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From Employee Engagement To Employee Experience

By Brijesh Chandel, Head-HR, Persistent Systems

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Brijesh Chandel, Head-HR, Persistent Systems

Let’s talk about ‘Organizational Intent’! - Of course, every organization wants their employees to be aligned to the organization, be motivated, have a splen-did growth path, have fair compensation, be brand ambassadors for the organization – in a nutshell ‘be happy working with the organization’.

If we ponder on what employees want, it would not be much different than what organizations are looking for. So, if both the employee and the organization are looking for same outcomes – what are the challenges that pose a hurdle towards achieving this outcome?

The two most glaring ones are:
• Multi-Generational Workforce – One size does not fit all. What a Millennial expects from the company may be much different than what Generation Z expects.
• Globally Spread Organizations – A mix of local cultures and flavours add to the complexity.
The mantra over the years for corporations has been to engage the employees. While this has helped to a great extent so far, it may not work in future. With the changing world, it is the ‘Experience’ that matters – and what leads to employee experience? Each touch point that has employee has within the organization, day in and day out is the EXPERIENCE!

Providing an ‘Awesome’ employee experience to each individual within an organization may sound like a herculean task. However, with design thinking approach and usage of right tools – leading to a well-defined plan, a thought through change management and a systematic implementation, this is very much achievable!

There are multiple plans which that can emerge, and it is best for an organization to do their own independent designing, so that the design, change management and implementation plan is tailored one for the organization; and tailored stuff fits best!

Nevertheless, while a tailored approach is recommended, there are few keys aspects of the experience plan that may be common across most of the approaches.

“While you work on the first day of your employees, the organization needs to be cognizant of the fact that experience starts even before someone is approached by an organization”

Identification of Employee Touch Points
Without omitting any of the simplest of touch points, if you are able to enlist all touch points within your organization – you would have already reached half-way through your goal! Please do note that it is not necessary to plan interventions for all touch points. Here is a guide on ‘How to’:
1. Start with the simplest one
2. Evaluate the impact, if it is insignificant, move it backwards in the queue, till you find an intervention, that is simple, but have great impact
3. Create a generic approach
a. Tailor it for geographies
b. Tailor it for workforce (if you have multi-generation workforce)
4. Implement it across – do it and do it well!
5. Every six months or annually, take stock of whether it is still relevant
6. Repeat 1 to 5 for every simple intervention
Once you are done with simple interventions, make them sustainable, and then move to the medium and complex ones.

The Line Managers
In their day to day work, an employee works closely with the Line Managers as compared to HR or any other team within the organization. While an HR professional or the HR department can ensure awesome experience during their interaction with the employees – these interactions are only a small part of employee life cycle. So, as an HR professional what can one do to create awesome employee experience?

1. Create Line Managers who can Lead, Motivate and Engage People – and provide awesome experiences
2. Enable first time managers to carry out their responsibilities as people managers
3. Empower senior leaders to develop organizational talent

If every line manager is a part of extended HR team and responsible for providing great employee experience, the culture of that organization changes and becomes conducive to breed this awesomeness.

The First Day!
Experiences are difficult to forget. While this is generally referred to in the negative connotation, a corollary of the same is true as well. Good experiences are also very difficult to forget! It is often said that the ‘first impression (experience) is the last impression’ - while this may not be entirely true, we would all agree that the first impression (experience) also goes a long way and you need to do something really very different to change that.

Therefore, plan the first day of your employees in your organization very well. Let it be awesome! Let them develop a sense of pride for the organization! Let them be excited so that they cannot wait for tomorrow to come back to work! Let them be able to tell stories about the organization when they go back home! Let them feel as if the organization is their new home! This is one golden moment that organizations can really harness to lay the foundation for an amazing employee experience.

Experience While Being Outside the Organization
While you work on the first day of your employees, the organization needs to be cognizant of the fact that experience starts even before someone is approached by an organization. The image of the organization in market, and the goodwill is equally as important as the EVP for an organization. The HR and Marketing team together need to work the aspect of experience - from the time someone is random person, to a potential employee, to a candidate, to an offered candidate, all the way till the person finally joins as an employee. Equally important are your alumni! They have experienced your organization and carry an experience – if that experience was good, interventions need to be planned to make sure that they continue to feel the same. If the experience was not good, organizations need to make sure that the alumnus are informed about the positive transformations that have happened – these experiences of employees while they are outside the organization are equally important as much as their experiences while they are within the organization.

These above key aspects can be used as pointers, but like it has been mentioned before – to provide an awesome experience to your employees, each organization needs to tailor make their approach and do what works best for them!

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