Thursday, June 7, 2012

Employee Relationship Management Ninja

Whenever you join a new company, there is a common problem that is seen everywhere. It is getting oriented with the company processes. If the company has more number of employees that can be counted on the fingers, then it is obvious that the newbie will be ragged and bullied by the gazillion computer systems that smash him on the face everyday.

One of the most common phrase you hear on an enterprise level application, "No it won't work on Chrome or Firefox, install Internet Explorer 6" (I am not making this up). I often wonder if microsoft pays these IT guys to promote them or why this uncanny love with Internet Explorer but whatever the fact is, these system are.

The systems are almost always slow, require some amount of dexterous skill and are working just because they are. Just like the governance in India these systems are working on some ancient wizardry. But the problem is, these enterprise system are necessary for governance. When we fill out a time sheet only then the billability is calculated and the expenses sheet is filled. The client is charged for the services provided and the company makes profit. So in the larger chain of events, the time sheet is directly responsible for the revenue growth of the system.

However, making it easier for employees is not on top priority. There are 800 million people on Facebook, each in the age group between 13 to 70 (more or less). No one had to teach them the system to use. They just did, looking at each other, collaborating, making mistakes. The enterprise systems are slow, buggy and have a big learning curve to them.

Its like telling the newbie on the first day of the job, "Hey to get into the team you need to do three backflips and two cartwheels.... start practicing."

Then there are those systems which have default values to be filled. Earlier in a company on day three I received a set of values to be filled in the application. Just fill it, they said. I had no clue what the values were. When I asked around, many people said they are filling those values for like three years. That made no sense, if there was a default value in the system, why ask employees to blindly copy paste them? Why not automate the thing completely. Its like ordering the pepperoni pizza and the delivery guy smiles and replies, "Here is your pizza, we have not put the pepperoni inside it. Here are pepperoni in the polythene bag, why don't you put it in yourself."

Well duh uh, I ordered a pepperoni pizza, so I should expect pepperoni inside it.

Employees in a way are also customers to the brand and organization. They are the internal customer to the brand and also need better relationship. In a CRM system, brands invest in relationship and in returns get cash. In the ERM system, you invest in cash and in return get a good long standing relationship with the employee.

Lets take a pledge of removing those bulky, buggy and slow enterprise level application and give your customer some blazing refreshing way to make their office fun.