One of the worst things you can do is
ask for input and then ignore it. That
creates a negative employee experience
that leaves workers thinking, “Why did
you even ask me?” Vegh says.
Commit to sharing the feedback you
receive and your plans for responding
to it, including how you will prioritize
the follow-up. “Let them know, ‘It’s great
that you want all these things. We’re going to focus on these t wo to start,’ ” Rea
says. Form cross-sectional workgroups
to dig deeper into the issues of greatest
importance to your workforce.
To create the best EX, use a variety of
methods for sharing information and
do it consistently. “We like to switch up
our communications style,” Andrade
says. For example, her team makes
use of Monday morning videos distributed on the company intranet, an
internal blog, a closed employee Facebook group, letters and videos from the
CEO, and hard-copy “bathroom blogs”
posted inside stall doors (talk about a
Hyland’s leaders spend time at every
quarterly business meeting reviewing
employee survey results and other key
data. VPs and department leaders are
encouraged to discuss major issues
with their teams and close the loop.
The message is “Here’s what we heard
from you, and here’s what we’re doing
about it,” Andrade says.
This is no once-and-done project.
Employee experience is not so much
an initiative as a methodology. “Every
function of HR is impacted by this, but
it goes beyond HR,” Rea says. “It’s a
shared responsibility bet ween all areas.”
And while “employee experience” is the
lingo du jour, experienced professionals
say the mindset behind the words matters most. As Vegh says, “If you’re truly
aligned to build a human-centric environment, you’re going to be successful.”
BUILDING A NEW SHIP
One way that experts recommend HR
folks get in the EX mindset is to, well,
stop thinking like HR folks—or at least
the way the function has been traditionally defned. “Never before have we
needed HR to not be HR more than we
do now,” Morgan says. He emphasizes
the need for HR pros to change their
focus from transactional functions like
compensation, benefts and legal compliance to transformational leadership.
“Human transformation is what [HR’s]
responsibility is,” he says.
By that, he means “unlocking the
potential of the people [and] trans-
forming the organization.” EX is a
means to that end. “It’s a notion of
mining and extracting as much as
you can from your employees,” Morgan
says, not in terms of productivity but
rather for data on what top perform-
ers want—so you can use that infor-
mation to attract and retain the best
talent. “You need to get the pulse of
what is going on in the world of work
and bring it back to … make some kind
This won’t be possible without a huge
shift in priorities—which is why Mor-
gan recommends HR leaders spend
roughly 20 percent of their time on
traditional “HR stuf” and 80 percent
on “transformational stuf.”
“You’re never going to get anywhere
if you’re just patching up holes,” he says.
“There’s no transformation in just keep-
ing the ship afoat. You need to move
toward building a new ship.”
And who knows? If you follow this
advice, your future may even hold a
promotion to a new role: senior man-
ager of employee experience.
Jennifer Arnold is a freelance writer
based in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
HOW TO TRANSFORM EX AT YOUR ORGANIZATION
Experts recommend the following six tips for building an employ-ee-centric workplace:
Put yourself in employees’ shoes. Look at each part of an
employee life cycle, from candidate to retiree. Also, determine
how employees interact with the organization during major
life milestones such as marriage, the birth of a child or the
death of a loved one. Critically examine the processes and
procedures and ask yourself:
ā ā Is this necessary?
ā ā Can we make it more convenient for employees?
ā ā How can we better support workers?
Ask employees what they think. Don’t just distribute a
survey once a year. Find different ways to collect feedback
and suggestions year-round in a variety of ways: one-on-ones with top performers, smaller focus groups, quick online
surveys and anonymous submissions, for example.
Identify target areas. Don’t try to fix everything at once.
Focus on one or two areas that came through loud and clear,
and let employees know what they are. “Employees appreciate
being heard and understand the balance,” says Burt Rea, director of human capital consulting at Deloitte.
Report back. Establish a regular communication loop to
share feedback received and plans to address problem
areas. Again, use various methods: memos, videos, social media,
blogs and face-to-face meetings, to name a few.
Evaluate. Use your feedback tools to evaluate the impact
of interventions. And be patient. “Yes, it takes time,” says
Kathleen Vegh, senior manager of employee engagement at
Hyland. “But even though [a certain issue may] remain a theme,
you may hear fewer negative comments [about it].”
Repeat. Improving employee experience is a continuous
process. As the world of work changes, so will the components
of employee experience.