The term “employee experience” is new and buzz-worthy, but the concept behind it is not. At the core of the employee experience come two critical building blocks: policy and process. Neither are sexy or groundbreaking. In fact, even the most astute and engaged HR professionals react to this statement with either a grimace, knowing how hard it is to make them exciting, or with a dismissive wave of the hand to say, “Obviously, the process impacts employee experience —everyone knows that!”
In the world of HR and People Operations, there’s never a shortage of progress to be made when it comes to finding a better way. Continuous Process Improvement through agile and Kaizen methodologies are the way of the world today, and as we constantly design for a better employee experience, it’s no wonder it feels like the end is just the beginning in any given project. So, with all that has to be done—how do you decide where to begin?
It’s fair to worry that the moment you introduce the term “process mapping” into a meeting with your peers, you’ll see vacant stares, glazed eyes, and a glimmer of fear cross some faces. The idea of process design and mapping HR process workflows can be daunting, and most people are unfamiliar with how to get started. But it doesn’t need to be a scary exercise, and can be one of the most effective ways to get everyone on the same page around how a process works in HR—and how it could be better.
Employee experience (or, “EX”) includes several contributing factors. According to the widely-accepted model attributable to Jacob Morgan, the three primary factors are: the physical, the cultural and the technological. The biggest impact that can be made today—especially from the perspective of HR services—is to focus on the technological, or digital, factors. In the past few years, EX has become a bit of a buzzword, but it’s not something new. Just by virtue of the fact that there is a company, there are employees, and there is naturally some degree of exchange between them—the experience exists. Moreover, if an HR team, or an organization as a whole, is not focused on designing for the EX, the experience that exists today is probably not as positive and impactful an experience as it could be.