How Human Resource Leaders Can Create and Maintain Better Employee Experiences

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In our highly competitive and rapidly changing business environment, a company’s ability to disrupt and lead rests on its talent. But the workforce – and the way we work – also is rapidly changing, creating a new demand for leaders to shift their mindset from a focus on process to a focus on people.

In this new reality, in which talent is key to competitive advantage, every leader needs to think differently about their role in creating and maintaining employee experiences. Human resources executives can play a critical role here, helping build operating models that use enabling technologies to create an environment in which workers are treated like critical drivers of value.

The talent picture is complex as organizations respond to workforce pressures on four main fronts:

Diversifying workforce demographics. For the first time, corporations need to manage the presence of up to five distinct generational groups in the workforce, each with its own wants, needs, and motivators. These divergent requirements complicate the process of shaping company culture and delivering on the employee value proposition (EVP).

The rise of contingent labor. According to KPMG’s 2018 CEO Outlook survey, almost all companies in the U.S. (99%) use a contingent workforce in some capacity. Increasing use of contingent and “gig” workers complicates workforce planning, creating many possible ways to achieve an optimal workforce size, shape, or composition.

The shift to a consumer mindset. Employees are increasingly “shopping” for jobs, seeking tailored employment experiences that align with their personal goals and values. This mindset not only changes talent attraction and hiring strategies, it also increases the need for an employment experience that delivers a sense of deeper purpose and fulfillment.

Intelligent automation in the workplace. Automation technologies already have a deep impact on talent strategies. In addition to increasing productivity and streamlining time-consuming manual work, automation impacts workflows, increases employee reskilling requirements, and creates demand for new roles and new technical specializations.

In this evolving workplace, creating the right employee experience can help organizations attract and retain high-value employees who deliver competitive advantage. In these enhanced environments, these employees also can work more innovatively and more productively.

Research shows organizations with specific employee experience programs and strategies report up to three times higher profit growth. Part of this growth is due to lower operating margins stemming from employees being more innovative in how they work, but lower employee turnover also contributes measurable savings.

Creating this new kind of employee experience demands that leaders look at operations through a customer experience lens. This must be built on assessments and analysis, not just company programs, but also the wants and needs of each employee from their career, their workplace, and their employer. From there, the company can begin to shape tailored experiences for a multi-generational workforce with many different employee types.

And leaders can’t be limited to just insights from annual performance reviews or opinion services: They need to keep a finger on the pulse of the current employee experience. What do workers want across their digital, social, and environmental experiences? Is your organization meeting those needs?

Mechanisms and technology that allow for real-time feedback and sentiment analysis can ensure that workers feel heard and allow the organization to respond swiftly in the moments that matter. This feedback can also provide opportunities to iterate on the delivered experience based on worker responses and fill the gaps in the EVP.

Enhancing employee experiences means placing a greater emphasis on the structural elements that shape that work and thus shape the employees’ day-to-day experiences within the organization. Employees need to be surrounded by a platform of human-centered services that are provided or supported by HR. This means that instead of focusing on process, the HR organization of the future will be more like a platform or service provider that meets the needs of different “internal customers” or worker groups in many different ways.

All of these elements must come together in order to support transformation.

For instance, KPMG recently worked with a company in which fierce competition from emerging fintech firms put this long-standing, multinational financial services company under intense pressure to modernize. To create a business capable of meeting evolving customer expectations and competing in the digital world, they needed to make significant changes to their workforce, technology, and culture. The people agenda would drive this change, but they also needed access to in-depth insights into the future of the finance industry and the contribution of technology to business strategy.

The firm’s current HR information system required a large IT team to support, run, and customize it, with associated cost implications. This, together with many broader challenges in human capital management, meant that millions of dollars were exiting their business. They needed to move from a system that performed core HR administration to one that helped them drive talent and performance. They also needed to modernize their operations through better processes and self-service.

A key consideration was whether to implement a new HR platform. KPMG helped shape the firm’s HR transformation strategy, vision, and road map, utilizing pre-configured tools, templates, transformation enablers, and methodologies from KPMG Powered Enterprise. This helped manage risk, provide clear scope, and support business value.

Today, the firm better enables their workforce and leaders to drive the change necessary to become a modern financial services organization.

In this digital age, with the emerging and increasingly fierce war for talent and skills, creating an employee experience that differentiates employers and actually retains talent will be critical. Traditional, task-focused workplace cultures are a significant barrier to true digital transformation. Addressing and quickly closing the employee experience gap needs to be a business priority for every leader today. Instead of making transformation a goal, make it a way of business.

Source : https://hbr.org/sponsored/2019/10/how-human-resource-leaders-can-create-and-maintain-better-employee-experiences

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