In conversation with Joe Connor

Which digital project are you most excited about working on?
We are working hard to bring new HR activities online to SuccessFactors, which will replace our antiquated HR system. It will enable our people to effectively own their own personal data and give line managers ownership of most of their team’s information, which they do not have currently. It will also enable managers to make better informed decisions much quicker in real time.   For some people, SuccessFactors is seen as just the home for compliance training and that’s it. This is a mindset we need to change - it is already so much more, there’s an incredible amount of learning resources on there, and then it will also be the key to giving us much more personal control and information - helping us make informed business decisions with ease.

What impact can improving technology have on customer service?
From a general viewpoint digital is essential, if you do not have a great digital offering then you are in a pretty dangerous place because everyone else in improving and changing all the time.  We all now interact with technology in a way that many of us never thought possible a few years ago. We in Post Office have improved massively in this area and our digital presence works alongside our other channels to ensure our current, and just as importantly future customers, find us easy and simpler to do business with. From an HR perspective, when the new SuccessFactors functionality goes live, people will be able to amend their personal data themselves, without having to phone the HR Service Centre. Line managers will be able to view and work with their team’s information in real time. For example, just think how we currently manage time off, there’s many different ways that an individual can request and agree leave. We currently have no real version of how many people we have off on any day. In the future, an individual can request leave via their own device and a line manager could agree this in real time – even on a Sunday afternoon which is an example of us making things simple for ourselves.

How do you support your team to develop their digital skills?
This happens both formally and also by stealth. I remember (I sound like my parents), when you went on a course or had a 500 page manual to understand and interact with a programme or new piece of technology. Now we do it almost without thinking, or ask a friend or access social media to help us if we get stuck, or in my case - ask one of my kids!

We are encouraging and working with the team in the HRSC to fully understand SuccessFactors and many of them have volunteered to be Super Users which is great. We will also have a dedicated SuccessFactors professional team in the HRSC who will be accountable for ensuring we are maximising this very exciting system and also helping and encouraging all of us to interact with it in a way that benefits everybody.

Are you tech-savvy or a techno-phobe?
A bit of both really, I love the way we can just get things done quickly at a time of our choosing. I hope SF will enable our people to “just get things quickly” in the very near future.

What’s your favourite social media?
Twitter is brilliant, this has also changed the way business thinks customer. Organisations now find out instantly how they are doing simply by people having a public voice, we learn things very quickly and have to react instantaneously. I love twitter and WhatsApp, twitter for football related topics and WhatsApp for instant messaging. The group functionality is brilliant although I do wonder what we did BWA (BEFORE WhatsApp). It also helps me to stay in almost daily touch with my eldest daughter in Australia and free phone call too. I am also a recent convert to Instagram and no its not me posting selfies to see if I can receive lots of likes (or otherwise),  it’s just to view the dozens of photographs posted by our four children. I learnt a new term just this weekend, mirror selfie!! I must be getting old……

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