The happier employees are, the better your business.
That’s really as far as you have to read; the rest is just proof and some insight into how to make it work for your company.
You’re still reading, so let’s start with the proof. A Gallup Study shows organizations which offer an exceptional employee experience typically see:
- 17% higher productivity
- 21% higher profitability
- 24% lower turnover
Okay, read those numbers again because they’re really quite spectacular. Then do a little of your own math to see what it means for your organization in terms of real dollars. Then consider the simple fact that, in addition to having more money, you’ve got happier, more engaged employees — employees who want to work for you.
This is good news, and companies know it, but they’re often unsure how to get there. To add another point in the proof column, Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report shows that 84% of leaders point to employee experience as a top priority — but only 9% believe they are ready to address the issue.
That brings us to the “how.”
T&E and the road to happiness
The story’s fairly short here, as well. When it comes to creating better, easier, more enjoyable work experiences for your team, you start by taking menial, manual tasks off their desks. In other words:
Automating travel, expense, and invoice processes boosts engagement, productivity, and savings.
It also helps, according to recent Forrester research, to have everyone in the C-suite involved. “In order to deliver better employee experiences and drive positive business outcomes, firms need both automated, scalable T&E and invoice management solutions, and to have finance, IT, and HR partner in the service of employee experience transformation.”
What they’re saying is you have to work together to make this happen. It isn’t just capturing receipts, booking travel, filling out expense reports, and managing reimbursement that weigh down the process and slow productivity, it’s the fact that finance, IT, and HR processes are often misaligned. Again, according to Forrester, about one-third of firms struggle as a result of conflicting strategies in these departments — creating an incentive to work together.
A little deeper into the “how.”
What does Forrester recommend? You can read the full Forrester report, but it all boils down to this:
Reframe expense management as an investment in the employee experience: Engagement peaks when employees spend their time doing work they believe is important. And they simply do not believe expense reports are as vital as you do. Automate those processes and give them time to be fully engaged in work they know is valuable.
Look beyond finance in calculating the benefits of T&E: If the finance department is the only decision maker behind T&E automation, they may only consider how they benefit, not how it benefits employees and, ultimately, the business as a whole.
Use T&E as a way to align HR, IT, and finance: Automating T&E makes employees’ lives easier, and when they celebrate that fact, there’s a halo effect that benefits HR, IT, and finance — aligning these three groups behind a common cause.
Four results you won’t forget
Where does this all lead? Where does automation get you? What does happiness at work equate to on the balance sheet? You’ll find it all in the recent SAP Concur e-Book The Employee Experience and Its Impact on Business, but we’ve narrowed it down to these four tenets:
- Fewer manual processes mean employees get more done
- Better tools give you visibility into booking, itinerary, and spend data
- Integrated travel, expense, and invoice data helps you manage all your spend one place
- Simpler systems mean fewer IT inquiries
You might not see the change overnight, but automating travel, expense, and invoice processes will replace tedium with job satisfaction. Finance will see policy compliance go up and get a better view of the data needed to manage spending. IT will free up time and resources by taking T&E to the cloud. And these are experiences we can all enjoy.