yes, HR Technology should do all this. And it’s possible if you begin with the end in mind.


Do you agree? As technology continues to infuse our everyday work lives, where does HR begin in helping the organization maintain a strong, consistent brand and overall workforce experience? How do we ensure every tool employees touch communicates that brand experience and overall culture while simultaneously being leveraged to convey it? In other words, how does HR technology drive employee engagement?

And what about productivity, actually making it easy for people to do the best work of their lives? We’re in a productivity gap. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR (1IR: steam, 2IR: electricity, 3IR: computers, now 4IR: digital), is the least productive revolution we’ve ever seen. We’re working more hours but not getting more work done. We have so much technology at work – but really don’t know how to use it that well yet.

Workplace technology can help create clear, consistent, purposeful, focused work environments. Like any piece of technology, however, it must be adopted – or it’s useless. How do you drive adoption to addiction so that employees feel motivated, inspired, and ENGAGED?


  1. Flip the script: HR Technology is dead, Digital HR its modern replacement. Understand the difference between an HR Technology strategy and a Digital HR strategy, then create one.

  2. Your Digital HR Strategy must put the workforce at the center. Do you know your workforce? Who, how, when, why, with what tools and resources they work? Meet them where they are, and start by truly knowing where they are. Blueprint your org.

  3. Employees don’t work within modules, yet we deliver HR services to them as if they do. Break silos and focus on a holistic experience that supports employee journeys at moments that matter.

  4. Once you understand your workforce intrinsically, acknowledge their needs and expectations. Employees don’t want Performance Management or Training & Development or Retention programs… they want ATTENTION. They expect to be talked to by their leaders in a culture that thinks about them every day. Design for that.

  5. Speaking of design thinking, there are a myriad of skills HR probably needs in their toolbelt. Designing for the empty chair, change enablement, persona development and journey mapping, leveraging data to personalize and optimize technology, designing for the analytics outputs you need: these are not the skills of Old HR. New HR requires a growth mindset, an appetite for reskilling, and partners who can help.

  6. If you really mean it when you say Employee Experience, you treat your employee as your customer. Everything has to do with their satisfaction and the usability of the tools and services you provide them. Change your measures of success for HR Technology accordingly.

  7. Where are your talent blind spots? Does your HR Tech stack serve a holistic experience to all types of workers who provide value to your organization? Does your digital people strategy and the tools you use to fuel it take into account contractors and contingent workers, freelancers and gig workers, and outsourced talent? Remember your extended workforce.

  8. Vendors, this one is for you! Teach your customers how to treat their HR Tech investments like pets, not like rocks. The migration of HR Technology to the cloud, the rapid pace of innovation, optimization and continuous improvement cycles, and a fluid and dynamic workforce means technology needs to be monitored, nurtured, fed, trained, and exercised. Like a pet, not like a rock.

  9. Become OK with a best in breed buying strategy, let go of One Platform to Rule Them All mentality. There has never been so much and such good technology available to HR. We cannot possibly expect one or a handful of systems to provide ONE seamless, frictionless, relevant experience to the workforce. One platform is not the goal; one EXPERIENCE is the goal. 

  10. Revisit your digital HR vision often, aligning and realigning with the changing needs of the business and the evolving expectations of the workforce. Build a roadmap to future state, which ideally includes improved workforce experience, improved HR efficiency and effectiveness, and cost savings.

Begin with the end in mind. Flip the script. Embrace the new role of HR Technology. Get digital. And join this Leapgen webinar on Thursday, January 30, at 9AM PT / 12PM ET when Jason Averbook and Harry West explore Buying HR Tech in the New Decade.


Jess Von Bank is a 16-year industry veteran and impassioned evangelist of the modern employee experience. As both a former recruiting practitioner and an expert in bringing HCM vendor solutions to market, Jess looks to broaden executive mindset to better design and deliver a workforce experience that exceeds the expectations of talent and the needs of the business.

Jess is the Head of Marketing for Leapgen and runs FuelWork, a global community for digital transformation of workforce experience. Jess is an active community emcee and ambassador for women’s and girls’ organizations in Minneapolis, where she raises her 3 daughters.

Leapgen is a global digital transformation company shaping the future of work. Highly respected as a visionary partner to organizations looking to design and deliver a digital workforce experience that will produce valued outcomes to the business, Leapgen helps enterprise leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business. Follow Leapgen and Contact us if its time to get started.

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