Ultimately the success of any technology will be determined by how well-planned, rigorous and smooth the technical process of setting it up is and, as important, how well employees are equipped and motivated to use it over time.
It therefore makes sense to follow a simple - but detailed - roadmap that spells out the different stages of the technology journey. These are: planning and detailing what the company wants to achieve with the new technology; designing the technology to meet those specific requirements; implementing the technology and rolling it out to employees and, finally, providing users with reliable, on-demand post-implementation support as they engage, and become familiar, with the new technology.
The planning process is critical because without a plan, the implementation of the technology is sure to fail and a considerable amount of money, time and effort will be wasted.
“For all the dollars spent by American companies on R&D, there often remains a persistent and troubling gap between the inherent value of the technology they develop and their ability to put it to work effectively.” - HBR
It is at this stage that the company and the development team need to sit down together and specify the exact business requirements and how the mobile wallet can deliver on these.
As part of the planning process, the teams need to develop a detailed picture of what they expect the mobile wallet to do and achieve, including its functionality, customised services it will offer employees and how to brand it so that its look and feel helps build a solid and ongoing connection with the employer. The design of the mobile wallet would include the application of your company logo, corporate colours and branding.
The development and company teams will also need to take into account the inevitable challenges they are likely to face in getting users on board with the new technology and plan carefully for this too.
As VM Ware research has shown, there are many challenges that stand in the way of delivering the optimum digital employee experience. These are captured in the graph below:
This highlights how crucial it is to get the planning and implementation right. VM Ware sums the difference between doing it well and just getting it up and running, “In a nutshell, companies that make apps available to employees outperform those who don’t. But companies that make apps available, and highly accessible in the ways employees choose and prefer, significantly outperform those that don’t.”
DELOITTE OFFERS INSIGHTS ON USING TECHNOLOGY FOR EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
Technology is here to stay, and employers have an opportunity to embrace and incorporate its benefits internally as they have externally. Best practices from the way digital has transformed the relationship between companies and consumers have the potential to guide that journey, increasing engagement, well-being, and ultimately firm success. Yet there are some important considerations to remember.
First, unless companies eliminate anxiety associated with technology, even the most wonderful digital transformation strategy may fall flat. Second, messaging strategies are just as important as implementation strategies. Further, companies should put the same level of thought and effort into internal communications as they do external communications. Third, the experience should be across all channels with physical opportunities mixed with digital—just as it is for consumers. And finally, organizations should understand the importance of choice and individual preferences. Workers should be guided toward digital transformation without foisting it upon them—they need choices and guidance, but get to have the final say.
Lasting transformations take time. Revolutionizing engagement between companies and consumers didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t without hiccups and hurdles. But recognizing the fundamental nature of the employer-worker relationship has changed—and, with it, the workforce social contract—allows companies to embrace the opportunities presented by digital technologies and again rewrite the psychological contract that underpins how we all spend a large part of our lives. - Deloitte
In their Using Technology for Employee Engagement analysis, Deloitte reiterating an important point by recommending that companies treat employees as customers in rolling out any new digital offering.
“If technology has transformed how companies interact with customers, can it do more to revolutionize their relationships with the workforce? After all, workers share the same basic marketing-funnel journey: We consider opportunities, evaluate potential companies, commit to working for an organization, and the company then either earns our trust and loyalty, or we seek a better opportunity.”
Once planning for the mobile wallet solution has been done, the next step is to design it. This is when the technical configurations of the wallet will be spelled out and the payroll system and the specifications for the additional financial wellness functionalities will be developed.
In creating the mobile wallet, the development team will customise and brand the software so that it is specific to the company’s requirements. It will build in APIs that allow the mobile wallet to integrate with existing software systems like Quickbooks, Salesforce, Xero and other accounting platforms where needed.
This is the crux of the power of a mobile wallet for the employer; that it can integrate with existing and future systems. It means that when a company decides to use a mobile wallet to pay employee salaries, it does not require a complete overhaul a payroll system or other software systems that have probably been in use for some time.
The design phase would include bank account and credit cards integrations and developing the technology to ensure the employer has full control over the payments and users.
To ensure the mobile wallet has flexibility and the ability to adapt to future technological developments and changing company needs, the mobile wallet should ideally be built as a series of microservices.
A mobile wallet built on microservices infrastructure is far preferable to a monolithic infrastructure because the former ensures the wallet’s digital flexibility. Built on a set of independent applications and developed, deployed and maintained separately to deliver on different business requirements gives the company flexibility to add, improve or remove functionalities along the way.
The next step is the actual implementation of the mobile wallet into the company’s technology ecosystem. This involves two processes: the technical implementation of the technology and, as important, the roll out to employees.
The technical implementation of the mobile wallet begins with the software development kit (SDK). This is the set of software development tools needed to set up the applications, software framework and hardware platform that together comprise all the technical components needed to implement the mobile wallet technology within the company and on employee mobile phones.
The development team hands this over to the company’s IT department and then they partner with the IT team to ensure implementation is smooth, efficient and, ideally, trouble free throughout the business.
It doesn’t end there. Training and post-implementation support are crucial in securing the successful implementation and take up of the mobile wallet. Generally companies are dealing with an employee’s base that has diverse views and capabilities when it comes to digital technology. As Naully Nicholas writes in Medium, “As with any change, a company’s digitalization causes similar employee behavioral patterns: 10% are pioneers, 20% resist change and 70% are ready to follow if they understand why the change is happening.”
Mark van Assema, the Netherlands-based founder of the HRTech Review, suggests a way of dealing with in Entrepreneur magazine: "Just as in consumer tech, like social media, it works best to focus on early adopters -- the tech-savvy employees -- and make sure [your] HR tech really works for the process it is intended to support. Once it works for that select group, you can put them on the stage to lead by example."
This highlights how important it is to understand the digital appetite of your employee base and to tailor the rollout and ongoing support around them, taking into consideration the different levels of comfort with digital technology.
It also shows how closely all parties to the introduction of the new technology need to work together – and monitor ongoing engagement. Just as the technology is designed to be adaptable to new circumstances, so should the development team and the company’s executives, IT and HR teams.
Mobile wallets offer companies the exciting opportunity to uplift and engage in the lives of their employees in a realm that counts – their financial wellness. The future of employee engagement is here, it just needs to be clearly envisaged, cleverly designed and effectively implemented.