I know we’re still focused on delivering engaged employees… and slicing and dicing the engagement survey data and over-analyzing the small increases or decreases in numbers and over-indexing on each small change. Because that’s what we know and frankly, that’s what we’ve been tasked with.

That approach isn’t effective – and it’s not going to provide you with truly engaged employees or employees who are excited to come to work each day. There are so many things that create this type of emotional connection between a company and an employee – and this approach isn’t it.

Which is why focusing on the employee experience is much more effective. It looks at the various ways your employees interact with the company and the impressions and feelings they get when they do so. You can learn more about what the employee experience actually is, here.The #employeeexperience is a more effective way to get truly engaged employees who are excited to come to work each day. It looks at the ways they interact with the company and the impressions and feelings they get when they do so. Click To Tweet
But how do you come into play with the employee experience? I am convinced that the employee experience concept is slowly becoming more mainstream because we know that this approach is exactly what will drive results for us, and yet – at the same, we are extremely hesitant to take on additional work… because we have so much on our plates already.

And it’s true – over time, HR has become somewhat of a catch-all of departments… anything somewhat related, tangentially or directly, to people, ends up with us. So committing to one more big thing can feel overwhelming.

The good news is, creating a cohesive Employee Experience is not another new thing that HR has to take on – it’s a joint effort that is shared between HR, leaders, and the company itself.

What does HR own in the Employee Experience?

HR should lead the experience by first being intentional with how HR delivers continuous value and an ROI for the company.

Here’s an important thing to remember, so we don’t make the same mistakes we made with the whole employee engagement thing… this is not something that HR owns peripherally and then passes off to unskilled leaders to influence action and change. That has failure written all over it.Here’s the thing, so we don’t make the same mistakes we made with the whole #employeeengagement thing… this is not something that #HR owns and then passes off to unskilled leaders. That has failure written all over it. Click To Tweet
Instead, the employee experience is something that HR owns. Full-stop.

You own the experience by default because you influence each and every step along the journey. You are responsible for all things people and culture – and the employee experience sums up both.

With that ownership comes not only a lot of responsibility, but also some apprehension – because HR as a whole and individual HR practitioners, don’t necessarily have the skillset currently to deliver this effectively. And just like previous skills that have been trusted on HR (or any other department as the world of work is in a continuous state of change), it will feel uncomfortable as we learn our way through it.

The key to success is to clearly define the skills and ownership throughout the employee experience, so you can get ahead of the learning curve and deliver immediate value.

As part of HR’s ownership classification, in traditional project management terms – you are the project sponsor. You get to create the employee journey and the roadmap to deliver an effective employee experience – bringing in the various touchpoints and components along the way, to ensure your employees are at the center of experience decisions.

But HR can’t deliver the employee experience on their own.

Big sigh of relief, right?

HR owns the experience, but the components are owned by HR and several other partners across the organization. You are not now responsible for everything that employees come across – your area of influence hasn’t shifted with ownership, but the responsibility has.

For instance, HR owns the recruiting process – so that will be one component that HR will continue to own and be responsible. And it is also a component of the employee experience.

Right now, the only idea cobbling HR activities, technology, deliverables, etc. together is that a) the “thing” is people-related or b) there wasn’t a “clean owner” for that thing back in the day when it was assigned.

That’s why, still today, it’s unclear if HR should sit under Operations, Legal, Shared Services, be its own entity reporting to the CEO, or any other nebulous home your current HR department resides. For the record, it should be its own entity reporting directly to the CEO – and the employee experience framework will help convince your leadership team, that’s the case if it’s not already there.

We’ve been cobbled together – and this approach is not going to be successful for creating an effective employee experience.

Which brings us back to the case for your experience as your people framework – what ties all HR-related activities together with one common outcome and purpose.

You own the framework and will continue to own the various elements along the way. But you don’t own everything.

YOU, the Employee

The cool thing about being in HR, especially when it comes to the employee experience, is that you have dual roles – you wear your HR hat to lead the experience, but you are also an employee – experiencing and interacting with the experience (a little meta, no?).The cool thing about being in HR, especially when it comes to the #employeeexperience, is that you have dual roles – you wear your #HR hat to lead, but you are also an employee – experiencing and interacting with the experience. Click To Tweet
As an employee, your role is gut-check the journey your HR team puts into place. Is it true? Does it resonate? Is it accurate? Does it make you feel more or less connected to the company?

We know this from so many of the other HR things we rollout, but sometimes, our HR ideas and implementation processes, directly conflict with how our employees experience them (and feel about them). When you approach the employee experience, your employee hat is almost more important than your HR hat. You are creating something that will have a direct impact on each employee.

This work is tangible – what you create will be experienced by employees, including you as an employee. You have a real opportunity to make a huge difference at work – the ultimate success feeling. 

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