THE WHAT… You have probably heard of the term Employee Experience or EX. It seems to be everywhere. In fact, some have coined 2019 and 2020 as the years of the employee experience. So why is there such focus on optimising the employee experience and why should HR practitioners and business leaders be concerned with it?
As employees become more discerning about where they choose to work, there is a growing urgency for organisations to create an employee experience that will attract and retain the best talent. Creating an environment that compels an employee to want to work for you as opposed to your competition gives you a competitive edge. As Richard Branson puts it, ‘If you look after your employees, they will look after your business. It’s that simple.’
THE WHY… A positive employee experience speaks volumes about the type of organisation you belong to. What does the company stand for? What value do they place on employees? How organised and well run is the organisation? The employee journey begins from the recruitment advertisement right through to the exit interview. Switched on companies realise that the employee experience is a very valuable extension of their corporate brand.
It is no secret that engaged employees have less presenteeism and absenteeism, give greater discretionary effort, take more pride in their work, take better care of their customers and speak more positively about the organisation and their experiences within it. There isn’t a single organisation who would say no to that.
So, who is responsible for delivering this ‘optimal’ experience? The short answer is everyone, but HR leaders should be comfortable in the driving seat.
Traditionally, HR have been the custodians of workplace culture and other aspects of the employee lifecycle including inductions, on-boarding, recruitment, performance reviews, relocations and engagement surveys. In the past these were functional tools, improved primarily for efficiency and productivity from the employers perspective rather than from the experience of the employee. As organisation’s realise the importance of EX, these HR assets must also be meaningful for the employee.
THE HOW… Just as many successful companies have used Design Thinking tools and methodologies to create positive customer experiences, Design Thinking is being used to reimagine and re-design the employee experience. Human Resources are discovering the value of real empathy and are using it to their competitive advantage.
Design Thinking is all about creating positive experiences for the user and designing every aspect of the experience around them. This means digging deeply into how they, think, feel and act, and actively involving them in the design process. Using Design Thinking and putting the employee front and centre moves HR’s role beyond developing systems and processes to enable productivity to a new goal - imagining and implementing meaningful employee experiences by designing solutions that are compelling, meet needs and generate positive behaviour.
The beauty of Design Thinking is that it loves constraints, with budget and resource limits used as powerful drivers in the creative process. In its glorious simplicity, Design Thinking manages to empower those employees involved in the process and truly reflect the needs of the employee in the outcome. This makes it a win/win for the organisation. It empowers HR to reimagine every aspect of work: the physical environment, how people meet and interact, how managers spend their time, and how companies select, train, engage, and evaluate people.
You may have noticed new job titles such as Chief Employee Experience Officer, or Chief Empathy Officer coming into the professional lexicon. Whilst, at G2 Innovation we’re advocates for every employee regardless of title to be human-centred in their practices, these titles do summarise this powerful new mandate.
As we rapidly move into the era of the EX and organisations make shifts to understand and meet the unique needs of their employees, consider this a heads up. This is the opportune time to consider your role in the employee experience. Will you be an experience architect? Will you drive meaningful change and empower employees? Will you help shape the employee experience?
To learn more about Design Thinking and how it can positively benefit the employee experience sign-up for one of our public workshops, or speak to us about a private team training…
To chat with one of our team about redesigning your Employee Experience complete the form below or phone G2 Innovation on (03) 9020 7341.