The one, simple thing HR and IT are still missing about Employee Experience

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Let’s make this quick, simple and clear. HR and IT folks have made phenomenal progress in focusing on employees’ needs and pain points, but there’s still one thing they are not getting right.

In all likelihood, investing in that new, shiny tool or benefit for your employees could make their experience worse.

The reason behind this lies in the way HR and IT think about and approach the mighty question: how can I improve the lives of my workforce? Just Google any term related to employee lifecycle, enterprise capabilities, etc. and you’ll see what I mean.

Examples of a traditional HR approach
Example of a traditional IT approach

These examples of frameworks are not conceptually wrong. Not at all. But the end-to-end solutioning approach is often very functional and process-focused: the most used terms I hear are from hire-to-retire and service architecture. While these programs might have been designed adjacent to the employee, they do not put the employee at the center.

Why is this important? What is wrong with these frameworks? Well, let me toss it back to you. In the frameworks above, is anything missing? Or anyone?

They forgot the human beings! By solving for individual pieces of the puzzle from the business’s point of view, they fail to solve for our everyday life at work. The overwhelming universe of people, processes and tools we interact with at work can be a total nightmare, no matter how fancy a benefit is or how simple a website looks.

In the end, everyday our employees wake up and go to work just to experience an unpredictable combination of what is shown below:

It’s intentionally overwhelming and what I’ve learned in my professional career is that successful employee experience programs focus on the day-to-day micro-moments of an employee journey (like getting quick access to paystubs) as much as they plan for key macro-moments like a sabbatical.

That brings us to the final and probably most interesting chapter. How can we merge micro and macro moments design and “live happily ever after”?

First, your HR and IT departments are probably already doing a decent job individually. But bring them together, along with your internal marketing agency team, to create a cross functional team that is committed to truly improving the employee experience together.

Second, start a fun and challenging journey into experience design and personalization. Make sure you pair your top-down approach with a bottom-up perspective that is driven by your employees… and don’t be afraid to fail and iterate. Your employees will appreciate the transparency of this journey, and they will be your best allies to succeed.

Above you’ll find just a hint at some of the activities I’d recommend to craft a successful employee experience, but can’t wait to read your comments and questions!

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