The big idea: Lead with employee experience.
Shift your mindset from human resources to employee experience.
If you’re leading a team, you will be well versed in hiring employees.
But, are you retaining, growing, keeping and reinventing your team? Is your employee acquisition process effective?
Over these few weeks, our podcasts are exploring Waymaker’s seven leadership questions – but, in reverse. This week, we will unpack how organisations can improve the employee experience through:
- Developing a mindset shift
- Creating a unified and digital experience
- Empowering and equipping your team
- The difference between employee experience and HR
- Importance of talent acquisition
Listen & watch ‘Employee Experience | Re-Thinking Traditional HR”
(Keep reading on for more content.)
Lead with Employee Experience
It all starts with the employee experience
The idea of the employee experience is quite different to Human Resources (HR). It is about having a mindset shift on “I wasn’t quite thinking of my people like that”.
So we ask ourselves, what is the employee experience?
Let’s define our terms, the employee experience is the end state of a unified physical and digital platform or experience that equips and empowers teams, particularly leaders that aim to create inspirational branded moments at every stage and touchpoint of the customer journey. It is the sum of the parts of how we retain, grow, keep, reinvent the talent throughout an organization.
As a result, it is a different mindset from just thinking about HR.
End state = sum of experiences
It is the felt and lived experience that should have physical and digital touch-points which act as the starting the employee journey – where we can work and how we can work.
We know from traditional B2B, in high consideration journeys people are more than half way through the journey before they really show up and tell you who they are. Similar statistics are found in employee experience and talent acquisition – therefore, it is both a digital and physical experience.
There is world competition for talent
There’s this dance going on between talent and people who can foster and grow that talent and pay compensation for that talent.
Twenty or thirty years ago, there was a lot less competition for talent. There was a higher likelihood that our parents spent 10 or 15 years in a row within the same career.
Now, not only is there competition for employees and a fight for talent but there are a lot of substitutes. So, the capacity to freelance or be your own boss is an easier thing to do today than it was 20 or 30 years ago.
Loyalty doesn’t come around as easily in the 21st century
As a generation, we are not always loyal to one particular brand or organization as much as previous generations were. We are a more free market. More people are loyal to outcomes than to providers. This is something we are witnessing for the first time as a generation.
The 7 Questions are the questions of clarity, alignment and results for your organisation. Question 6 out of the 7 questions is – “What is our employee experience, how do we acquire, retain and grow our talent through our principles and what improvements need to be made?”
By this, we mean what drives a business’s culture and what improvements must be made. What are the ways in which we can acquire, retain, and grow our talent through our core principles and culture, and where do we need to improve?
It’s about talent rather than employees
At Waymaker, we talk about employee talent rather than employees, despite the industry talking about this idea of employee experience.
Having partners who implement Waymaker software, conduct great consulting, help coach, and advocate the brand is something we are proud of. They are not just our employees; they are a part of our business community as well.
Talent needs nurturing, and whether we’re onboarding new employees, freelancers, or a contractor, we must imagine the end state of a unified digital and physical platform that will empower and equip these companies to create those momentous customer experiences at every stage and touchpoint.
What are we equipping and empowering people for during the employee experience?
Answer. Amazing brand moments.
The employee experience doesn’t just exist for the employee – it is there so they can deliver amazing customer experiences and that’s why it’s question 6.
It determines how we create the talent that will create the customer experience – designed by the business model, positioned by the strategy, serving this market and ideal customer in order to accomplish this purpose and deliver this ultimate vision.
How should we think about the employee experience as part of the Waymaker Experience Curve?
When we talk about where we are on the journey from idea to market leadership and maturity, in this context of employee experience, we’re looking at the diagnostic and looking at the EX curve in particular.
We are looking at how well we are creating that unified physical and digital platform that equips and empowers talent to deliver those amazing customer experience moments.
The top side of the experience curve is all about skills and qualities and the bottom side is all about systems, processes and tools.
We talk about the experience curve as having a series of stages, from finding a market fit to calibrating and assembling a team to get consistent returns as we mature into becoming real leaders and gaining economical benefit for the organization.
How well are we understanding employee personas?
When we think about the employee experience, we’re thinking about how well we are understanding personas. In HR, they talk about roles and responsibilities or jobs but rather we identify the importance of talking about personas.
- What are the types of people that we need to acquire;
- How do they fit the roles we have to provide;
- What is the employee journey going to look like from the first touch to exit;
- How do we define roles, and;
- What’s our acquisition strategy?
The employee experience curve will help you identify areas for improvement, so you may ask yourself…
“We are not really thinking about that in our cultural foundations or our onboarding program or off-boarding programs – but there are other areas we may be able to improve in”.
While this process contrasts with a traditional hiring and firing system, it shows how you onboard and off-board people, taking into account the fact that companies flex in and out of growth cycles according to market demands.
This process results in a more positive off-boarding process. This is so the off-boarding journey isn’t so negative.
Talent that exists via an off-boarding process can still be an advocate for your employee brand.
Employee Experience vs. HR
In an organisation, there are lessons to learn when it comes to the employee experience.
Organisations can often fall into the trap of treating employees as objects. This is leftover from an industrial mindset.
When we treat employees as resources, we end up treating them badly and often if the leaders and managers don’t like someone or didn’t work very well they just fire them.
There’s a myth out there in customer land that just because they’re a customer you should service them.
Sometimes it’s bad customer service to sell them what you’re selling them. Talent follows a similar principle.
Even if they have great talent, they might not be right for your organization. Therefore, we don’t ignore the cultural elements.
The same goes for employees at your organization. They should come in and leave better off for their experience. Our customers will be better for it, and in turn, your employee is a brand advocate.
It’s a mindset shift.
The big difference between HR and the EX is it creates a mindset shift.
A company’s sole job is to acquire customers. However, in order to acquire customers through our unique product, service or innovation, we actually need to acquire talent to sustain the acquisition of customers.
We need to treat talent the same way we treat customers.
When they’re the right fit, they’ll grow and stay with us and leave us one day better for having known us.
Create an equitable exchange of value during the off-boarding process
Our talent exists to serve the customer, so it’s also a value proposition for our company. Not just for the leader or the manager – the customer does not just exist so we can attract talent, but so they can obtain value we are able to provide.
If you’re prepared to make this change, work with a Waymaker advisor, coach or consultant
Take a step back and think about what your employee journey looks like?
Jump into any of our playbooks and resources in Waymaker academy and start setting up your employee journey.
To get started, learn where you sit on the employee experience curve.