The future of work = employee experience06.06.17
Chief People Officer
Stand aside, employee engagement. When it comes to the future of HR, there’s a new kid on the block.
For as far back as most HR professionals can remember, employee engagement has been the darling of the profession. It has been spelled out to us in multiple articles, seminars and discussion pieces. "Engage your employees", we are told, and everything else will fall into place. Choose to dismiss employee engagement as simply the latest HR ‘fad’… and you do so at your peril.
The problem is that, despite our passion and energy for engaging our employees… We haven’t actually known how to do it. Organisations across the globe have thrown increasing amounts of resource and capital behind so-called employee engagement initiatives… and yet the most recent Gallup figures show that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged. More startling still, this actually shows a drop in engagement since Gallup started recording engagement levels.
What this logically leads us to then is the dawning realisation that, actually, it’s simply not possible to influence employee engagement in isolation. In other words, employee engagement is an outcome of a process, rather than the process itself.
Let’s take the analogy of a runner. A runner, who we want to run faster. We can focus all of our efforts onto wanting the runner to run faster. Despite our best endeavours, the impact on the runner’s speed will be non-existent.
Alternatively, we can focus our efforts on the things we know will influence our runner’s speed. We can spend time drawing up a fantastic training plan; purchasing them the best pair of running shoes; ensuring their diet and fluid intake is perfectly balanced to maximise performance. All of a sudden, we are substantially improving the chances of them being able to increase their speed, by implementing real and tangible interventions.
So – back to the world of work – if employee engagement is the outcome, then what is the focus for intervention in order to positively influence that outcome?
The answer… is the employee experience.
When we talk about the employee experience, what we mean is every single facet of an employee’s time at work, which has the power to influence them in some way, either positively or negatively. From their experience of the recruitment process, to their experience on their first day as a new starter; from their experience as they are performance-managed, to their experience as they leave the business and become an alumni. Every single one of those processes has multiple touch points along the way, which together combine to become that overall employee experience.
In other words: The key to increasing employee engagement – which we know directly drives employee engagement, delivery and the achievement of organisational goals – is providing an employee experience which promotes that engagement. And, all of a sudden, the key to how we really drive that engagement, once and for all, has revealed itself.
It’s therefore with this in mind that Benefex has shifted its market positioning. We will continue to provide great employee benefits solutions for our clients… but at the same time,we're shifting our focus to the wider employee experience, outside of solely the reward and benefits sphere. We believe we have the ability to work as strategic partners with you: to use our technology to promote and deliver an employee experience which is outstanding on every single front.
Sounds interesting? Come join us as we lead the employee experience revolution. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.
Kathryn joined Benefex in October 2014 and has overall responsibility for managing the HR function within Benefex. She has over ten years’ experience of HR management across a variety of sectors. During this time, she has not only managed HR teams but has also had responsibility for operational departments, meaning she has a great understanding of what it actually takes to get a business delivering.
Kathryn’s remit at Benefex covers a wide spectrum, from developing a recruitment strategy to bring in the very best people to deliver to our clients, to designing and delivering in house training solutions, to ensuring our company values are at the heart of everything we do. She is passionate about ensuring work becomes a great place to be for absolutely everyone, and believes that life is far too short for us to spend it dreading Monday mornings. As she’s super multi-talented, she also runs her own HR blog, Up Close and Personnel.
Kathryn’s claim to fame is that she is so bad at parking, she once drove her car into the side of her old office. We’re hoping she doesn’t go for a repeat performance here!