Employee experience is everywhere
Employee experience has exploded. No longer a nice to have it’s a business differentiator. Creating great employee experiences allows us to deliver efficiencies, attract and retain talent and enable better business performance, delivering a real competitive advantage.
Employee experience is a complex topic, cutting across the whole organization with multiple components including culture, technology and the working environment. Effective collaboration is required across the entire business to drive successful outcomes.
In HR we have a great opportunity to address some of these elements in partnership with IT by simplifying, digitizing and innovating to better enable the business. To harness the power of our people we must have strong foundations. We need to shift our mindset and thinking to refine our technology & processes with an employee centric lens, using strong collaboration and design thinking.
For all of us the race is on to continually do more with less in our post pandemic, disruptive world where continual change is the new normal. We have multiple competing priorities, lower budgets and tighter resources. I’ve found that we also carry so much history within our individual organisations. We can find ourselves weighed down by legacy complexity, historic ways of working and resistance to change.
The impact on our employees
In my experience this legacy often leaves us with processes & technology solutions which have been designed by HR and IT experts for experts – without the employee lens. Solutions for employees who, in their daily lives are now used to a more seamless digital consumer experience. As a result, processes often don’t work effectively and employees need help to navigate, driving waste into our teams.
Greater than the sum of our parts
As HR functions I believe we are greater than the sum of our parts and we need to move from a silo mentality to a culture of real collaboration. In addition we expect employees to complete the HR tasks we require of them which need to fit into their working days, which can result in them getting caught up in complexity, taking them away from their day jobs – the very jobs we’ve hired them to do. Reversing our approach and fitting our requirements more seamlessly into their working days will pay dividends.
We need to change the narrative
With this backdrop it’s clear that delivering a great employee experience in this space is not easy. To unlock the true value of our people we need to make the shift from process – what needs to get done, to experience – how it feels for an employee when trying to get things done. This approach needs to become the new normal. It all starts with the right thinking which we need to infuse through our businesses from the top down, with HR and IT functions taking a key role through true partnership.
Where do we start?
I’ve found that a great lens to view any successful transformation through is about simplicity and putting the employee first. Removing complexity, streamlining and re designing practices from an employee viewpoint with design thinking – designing with our people not for them.
Technology is not the answer – it’s the question
It’s well known that digitizing a bad process is not the answer, and we cannot expect technology to resolve our challenges without putting in the groundwork. We need to change our mindset and build strong foundations, lead with simplicity to remove complexity and streamline our processes, making them easy to navigate. The question then becomes “how can technology help us?” Technology is the enabler to augment our solutions, to automate, and to personalize the experience.
For Employee Experience, Every moment matters
A key focus in the experience space is “moments that matter” as organisations map out key moments in the employee journey and work to transform these, from on boarding, to promotions, leaving and alumni. This is key, but what about all the other moments an employee experiences? If we focus on moments that matter to the exclusion of everything else, change initiatives won’t deliver the results we are looking for, we’ll still create waste in our business, slowing down performance & results. We need to go back to basics and re build from the ground up.
Ingredients for success
Whether you want to fix the basics, or plan to deliver a wider transformation, including the following 5 ingredients will set you off on the path to success. You’ll realise better productivity through creating efficiencies and sustainable processes, deliver actionable insights through great data, and provide better employee experiences and ultimately business outcomes. This will help to free up HR teams to focus on more strategic, creative and value add activities.
1.Shape a compelling reason for change
In our change fatigued organisations, digital led inspiring storytelling can be a powerful way of getting our people on board. Demonstrating the benefits if we get things right – rather than simply trying to tell people, or enforce new ways of working.
2.The power of collaboration
The silo mentality belongs in the past. If we want sustainable business results a culture of true collaboration is critical across HR and beyond. A successful HR and IT partnership delivers exceptional outcomes.
3.Lead with simplicity
Successful transformation can be as much about removing what you don’t need as creating what you do need. Work in collaboration to understand with each process or piece of technology how best to ensure compliance and the right outcomes, whilst shaping effective solutions with the employee experience at the core.
4.Data and insights drive the right action
Capture the data points you need then turn your data into insights and let this be your guide. Identify the problems and shape the right solutions.
5.Be agile: ask, listen and co-create
Ask your people about their experiences regularly to gain a true understanding of reality, rather than perception. Design with them – not for them. Cross functional teams shaping fit for purpose solutions using agile methodology to test, learn and iterate delivers successful, sustainable results.
As we move towards 2021 is your HR technology & process architecture a key priority? If not, the time for change is now.
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Global HR Leader and Consultant
I’m the Founder of Sonia Mooney Signature Solutions. I'm a Consultant, an Agile HR practitioner and former Global Head of Talent Excellence at Rolls-Royce.
My passion is helping HR Functions to supercharge their effectiveness - creating efficiencies, excellent employee experiences & better business outcomes. Ultimately delivering more value for their people, business and customers whilst freeing up teams to focus on more strategic, creative, value add activities.
I have over 20 years HR experience leading collaboration to deliver creative, transformative change, award winning solutions and outstanding business results on a global scale.