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HR and The Future of Employee Experience

October 14, 2018

Last week I was interviewed by Chris Rainey of HR Leaders podcast series and we had a fantastic discussion about HR and of the employee experience.

Chris is an HR fanatic and is passionate about helping HR leaders to have access to the latest and most up to date research and data on the employee experience to help them to shape better employee experiences.

Here is a ‘Coles notes’ overview of our discussion on the HR Leaders podcast:

Technology – Chris asked me how technology was changing the employee experience and I talked about a ‘people first’ approach supported by the right technology to allow employees to do their best work. Millenials and Gen Z are looking to work for leaders who are tech proficient and for companies that have the best tech tools. Platforms like Slack, Workplace for Facebook, Workfront and others are expected. Millenials and Gen Z see email as archaic and want to use cloud solutions and IM and document sharing apps to collaborate and contribute on work projects.

HR tech innovation would include using real time performance review apps, using self scheduling apps and tools that allow employees to ‘up vote’ issues for the organization to prioritize. The point is that these tools allow for better people focus – the archaic annual performance review benefits the structure of an organization in the past but not the performance feedback for an employee. Interestingly the benefit to the company of using the tools mentioned above is money saved on burdensome processes and simplifying processes that make the employee experience better.

HR the hub of the future of work – Chris asked me how HR needs to shift to lead the changes to get to the future of work and I responded that HR needs to make friends with all of the stakeholders and involve them early on in the innovation game. The CHRO will be the strategic ally of business that leads the focus on finding and keeping highly talented people and build the strategies to keep them engaged too.

The changes that are needed by leaders to create the future include new and updated leadership skills, agility skills, flexibility skills and highly upgraded ‘human interaction skills’. HR leaders are uniquely positioned to provide the tools and strategies to help the people and therefore the business be highly successful.

There is more pressure than ever on HR leaders to help find talented people and to also keep them engaged however this requires all senior leaders to value HR vision and input as much as they may value IT and financial vision and input.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast – Drucker said this more than a few decades ago but never has it been more true than now. Organizations that have progressive leaders, diverse leadership, innovation hubs, career paths, succession plans and employee recognition are ‘winning’ in the race towards the future of work. Companies like Lyft that focus on values, vision and people are positioned to continue to grow and succeed based on culture being the primary focus on building business. If we compare Uber to Lyft its going to take some time for Uber to catch up to the ‘cultural’ imperative to sustaining and growing business currently demonstrated by Lyft.

Breaking down silos – HR is in the unique position to lead the changes needed to break down silos in the organization. HR needs to ensure that with the collaborative tools available that the leaders of each department see the value in cross department communication, sharing and strategy inclusion.

Agile companies of the future will have cross pollination of ideas and processes by leaders interdepartmentally so that everyone in the company knows ‘who is doing what’ and can leap frog ideas being used within each department. Breaking down silos is the key to leading an innovation culture where great ideas are generated and executed because of cross department connection.

These are a few of the items we discussed on the podcast I encourage you to listen to the whole thing its about a 20 minute listen and lots of great insights and inspiration too!


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