In a world of dispersed teams, remote working, shifting priorities and agility at every level of the world we live in, is it time to reconsider how we drive the employee experience. The employee experience has grown in relevance over the past number of years and unlocks the keys to building inspiring cultures. It’s fair to say that it looks different in every organisation. It encompasses every aspect of HR because everything we do in HR inevitably has an impact on our peoples’ experience. This has been the great opportunity but equally the great challenge with employee experience. It’s covered everything from the way we work to how we work to how we measure it.
Defining a New Era for Employee Experience Outcomes
The Covid-19 world has accelerated the need to bring this space to an entirely new level. Arguably, the role of the Head of Employee Experience is now the key instigator of driving cultures that can shift and readjust with the times we find ourselves in, inspiring the people within them to optimise performance, delivering the agility and resilience that is so pertinent today. This can be a defining new era for how we manage the role and the outcomes of Employee Experience.
To focus solely on one aspect of the experience is too narrow in focus. Choosing the employee engagement survey or even the regularity of a pulse survey as a sole focus narrows the view to one measure. It’s time we looked across the holistic experience, incorporating all the key drivers of experience. While it’s interesting to pulse the mood with ongoing engagement surveys, the reality is that our peoples’ mood can be influenced by a myriad of changing realities, internal or indeed external to the environment and the opinions can be transient capturing a moment in time rather than a true reality. That’s not to undermine the role of pulse surveys, they have a key part to play but shouldn’t be the only measure. The true measure is to consider what is the organisation doing to drive the experience. There’s a great quote that when a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower. Employee Experience has the opportunity to do just that, create the right conditions for people to grow, flowers are optional!
Taking a Broader View by Using the Key Drivers of Experience
Broadening out the measure could incorporate taking the key drivers of the experience including purpose, growth, leadership, voice, appreciation and let’s not forget trust! By taking this approach you can use a range of measurements to analyse what is the organisation doing to drive those experiences. The measures range from simple questions such as ‘does everyone have a development goal’, right through to the more complex questions such as ‘does our leaders provide the right level of direction and coaching to our people’. This would be measured by determining how many managers had a check in with their people in the past two months and what was discussed. There are many means of analysing this beyond the outcomes of an engagement survey. When we look at these wider measures, it can be a powerful means of moving the strategic agenda of employee experience.
HR have never had greater opportunity to influence employees’ experience than now. This is a pivotal moment for each person in a HR role – as now is the time to re-imagine every aspect of our culture and challenge the practices that ran the pre Covid-19 world. If there’s ever an opportunity for every Head of Employee Experience voice to be heard, it is now!