HUMANS ARE AWESOME
Written by: Hanadi El Sayyed
Previously, in part 1 of 4 of this series, we highlighted that the real success to improve the Employee Experience (EX) in an organization lies in giving this mission a vision and then following a framework that will systematically help deliver results. We then anchored the purpose in Employee Advocacy (EA), defined what it is, in parts 2 and 3 explained why EA is essential and its advantages, and then explored how to institutionalize it. In this part 4 and last, we will describe the second element to improve your employee experience – the value chain of Employee Experience Framework – that will help you deliver on your vision successfully.
The enormous landscape change we are witnessing today, whether in the new ways of work or employee interactions with their organizations and their jobs, necessitates that HR adopts a formal approach to managing and improving the EX in order to drive towards our vision of EA.
Employee Advocacy is the reward for a compelling EX and the value that EX creates when managed and improved successfully. With that as our objective now, let’s look at the various activities required to be undertaken by HR to achieve it.
The value chain of Employee Experience is a chain of purposeful activities
Think of this whole structure like a house. This house has four pillars that represent the core activities in the framework. To remain strong, the pillars are cemented in foundational support activities that hold everything together.
There are 4 core activities
Literally, without really and deeply understanding your employees’ needs and wants, all talk about creating the employee experience is futile. How do you do that? There are several ways to do that such as defining your employee personas, their requirements, mapping out the employee experience journey and identifying the touchpoints that matter to these personas, and deploying voice of employees programs.
A deeper understanding of your employees enables you to define a people vision that aligns with your business vision and brand. This becomes your north star and your destination. With that, you are ready to develop fit for purpose experience strategies and plans or programs to get you there. Your programs must be measurable with defined metrics to help you evaluate success. It is here also where you identify the multiple stakeholders who will help deliver these strategies and clarify their roles. Always remember: HR lead EX but don’t own it.
This is the ability to consistently deliver the above employee-centric experiences. You do this through executing the defined programs, operationalizing of the journey maps, empowering and motivating employees and stakeholders to engage. (Download this whitepaper for the detailed steps to a successful operationalization of employee journey maps.)
Hence the importance of building the right set of metrics we mentioned above. You measure in order to track how well you are progressing and to manage and monitor performance to enable ongoing change.
There are four support activities. Each serves a purpose, and collectively they underpin the core activities mentioned above.
This is the most important and perhaps the ONE factor that determines whether the overall framework will lead to employee advocacy or not. Without a mindset and culture shift that puts people first, not even the best in class EX strategy will help. Shaping organizational culture to a people-centric one is a fundamental prerequisite to any attempt to tackle EX. Assess if you require to launch a structured culture change program to drive a values-based culture. Define your desired culture vision, articulate it in a statement that everyone can understand, outline the core values and behaviours that will drive towards it, and then design the journey to get there.
This refers to the workflows that HR follow and directly impact the employee experience. Don’t take any process for granted and instead question everything. Which processes are cumbersome? Which need to be done away with? How much support do your people receive from managers and peers when executing the process? Are there new ways that can make your employees’ lives easier? You need to be open to new ways of designing processes to create a totally customized and unique experience. The only way to do that is by putting yourself in your employees’ shoes to recreate and drive the shift towards employee-centred processes. Use design thinking methodology to succeed on this mission. Listening to your employees and seeking their feedback as what is working and what is not about the HR processes can be extremely insightful.
Today, and just as your customers expect better products and services from your brand, so do your people. It is no longer a differentiating factor of an employer’s value proposition (EVP) but an expectation by employees that their companies provide them with digital tools and services that support them to do their work. Technology solutions are part of the overall internal experience, and sought-after talent will look for tech solutions provided in the workplace when deciding to accept an assignment in an organization or not. Automation of process-related activities not only frees HR from tedious work, so they have more time for more meaningful and strategic tasks. It also reduces the chances of errors due to manual data entry, for example, thus improving the accuracy of data analysis later on. For more examples of how technology can enable the improvement of EX read here.
This refers to employee information from basic data, to performance-related data, perceptions, feelings, and behaviours, all integrated together and analyzed for a 360-degree view of the employee, in order to produce a jointed experience for your people. People analytics enables the delivery of significant value in terms of improving and sustaining experiences that truly engage your employees and ultimately add value to the business. Read here to learn more about why people analytics is critical to employee experience success.
Let’s Wrap Up
All companies want to do their best to create happier employees. Those that succeed know that an ad-hoc approach to improving the employee experience will not deliver the desired results. By giving their employee experience management a purpose and then adopting a structured framework to get them there, they enjoy benefits such 4 times profitability and 3 times customer engaged employees.
Hanadi El Sayyed