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Oracle Cloud in higher education: best practices for designing journeys to provide a personalized staff and faculty experience

Oracle Journeys was designed to simplify and personalize the employee experience by providing guidance when and where it is needed most in the moments that matter, like with the birth of a child or returning back to campus for a new semester. While many institutions initially adopted Oracle Journeys to support the onboarding and off-boarding of their workforce, it can be used to provide support to employees more broadly throughout their entire tenure at an institution. Journeys is one of several modules that make up the recently unveiled ‘Oracle ME’ platform, aimed at helping employees to connect, grow, and thrive together.

To help institutions more rapidly uptake Oracle Journeys, Oracle has now developed nearly 40 pre-designed journeys with a baseline of tasks and content that institutions can build upon and tailor. These journeys can help to quickly provide additional support to employees, managers and human resources through their life and career transitions, including marriage, illness, promotions, and much more.

To support institutions on the journey with Oracle Journeys, Courtney Mecikalski, an experienced manager on Baker Tilly’s enterprise solutions and services consulting team, recently discussed best practices and recommendations for designing journeys at the Higher Education User Group (HEUG) Alliance 2022 conference.

  1. Think creatively. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box of “this is what we do today” or “this is what we’ve always done.” Brainstorm across internal teams and research key trends or common business cycles within your institution. For example, are there certain events that happen every month, semester or year that a journey could help support? Consider if there are certain processes where faculty and staff face more challenges and questions than others. Take the opportunity to think beyond traditional HR use cases and explore if there are business processes across finance, campus security or other departments that journeys could help to supplement.
  2. Expand your stakeholder group. Include tasks not only for employees, but also for managers, HR, learning and development, security, IT, finance, and other teams within your institution. With your key stakeholders, discuss where groups may complete activities outside of Oracle Cloud or on paper today, and use the move to Oracle Journeys as an opportunity to transform manual processes into the cloud and reduce your paper footprint.
  3. Design for the majority, not the exception. While this principal can often be the most challenging to follow with many unique business processes and policies across colleges and departments, it is perhaps the most critical design principal to apply. Focus on identifying the primary processes and tasks that the majority of the workforce need to go through before moving onto the exceptions to the process. Fortunately, to help manage those exceptions, Oracle Journeys offers substantial flexibility through the use of eligibility profiles to help narrow down who receives which tasks. While flexibility is possible, however, be thoughtful about which tasks you incorporate into the journey and if a unique journey may be warranted, rather than one common model.
  4. Develop a road map. With Oracle delivering an ever-growing list of pre-designed journeys across many HCM modules, consider beginning with implementing a few at a time based on your Oracle cloud footprint. Brainstorm which journeys will give your institution the most immediate value, while also starting to get employees familiar with using journeys. As you build your journeys road map, be sure to consider where additional journeys could help address frequently asked questions or confusion with complex business processes like signing a new employment contract or transferring to a new role. Journeys can be used to uniquely address these challenges and simplify the employee experience.
  5. Be thorough and deliberate. Journeys is a blank slate. The way your institution uses it may look different from another institution. Take into account what your institution’s needs are and the many options available to address them. For example, when implementing Oracle Journeys, consider which actions, reasons and events each journey should be assigned by and if this will be automated or manually assigned by the HR team. When designing your tasks within a journey, while you can use eligibility profiles to help differentiate who is assigned what, consider if the tasks included are even necessary and adding value to the process. Which tasks should be required or optional and who should complete them? The content of those tasks must also be carefully reviewed to ensure that the individual assigned the task understands the purpose and actions needed. For critical tasks, consider if additional notifications and reminders should be added to help ensure these are completed on time. While Oracle Journeys is very flexible, it is critical to consider the messaging and the tasks within your journeys to provide the most personalized and clear employee experience possible.
  6. Use the global task library. The global task library provides a single repository where all tasks can be built out. While it may seem daunting at first, building out tasks as a part of the library helps to ensure you are using consistent messaging and design across each task and also helps to streamline building your subsequent journeys. When you start to build your journeys, the task library allows you to quickly pull in tasks from one place, rather than having to create multiple versions of each task, saving time for the administrative team.

No matter the reason your institution chooses to adopt Oracle Journeys, it should help to provide the best possible employee experience for your staff and faculty members. Following the guiding principles above will help to ensure your institution can meet your employees in their moments that matter when they need support most.

To learn more about how your institution can get started with Oracle Journeys, contact our team today.

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