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Introducing ‘People Products’: Transforming HR Service Delivery

Every organisation will need to become experience-driven in the way they develop products. The question is not if – but when and how – organisations make this change. Over the past few years, work, the workforce, and the workplace has evolved exponentially and demanded that HR services and products be accessible whenever, wherever, however. To keep up with the continual pace of change and disruption, many HR organisations are re-designing services and managing them akin to products so they can evolve constantly.

Our Deloitte HR Advisory team are constantly researching and looking for new ways to innovate HR practice. We challenged ourselves to consider how organisations and HR could shift their focus to deliver more agile and relevant outcomes to elevate the worker experience.  As we continue that journey, in this first blog we are excited to explore the People Product Operating Model which aims to challenge the boundaries of how organisations think about HR and introduces the concepts, we are seeing our most forward-thinking clients explore today. 

We have defined People Products as digital assets or experiences that create specific value for workers and the organisation as a whole. They provide continuous opportunities for add-ons and upgrades, thus creating ongoing value for workers and the organisation. They help constantly sense and adapt to the needs of workers and the business. An example of a People Product is Deloitte’s Magnet app, which is a mobile application that automatically reserves office space for employees when they enter the building, suggests nearby contacts, and offers other recommendations such as directions and local lunch options. It is a digital product that helps employees in navigating hybrid work and enables new starters to build connections from Day 1.

These are digital tools that address HR and business outcomes through seamless digital engagement. Digital products reflect a high level of personalisation and leverage advanced technologies or automation, such as an ePerformance Management app or a digital experience layer on HR systems that presents personalised information to the end user and reduces complexity.

Curated experiences that address workforce needs through deliberate, programmatic engagement. Experiences are built for a specific audience and integrate seamlessly with HR services and digital products, when appropriate, such as how an organisation with a focus on cultivating talent might have a unique onboarding experience that provides “once in a career” touch points to jumpstart cultural integration.

A full-scale shift to a product-driven future requires a radically different HR delivery framework, however you do not have to tackle this all at once. There are ways HR organisations can begin to pilot People Products in a way that works for them. Options to experiment and test the product concepts include applying to a specific functional area, across an entire portfolio, or keep it only to pockets of the HR organisation for which People Products make sense. For example, the quickest and least disruptive approach is to embed a product mindset where the HR Communities of Expertise and Operations team structures are retained, but the teams adopt new ways of working by allocating a portion of their capacity in cross-functional teams to deliver new people products.

We recognise that each organisation is unique, and product concepts must be nuanced and tailored to the organisational context, but we believe that the People Product Framework can work for any organisation if done in the right way, at the right time. With People Products, HR will be equipped with the agility to enable any organisation’s greatest asset – its people.

We are looking forward to delving into the People Product Operating Model further. This is the first of our three-part blog series, and our next publication will be focused on considerations for implementing this model.