Michael Gretczko of Deloitte explains how partners can use HR platforms as a foundation to build comprehensive solutions.

Kris Blackmon, Head of Channel Communities

November 16, 2017

3 Min Read
Human Resources
Image of pretty business leader looking at camera

Talk to anyone in HR these days, and they’ll tell you that one of the most important metrics they gather is employee engagement. Today’s workforce is tight, and competition for skilled workers, particularly in technology, is stiff. To recruit and retain the best talent, organizations have to work harder than ever before to create the best customer experience possible.

However, in pursuit of that goal, many companies inundate their employees with what Michael Gretczko calls “flavor of the day technology.” Gretczko, principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP and General Manager of HR solution ConnectMe, says that in an effort to bring the intuitive, easy-to-use customer experience inside the workplace, many organizations wind up with incredibly complex, confusing, outdated webs of applications that frustrate employees, hinder productivity, and negative impact employee engagement.

“Modern customer experience bots know people’s personal experience. It’s simple. It’s intuitive. And then it isn’t reflected at work,” says Gretczko. “Organizations able to meet that employee expectation will be the ones defining the future of work.”

According to Deloitte’s research, however, only 15 percent of companies are prepared to deal with the changing workforce. They don’t understand that in order to be effective, business applications have to do more than be user-friendly. They have to exist in order to solve a core business need and actually simplify the lives of their employees.

We’ve all experienced tech overload, either in our own workplaces or—in the case of channel partners—in that of their customers. There are too many channels of communication that lead to overwhelmed employees. Workers aren’t sure of how all of these applications supposed to connect: Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts, not to mention payroll systems, benefits systems, and so forth. It’s hard to understand which tech to use for what, and which platform actually makes job functions less stressful. 

Tech plays a huge role in employee engagement, a metric that has historically been the sole province of the HR department, but which in the digital era is available to just about anyone with access to the Internet. This shift can be a difficult one for HR to digest as they walk a fine line between safeguarding confidential information while also using traditional metrics for recruitment and retainment efforts.

“You have to worry about data privacy and protection, and have metrics you can measure around pay equity, gender equity, diversity and inclusion,” says Gretczko. “This has to be top of mind because of how important it is to our workforce, in particular millennials, to drive company values.” 

The lack of a functional, flexible platform that provides a consumer-grade customer experience led Deloitte to develop ConnectMe, and Gretczko says it’s a solution that’s right up the channel’s alley. One of the driving forces behind the application was a goal of ensuring it’s outcome-based, facilitating what Deloitte calls ‘moments that matter’—the essential things that define success.

Providing a new tool is easy. Just ask Slack or Skype. But developing an application that keeps up with the rapid pace of technological evolution and avoids many of the common pitfalls associated with innovation is more of a challenge. Deloitte constantly evaluates current market trends and uses its own research to drive product releases and upgrades. Paramount in this effort is the ability for ConnectMe to integrate with other technologies like collaboration tools, analytics, and cognitive frameworks.

Because of that, says Gretczko, it’s an easy way for partners to provide a platform that serves as a foundation for security, workflow, and content management. Traditional partners who haven’t yet built line of business relationships with the HR department now have an audience to walk the halls with, and can introduce their products and services through ConnectMe. At the end of the day, it’s all about building and maintaining relationships with customers upon the most innovative technology possible.

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About the Author(s)

Kris Blackmon

Head of Channel Communities, Zift Solutions

Kris Blackmon is head of channel communities at Zift Solutions. She previously worked as chief channel officer at JS Group, and as senior content director at Informa Tech and project director of the MSP 501er Community. Blackmon is chair of CompTIA's Channel Development Advisory Council and operates KB Consulting. You may follow her on LinkedIn and @zift on X.

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