Krutika Mathihalli
By: Krutika Mathihalli
Published on: July 26, 2019

A Gartner survey had predicted five years ago that by 2016, about 90% of businesses would compete primarily based on customer experience. However, that’s now become a given thing. Now, it’s no longer enough for corporates to prioritize customer experience – the new competitive frontier that’s emerging strongly now is employee experience.

There’s plenty of strong evidence indicating that improving employee experience generates better business results. In other words, firms that focus on enhancing employee experience will find that employee effort increases accordingly – both in terms of work and discretionary effort. Good employee experience also reduces employee turnover and recruitment costs. For instance, Starbucks experiences turnover rates over 50% lower than those in the retail industry, and estimates that it saves $1.7 million per 1% reduction in turnover.

Yet, a Personnel Today survey found that a pitiful few (merely about 20% of HR professionals interviewed) felt that their people systems were ready for the modern workforce. Which is why we at Happay found that Graviss Group – a large business with several renowned brands such as Baskin Robbins and Kwality Walls in its portfolio – brings a refreshing change with its focus on employee satisfaction during these times of insane business pressures to increase top and bottom lines.

The best part about such an approach is that according to Forrester, organisations that invest in transformation across people, process and technology (in other words, what the company refers to as experience-driven businesses) have more satisfied and engaged employees and deliver superior business performance across the customer life cycle. Businesses have known for a long time that happier employees make for enhanced customer experience – the primary basis for competition in today’s times. Thus, it’s in a company’s interests to drive employee satisfaction at individual, team and department levels.

From that perspective, T&E expense management (the second largest overhead expense following wages), given its large and complex nature and its implications across people, processes and technology, is a function that offers immense scope to improve employee satisfaction.

The comfort of familiarity actually hurts

Traditionally, expense management has always been a painfully slow and daunting task (for obvious reasons). Manual filing of expenses – collecting, collating and categorising physical receipts and vouchers, creation of expense reports, submission for approval across multiple levels (often involving physical couriering of documents, which immediately added a couple of weeks to the whole process) and waiting cluelessly for reimbursements – was way too leaky a process, with employees often bearing the financial and emotional brunt of it. Even worse was advance/ emergency provisioning of funds. Since reports displaying actual figures were never ready on time, presentations often had to inflate estimates to avoid going horribly wrong. As if that wasn’t enough, compliance was a frequent problem. Finally, there was no way to consolidate all transaction data and leverage analytics to enable smarter decisions.

Most importantly, manual expense management costs organisations a loss that they often, at their own risk, don’t register –spiralling employee frustration and disconnect. As employees are forced to spend critical productive hours doing something as mundane yet despairingly necessary as expense filing with no hope of timely reimbursements, they tend to put off – or sloppily manage – other business tasks that are more critical to their role.

Making the Leap

To Graviss Group, the wave of transformation it required was glaringly evident. There was a dire need to overhaul and automate the entire expense management process across a number of its franchises to minimise human intervention and effort, not to mention time wastage and subsequent frustration. Thus, the company, partnered with Happay to achieve complete, two-way transparency between employees and managers by way of pre-defined spending limits, status tracking and real-time process visibility – further adding to employee satisfaction.

With a new intelligent and intuitive process in place, Graviss Group was able to stay true to its constantly innovating nature and bring efficiency and discipline to a large workforce, resulting in considerable time savings. Following the process streamlining, employees could also submit claims as and when they cropped up, while still ensuring compliance and adherence to company guidelines.

Employees deserve advanced technology and processes

Today’s employees – which include a rapidly growing share of millennials – want more than just great technology. To be truly fulfilled, they also want an open, fuss-free workplace devoid of archaic inefficiencies and leveraging the latest effective, user-friendly and fast tools and technologies.

The Happay-Graviss partnership

Approval cycle reduced from 64 to 12 days
“Our main objective of automation was to ensure payment to the team on time. We believe that if your employees are happy, it is a bigger measure of success than any ROI can bring” – Sanjay Goyal, CFO, Graviss Group
The verdict is in. Employees now want full transparency from the top down. This enhances employee engagement and encourages smart decision making (employees feel like they’re also involved in good spend management for the company), ultimately helping optimise company spending. Also, when processes are clear, simple, noise-free and user-friendly, employees know that their employers care about their experience. Data, too, makes it easy for employees to analyse spend and identify areas for optimisation. It’s wins all around.
Krutika Mathihalli
Community manager at Happay
Krutika Mathihalli is the community Manager at Happay. She helps build & interact with the community, by curating & distributing content that help key stakeholders derive maximum value. Outside of work, apart from being a chief consumer of TV shows, books and succulent vegetarian dishes, she also takes a hard run to be adequate at playing Scrabble. (Probably the only running she’ll do, to be really honest)

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