Workgrid Q&A: Should You Buy or Build Your Employee Experience Solution

The time has come to revolutionize your employee experience – to turn the status quo on its ear and finally create the consumer-like experiences your workforce has come to expect. But should you build or buy your employee experience solution? That’s just one of the many questions you have to ask yourself as you embark on this journey – and one you have to give very careful consideration to.

In terms of all the planning that has to be done with a project of this scale – getting major stakeholders on board, defining clear objectives, understanding all the components that need to be included (like enterprise virtual assistants), the decision to build or buy arguably has the largest impact on the overall success of the project. It has tremendous repercussions on the initial and long-terms costs of the project, as well as time to value, and if the wrong decision is made, your project can be doomed to failure before it even starts.

No pressure though, right?

The good news is, for most organizations, the answer is pretty clear. Here are the top three factors you need to think about as you decide which is the right approach for your organization:

  1. You need the value of a unified employee experience layer NOW.
    If you think that building your own custom employee experience platform is the best path for your organization, consider this: it will be at least five years before you see any value. Can you afford to wait that long when you could be up and running with an existing (and proven) solution in just a few months?

  2. The scale of this project will be massive.
    It’s like the old saying “go big or go home,” but in a bad way. The staff, the budget, the planning, the communication, the ongoing maintenance….everything about implementing an employee experience initiative takes much more than most organizations could imagine. It’s draining (and distracting) to an organizations primary business focus. It’s also unnecessary when there are vendors that can handle all the heavy lifting with far more effectiveness and efficiency.

    Dealing with the change management that this project entails alone is a full time job -- and that's in addition to bug resolution, building new functionality, dealing with compliance issues, etc. Do you really want to take on the added complexity of hiring new headcount to tackle this?

  3. Making a complex employee experience simple is...well complex.
    Abstracting employees away from the complexity of underlying corporate systems is a complicated and time-consuming process. It’s also never ending, with necessary modifications being made all the time to accommodate changes and replacements of core systems.

To learn more about building vs. buying, check out “5 Considerations Before You Start Your Employee Experience Initiative.”