Over the last couple of years employee experience has risen up as a new strategic priority for senior HR leaders. Some organisations are already recognising it as a new stream to their HR service offering. Research by Deloittes suggests however that these are pioneer organisations. Indeed 59% of respondents to the 2017 Global Human Capital Trends cited that they were not ready or only somewhat ready to address the employee experience challenge.
Companies continue to look for unique ways to combat the talent shortage and retain their talent. Social media also means that employee experience is not something that is likely to remain a secret, which can be a good or bad thing but certainly one that needs effort. So this latest HR trend is one that companies need to start thinking about before they risk trailing behind the movement.
So what exactly is it? There is still some debate around the meaning of employee experience itself. Some of you may already be considering the 'candidate experience' for your hires. Many organisations are also immersed in the employee engagement challenge which is related but employee experience stretches further than this.
Whilst the definition opens up debate we can start to think about employee experience as being about the moments that matter throughout the employee lifecycle. Ensuring the extraordinary in the ordinary. From attraction to onboarding, through to development, performance management, engagement and recognition. Right up to our experiences when we say farewell.
Employee experience is about making those moments that matter a transformative opportunity, where we do something for our people that makes a lasting positive emotional impression on how they feel about working with us. Given that we are all unique and share diverse experiences, an employee experience strategy has to be broad yet holistic. For Deloittes it is:
"An integrated focus on the entire employee experience, bringing together all the workplace, HR, and management practices that impact people on the job"
2017 Global Human Capital Trends
As you give some thought to how your own organisation will explore the challenge of employee experience it may be helpful to consider the following:
- What are those moments that matter for your people?
- What stage are your people at in the employee lifecycle and when you make decisions how will it impact them at that stage?
- What do your people think and feel? Seek feedback. Remember that experience is much broader than engagement so what current approaches do you need to change to obtain this feedback?
- Are your leaders and managers engaged and prepared for their role in employee experience? Encourage them to regularly consider their employees' perspective.
As this trend gains more momentum, we look forward to seeing growing numbers of organisations adapting their culture to pursue an inspirational and motivational employee experience.
Understanding and improving the employee experience is critical for companies operating in a highly competitive global economy. Providing an engaging experience will help companies succeed in attracting and retaining skilled employees.