Oscar Lausegger, HCM Strategy Director at Oracle.
Follow me @OscarLausegger
We are all aware of how important the customer experience is to businesses. As a result of digital technologies customers have more power than ever before and the means to name and shame brands that deliver poor experiences. They can also switch to brands that deliver the customer experience they desire with complete ease.
What is really interesting, however, is that this change seems now to be happening within organisations. What social media did for customers it is now poised to do for employees, and this has some big ramifications for HR teams.
Take Glassdoor. Like many websites Glassdoor allows people to search for job opportunities that might suit them. However, Glassdoor is socialised. Employees can review the company they currently work. In much the same way we might leave a review on Trip Advisor following a stay at a hotel, Glassdoor allows people to speak freely about the organisations they work for.
In a world where talent is everything (last year Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Annual Global CEO Survey revealed that talent strategies are CEO’s number one priority requiring focus and change) the rise of the empowered employee should be of real concern to HR departments. The employee experience of businesses is more transparent than ever and if businesses are to recruit and retain the brightest and the best they have to get it absolutely right.
The key meeting this challenge is to look at HR from a different perspective – from that of the employee. By understanding and mapping the experiences employees have with the organisation, people, process and technology, HR can better understand their behaviours and the eventual business outcomes. If HR is not achieving the outcomes it desires, it can change the employee experience accordingly.
Importantly, employee experience isn’t just about having a nice user experience in your HR system. By changing the holistic employee experience, which involves things like the consequences of producing good performance reviews, senior management process sponsorship, and the user experience with performance management systems and so on, HR can influence attitudes, change behaviours and drive desired outcomes.
In this respect, HR could do worse than to learn from the customer experience team about how they are dealing with the empowered customer. In both cases seamless cloud-based access to user friendly interfaces is critical. Similarly the ability to collaborate, share and learn over social platforms is fundamentally important, especially to the younger generation of customers/employees. Also, big data analysis is delivering new insights into customers that are helping customer experience teams tailor their processes to be more effective – the exact same analysis can also be used to uncover the insights to an improved employee experience.
Crucially, HR teams should also start looking at how to map the employee journey, just as customer service teams have learned to do with the customer journey. With employee experience journey mapping HR can better understand specific employee journeys that may not be generating the outcomes they desire, or which they believe they can improve. For example, if in an organisation new recruits are leaving within the first three months, employee experience mapping can be used to understand holistically everything that happens to them during the on-boarding period. From there it is possible to identify weaknesses in the employee experience and remedy them.
Given the changing nature of the workforce, the concerns regarding skills shortages and the gradual shift of power employees, I would contend that employee experience should be a primary focus area for any HR transformation programme.