Leaning on technology to improve the employee experience has led the HR team at insurance company IAG to work more closely with both IT and analytics.

Speaking to Which-50 between sessions at ServiceNow’s user conference in Las Vegas this week, David Lahood, Executive Manager, Systems & Partnering at IAG, said the goal of his department’s transformation project was to make people’s lives easier.

“It’s really to deliver a service that’s available anytime, anywhere and in any channel. The only way that we can do that is through technology unless you staff a team of people to work 24/7,”  he said.

In a newly created role, Lahood reports to the CHRO and works closely with the CIO to build joint processes, frameworks and architectures.

David Lahood, Executive Manager, Systems & Partnering at IAG

“This role was created because there was a recognition that as we move to a more digitised and the technology-enabled environment, we needed one role to be the business partner to IT,” he said.

“It is probably the most one of the most important relationships that we have in the organisation because technology will enable everything. We need to make sure that we have a really strong advocate there when we are pushing for what we want to do.”

The insurer embarked on its HR transformation four years ago as an effort to move to a shared service centre and establish a case management system to track service levels and volumes.

The project has seen improved self-service capabilities, faster resolution of issues and data that was previously lacking to provide insights and opportunities to improve outcomes, Lahood said.

“For the first time we got a really good real-time view of how many cases were open, where they were coming from, what type of case they were and how long it took to resolve,” he said.

“Data is just invaluable to us because we can look at what it is telling us and how we change it if we’re not happy with the results.”

Further up the maturity curve, is the ability to use that data to predict employee behaviour for example, how likely someone is to quit.

“We’re working really closely with our analytics team who are using that data that we didn’t have before to look at where the places are in that employment relationship where some of those red flags are showing up.”

While the CHRO-CIO relationship is a crucial one,  ensuring employees have the best experience in their company means building relationships across the entire company to circumvent silos which lead to frustrating experiences.

“Yes the CIO is an important extremely important stakeholder, but effectively the CFO will be, procurement will be and security will be. Everything we do impacts all of our people, so if we really want to make sure we get the best cultural outcome we’ve got to start thinking more broadly from an enterprise perspective.”

From capturing that basic data, the next steps in the transformation is to integrate automated workflows in order to process employee requests with as little manual handling as possible. For example, when onboarding employees an HR query may need security clearance or IT provisioning. Instead of sending emails back and forth between departments HR teams are using digital workflows to feed requests to other areas of the business.

“With many organisations when you start sending off requests to different areas of business it can just delay the task being completed sooner,” Lahood said.

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