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Why Are Large Services Firms Investing in Connected Employee Experience?

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As the world settled into the remote working mindset, professional services were forced to quickly adapt to the changing norms. To keep thriving in what has now become a hybrid-digital world, these firms had to rapidly adopt virtual processes and these changes aren’t going away anytime soon. It is becoming increasingly clear that traditional approaches to employee experience and engagement are no longer fulfilling the evolving needs of modern employees.

Without a solid employee experience, you’ll never be able to engage your workforce. This means that your business will be bringing in an average of 2.5x less revenue than a similar business with a highly engaged workforce. On top of that, you could stand to lose as much as £30,000 per employee lost to turnover.

Let’s take this global professional services enterprise with over 100k employees that had 20+ time tracking systems spread across their global operations with supporting payroll applications, rule engines, and even legacy ERP systems. As the time data was split across multiple systems that would not talk to each other, there was a severely constricted view of global employee time data and reports. There was also a lack of real-time data to drive project decisions faster. Despite being a single organization, there was no single platform to unify all the data coming in across multiple departments. All of these issues hampered employee productivity and ultimately resulted in unhappy employees. To address these challenges, the CIO launched a one company, one platform initiative to focus on a connected employee experience across their global organization.

Employees want their organization to provide a workplace experience that matches what they’ve come to expect as customers and in other areas of their life: Meaningful, personalized, user-friendly and digital. In today’s digital environment, transitioning from legacy point solutions to cloud-based platforms is imperative. With that in mind, organizations need to leverage solutions that deliver a reliable and intuitive experience for all employees and this should be a priority for platforms that drive business critical processes and higher project profitability.

While organizations are breaking down traditional barriers to communication and knowledge sharing by integrating new technologies and modernizing their business model, they are still ignoring the fact that employees are unhappy with current time tracking systems. Many organizations still use manual processes such as spreadsheets or non-intuitive homegrown systems to capture time and project work. And as one can imagine, this Gartner survey reveals that only 66% of employees feel that they are given the right technology to support remote work.

To overcome that, forward-thinking business leaders are aiming to design a connected employee experience with the right tools, approaches, and mindset to create a positive ripple effect on their business. But what is causing this disconnected employee experience?

Point Solutions are not Designed for a Hybrid-digital World

If you are a large service organization with multiple or global locations, looking to expand to new markets in a hybrid digital era, your point solutions, backend systems, or excel-driven processes will not serve your needs for the future and help you scale and drive a competitive edge.

Employee experience is everything. But has your organization kept up? Research from Gallup shows that firms with high employee engagement rates are 21% more profitable.

Point solutions ranging from an excel-driven time tracking system, home-grown time tracking solution, or a legacy ERP system have a single-minded focus on resolving a single functional gap and do not offer an attractive proposition as they are inherently limited in their flexibility and scalability. The shift in business models and growth strategies is forcing professional services firms to invest in a cloud-first platform to accelerate their growth. But, the changing preferences of the modern workforce make these point solutions all the more unsuitable for the new working environment.

According to IDC, Mobile workforce will account for 60% of the workforce (approximately 93.5 M) in the U.S by 2024 giving firms one more reason to ditch point solutions. These point solutions are not designed for a mobile-first generation. In today’s ecosystem, where both employees and brands prioritize a unified and connected experience across all channels, a siloed approach offered by point solutions is a bad idea. The lack of an intuitive UI, the absence of mobile-readiness, and the convoluted user experience of these solutions have a massive impact on the productivity of the new employees.

Designing a Connected Experience for a Modern Workforce

When businesses were disrupted due to global lockdown measures, professional services firms quickly realized the value of diversifying their revenue streams. As a result, more services organizations are globalizing their efforts and attempting to enter new markets, driving competition to incredible levels. This has forced services firms to develop new approaches to drive more business with fixed-price projects and other models. At the same time, they are also shifting towards a remote and hybrid working environment, employees are beginning to collaborate and communicate with each other in remarkably unprecedented ways.

Services firms expanding to global markets need a platform that can help them scale their business. These organizations are beginning to understand that point solutions are no longer capable of supporting their evolving needs. They are now looking for integrated platforms that consolidate their time data into a single location, centralize their compliance needs, and harmonize their data governance model while still offering the flexibility and configurability needed by a global organization.

With automation and artificial intelligence powering a cloud-based platform, it becomes possible to get all data captured and approved intuitively, allowing the relevant departments access to the latest time data at their fingertips. These platforms eliminate the data silos created by point solutions in the organization, giving stakeholders a greater visibility around processes such as resource management and project finances, while automating end-to-end business processes.

With AI capabilities, real-time data is prioritized, ensuring that firms can make data-driven decisions even on the fly. Not only can they win more bids but also maximize the profitability of each project they undertake.

Imagine a world where there is no need to enter timesheets for time tracking. It is all pre-configured and all the data is harvested automatically and the system is constantly evolving. That is what a truly modern, integrated platform can provide.

An Integrated Unified Platform – Laying the Foundation

Often professional services firms do not realize the need for an integrated time tracking platform until it is too late. By the time they do, they already have several point solutions to track time spread across different departments and, for global organizations, even locations. Since the organization has grown large, it becomes harder to unify the data from all the various sources and deliver a better experience for its employees. In addition, they do not have a centralized global governance and compliance system in place, which only adds to the list of concerns and impacts the bottom line with potentially hefty fines due to non-compliance.

Replacing all of those point solutions with a single integrated platform offers significant value by ensuring a friction-free time capture process. The consolidated landscape allows for employee time to be tracked across projects, billing, costing, and payroll automatically.

Even a 1% increase in resource utilization can result in a significant impact on overall firm profitability.

Moreover, it is easier to configure one platform rather than multiple solutions to allow for flexibility in workflows. This is particularly valuable to a global organization that must cater to the varying local labor laws and compliance practices, thereby supporting global governance.

As it is a single unified platform, organizations gain real-time visibility into time, projects and resources to accelerate operational profitability across the organization. It enables data standardization across multiple systems to support efficiency and collaboration.

An integrated platform also eliminates the fragmentation of employee experience by providing a uniform modern UI across the organization. With a mobile-ready interface, it supports the demand for mobility and flexibility among millennials and Gen Z employees, which allows them to be more engaged and productive.

Want to understand the business case for unifying enterprise time tracking for your organization? Sign up for our time tracking workshop customized to your organization’s unique needs.

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Shivani Bajaj


Shivani Bajaj

Shivani is an Director - Product Marketing at Deltek | Replicon. She is a technology enthusiast who loves tinkering with technology products. Deltek | Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Deltek | Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.


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