Optimizing The Modern Employee Experience
The Rise of the Employee Experience as HR’s New Priority
In recent years, the ability to gather and analyze more data has allowed marketing organizations to shift from relying on customer satisfaction as a key performance metric to examining and striving to improve the entire customer experience. HR has followed suit, as organizations move beyond a traditional focus on engagement and culture to track and build upon the quality of the entire employee experience. As competition for talent continues to rise, an employer’s ability to offer the best possible employee experience, enabled modern workforce tools including pulse feedback, self-service technologies, and apps to support a variety of employee activities at various stages of the employee life cycle. In an article examining findings from its report on 2017 Human Capital Trends, Deloitte shared that 80% of executives rated employee experience as very important or important, yet over half surveyed did not feel fully prepared to address the employee experience challenge.
Understanding the Challenges to an Optimized Employee Experience
As organizations work to embrace and support a modern, mobile and flexible workforce, engagement, productivity and growth become harder to foster and more difficult to measure using traditional means. The rise of the use of non-employee talent means that employers need to consider how to identify and provide growth opportunities for regular W-2 type employees and for a variety of contingent workers. According to Willis Towers Watson, nearly half of managers have at least one non-employee on their teams and non-employee talent in organizations is expected to increase by 25% over the next three years. Because managers are key drivers of employee engagement, HR should provide them with strategies to support engagement of non-traditional workers, which may include performance reviews, support with goal setting, and a means of surveying and understanding satisfaction levels of workers irrespective of their employment status.
Lack of Tools and Technologies to Deliver the Desired Experience
Part of the employee experience that modern workers seek is that element enabled by technology. Self-service may have once been the pinnacle of HR technologies, but today’s workforce, Millennials in particular, are looking for more. Organizations that have not done so should make it a priority to embed mobile technologies into every practical aspect of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment, to time and attendance, benefits, leave management and more.
Beyond the more tactical HR activities, organizations also need to invest in technology that gives both employees and managers access to digital career management tools to support custom professional development. Many analysts see HR taking the same path that marketing embarked upon earlier in this century, embracing a digital mindset to treat the employee as a consumer–a consumer of the organization’s employer brand. In everyday life as consumers, your employees have on-demand access to information about a potential purchase, opportunities to participate and give feedback about their experiences and the ability to research the opinions of others. They can even leverage social networks to solicit or share information with trusted networks that they have built based on their unique connections and preferences.
Design Thinking and HR
Leading companies including Cisco, AirBnB and Pixar are adopting design thinking into their HR strategies, which requires a change in focus from creating programs in hopes of fostering engagement, productivity and growth to instead designing integrated, high-value employee experiences that excite, engage and inspire employees.
By thinking like a designer and looking to enrich the entire employee experience, HR has the opportunity to impact productivity at much more significant rates than most organizations experience today with a pure focus on engagement. Forbes recently reviewed Cisco’s Global HR Breakathon, in which the company spent 24 hours using design thinking to break down traditional HR programs and reimagine them into 105 new HR solutions to create and support an employee experience modeled after the consumer experience. Design thinking does not have to take on this extreme in your HR organization, but to remain competitive in the recruitment and retention of top talent of employees, contingent workers and contractors, companies will need to focus on optimizing every possible employee touchpoint to deliver a customized and integrated employee experience that elevates employees’ perception of the role of work in their lives.
Technology is an essential enabler to the practical outcomes of design thinking in HR. The employee experience of the future will be driven by modern, mobile applications. As a leader in delivering HR technologies to build companies of the future, Asure Software can be your partner in designing and implementing your unique employee experience.