Organizations are increasingly transforming their business model to invest more in their people. Thus, the employee experience revolution continues, as more research and data supports the idea that a positive employee experience improves the customer experience, supports attraction and retention and drives productivity.
As organizations continue to pivot toward this model, human resources will have to play an integral role in the transition to ensure future success. According to Mercer's "2019 Global Talent Trends Study", organizations with an integrated strategy, both within the business and across HR, are more effective: High-growth firms are four times more likely to have an integrated people strategy.
Specifically, Mercer has identified this transformation as shifting from a target operations model (TOM) to a target interaction model (TIM). In the TIM, HR becomes a more people-centered function that places a premium on personal and digital employee interactions with employee satisfaction as the key success metric.
“Developing a TIM allows HR to be very clear about how employees, managers and leaders interact with HR and allows HR to establish a relationship with employees and strengthen the connection to business strategy,” said Karen Piercy, partner at Mercer. “This more business-integrated approach radically simplifies and digitizes core HR activities, providing HR with the ability to spend more time on delivering critical services to managers and employees and providing more strategic advice to business leaders.”
To support the idea that HR will need to adjust along with the business model, executives surveyed by Mercer said the top three talent investments that would make the most sizable difference to business performance are: redefine jobs to better deliver value (30%), simplify talent processes (29%), and enhance the employee experience (27%).
"HR has gotten caught up in too much focus on the employment side of the worker experience, which doesn’t add enough value. HR and total rewards professionals are about to have their moment, however, as organizations turn to people strategies programs to solve a host of issues that are resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution," said Scott Cawood, president and CEO of WorldatWork. "With unique skills being at a premium, an organizations ability to grow their own talent in meaningful ways and provide them with an optimal employee experience will no doubt be the long-term winners. The Mercer data shows what we have known for a long time, regardless of your industry, people are your business."
Piercy noted that there are cloud human capital management and service delivery technologies that employers now have access to that give HR a new way of interacting with employees and managers in a way similar to how they use technology in their personal lives. These solutions allow employees to ask and receive answers to questions from a chatbot instantly and it also enables easier access to things such as requesting time off.
“The focus for HR needs to be on fully leveraging technology and building the HR function around the interaction with employees, managers and leaders, clearly defining the path for employees to access and use technology first to get immediate resolution,” Piercy said. “Machine learning and artificial intelligence are being incorporated into most HR technologies. In the future, we will see HR leveraging AI more and more to anticipate employee needs and provide even more useful and engaging employee experiences.”
As organizations strive to appeal to and satisfy the future workforce, Piercy suggests that HR move away from optimizing things for employees and instead design an end-to-end experience that employees long to be a part of.
“We’ve seen a shift in what employees say would make them stay with a company. Historically, this was higher compensation or more benefits; increasingly, it is a sense of security, opportunity to grow professionally and flexible working, with pay ranked fifth as a reason to stay,” Piercy said. “Furthermore, our research has shown that it is often the experiential elements of work — such as career development, meaningful work and a sense of belonging — that have the highest impact on employee commitment and intent to stay. We have found that, regardless of job or industry, employees are looking for an experience that is enriching, efficient, embracing and empathetic.”
THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE ROUNDUP
The Future of Employee Engagement
Organizations hoping to ramp up their employee engagement need look no further than their well-being and benefits programs, writes Lorna Borenstein in a feature for Workspan magazine. Borenstein notes that employers need to think differently about their approach to attract and retain the best and brightest — and to support the well-being and livelihood of every employee.
Organizational Values Lead to Better Work
In the race to offer the best customer experience, organizations often overlook their employee experience, writes Madison Semarjian of Entrepreneur. In her article, Semarjian does a Q&A with Michael Paladino, RevUnit’s cofounder, about the importance of enhancing the employee experience, which translates into a better experience for customers.
Data to Enhance the Experience
Alan Kohll writes about how Deloitte has created a well-being strategy that is conducive to more employee flexibility to prevent burnout in Forbes. Kohll explains how Deloitte’s interactive and user-friendly dashboard called Vitals aggregates information from a variety of internal systems to see when people might need a break.
Engaging the Pathfinders
In an article for Human Resource Executive, Eva Sage-Gavin explains how during this time of disruption, it’s important for organizations to identify the most influential and highest-performing employees in their workforce and engage them to help lead the way in the future. Sage-Gavin refers to these employees as “Pathfinders” and emphasizes that engaging these employees is critical because they are at least 2x more likely to be on the fast track to leadership and possess critical skills.
About the Author
Brett Christie is a staff writer at WorldatWork.