If there’s one good thing to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s this: organisations of all shapes and sizes have been handed an opportunity to realise the huge advantages to people and business of employee experience (EX).
For your people, this is about enjoying an experience at work that is meaningful and memorable; one that will help ensure they stick around and maybe even go the extra mile.
For your business, it’s about securing an experience that’s measurable; in terms of reputation, prosperity and sustainability. And in this new world of working – where the potential for detachment and disengagement is greater than ever thanks to the lack of physical proximity to colleagues – there’s never been a greater need for a joined-up EX.
Arguably, that need was always there. The pandemic has just accelerated the imperative. It has focused the minds of leadership on the relationship between EX and engagement – and, essential to that, people, culture and purpose (effectively the ‘S’ in ESG) – elevating it from box-ticking to top of the agenda when it comes to the things that will drive future competitiveness.1
The kind of organisational change programme to make EX a reality has to be led from the top. And it sits at the heart of business survival, growth and sustainability. It’s not an add-on. It can’t be done in a half-hearted, siloed way; benefits sitting over here, wellbeing agenda over there, a bit of culture and purpose sprinkled on top and, underneath it all, a focus on ESG in response to social media debate.
Without leaders carving out time, space and budget for this – without them viewing people as pivotal to everything else – last year’s learnings will become next year’s failings.
The disjoint challenge
All the countless disjoints that currently exist – across HR software platforms, across departments and between rhetoric and day to day reality – will still annoy the heck out of people, making EX more like an annoying series of roadblocks than a satisfying road-trip.
The trouble is, the bigger the business the more HR software platforms they use for their entire EX (onboarding, payroll, engagement, retention etc). Across all company sizes, over a third of HR departments (29%) are using 5-10 systems. Organisations with 501 employees or more are the most likely to be using over 10 solutions to manage HR.2
How can employers expect their people to navigate all of these platforms and do their jobs?
Furthermore, corporate governance reform demands that all organisations with 250+ employees publicy report on what they are doing to gain employee insights. At the same time, evidencing the way in which those insights are helping steer policy and practice.3
This is also crucial to EX and, in turn, to engagement. But in the absence of the infrastructure to be able to clearly link employee insights to business outcomes (in terms of data sources such as absence, productivity, recruitment and retention, customer experience etc) it simply won’t happen.
The trouble is there’s no official framework in place for all of this; methodology, models, tools, communication and reporting (public and in-house) vary wildly and are all very siloed.
Consequently, organisations of all shapes and sizes are looking for solutions; integrated solutions that don’t involve big costs, platforms that simply sit alongside the existing array, and constant reliance on external consultancy.
So, how do you create a meaningful, memorable – and, ultimately, measurable – EX?
The technology is now available to provide the structure you need; to join up disparate software systems and create efficiencies where there is overlap; to join up disparate teams, departments and subsidiaries; to link employee insights to business outcomes. In short, to streamline and channel countless existing programmes, policies and practices within organisations down one route; a route that is employee insight-led, purpose driven, built on robust ESG principles and designed to help people and business thrive.