#WorkTrends: Ask These Questions to Change the Employee Experience

It seems kind of crazy that “employee experience” has only now become a buzzword in our industry. I mean, don’t we all want to work in the best environment possible?

But even if it’s taken a while to make it into the lexicon, the concept of employee experience is here to stay. So how does HR build the best experience possible for employees? To find out, we spoke to longtime HR practitioner and problem-solver Mary Faulkner, senior adviser at consulting firm Inflexion Advisors. She walked us through a few questions we all need to ask ourselves to make sure that our organizations have the best employee experience possible.

Listen to the full conversation or read the recap below. Subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Are You Trying to Solve Employee Experience Just Using Tech?

As we have discussed many times on #WorkTrends, HR tech is in a boom era. It’s an era we’ll be telling our grandchildren about — though, in all fairness, they’ll probably wonder how exactly we got to talking about that.

But in all seriousness, there are numerous technological solutions out there that enhance employee experience, from platform-agnostic software suites to AI-powered continuing education tools. However, Faulkner cautions that HR shouldn’t see technological solutions as the be-all, end-all. “It is not a replacement for human touch,” she says.

Instead, focus on more tangible elements in the workplace — for example, make sure you have pay equality and that your employees are being paid fairly. Also, take stock of your physical environment. Make sure your office has good furniture and convenient parking. Check to make sure common areas such as restrooms are clean. It sounds basic, but these touches go a long way toward creating a better employee experience. “If you’re not thinking through those basic things then all the tech in the world is not going to improve your employees’ experience,” Faulkner says.

Do You Have Bright Shiny Object Syndrome?

Bright Shiny Object Syndrome: Odds are, you’ve seen it even if you haven’t come down with it yourself.

Business leaders and HR practitioners contract Bright Shiny Object Syndrome after attending a conference or reading an empowering book — or perhaps after listening to an amazing episode of #WorkTrends! Symptoms include irrational excitement and proposals of new “solutions,” without regard for need or practicality.

What can you do to counter it? First, slow down before you do any purchasing or implementation, even if the solution actually is something that will work for your organization. “Think about what your overall strategy is and what your overall approach is,” Faulkner says. Discuss your plans with the stakeholders involved, and implement a testing phase to correct and weed out mistakes and pain points. Doing so will ensure a smooth transition, and also lead to a better employee experience.

Are You on the Same Page with Everyone Who Works on Employee Experience?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and employee experience isn’t either.

So make sure HR isn’t working in a silo when it comes to the topic of employee experience. Faulkner says every department needs to be working on employee experience, but that each needs to coordinate to ensure they’re committed to delivering on the same principles. “I think it’s something that needs to be thought about — thoughtfully,” she says. “And if we could all work together to be thoughtful about how we do this, it’s going to be great.”


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