Data, Insights, Action!
Linking your listening & assessment strategy for a better employee experience
Building an exceptional employee experience (EX) sits at the heart of an exceptional customer experience and superior business results; when people and teams flourish, organizations prosper.
As the combined sum of all experiences an employee has from initial recruitment, through employment and then post-employment, it is no surprise EX transcends HR and is a key organizational priority.
A recent report in The HR Director highlighted that whilst this was a priority, almost half of HR Directors believe delivering a consistent employee experience will be one of their greatest challenges over the coming months. This isn’t too surprising considering the level of uncertainty organizations and their people have been facing as a result of the pandemic and ensuring seamless EX delivery in a more disrupted and hybrid working world.
Another challenge to be mindful of when approaching a comprehensive EX strategy is linking feedback to action. Employee listening is a key focus for many organization in 2021, but in order for it to add value and elevate the employee experience, the gap between feedback and action must be narrower.
To help organizations navigate their EX journey, we have created a simple model that leverages the data and insight from a continuous listening strategy, using it to power meaningful talent activity and action change:
To understand where we need to be, we need to know where we are
EX encompasses all employee touch points and interactions with colleagues, processes, procedures, policies, the culture they are working in and the job they are doing. It is about proactively shaping what happens to someone at work to drive their engagement.
Organizations need a solid foundation to build a stronger EX; one that is rooted in understanding their current situation. Capturing this data with a continuous listening strategy is key to shaping high performance as it helps present:
- how well their employees perceive them to be doing
- the current experience of their employees
- how this can be linked to engagement and performance levels
- trends and pinch-points across a wide variety of influencing factors
- a benchmark and point of comparison to work from and measure against
For data to have meaning, we need to cut though the noise
EX is just noise if we can’t figure out where to focus and how to prioritize the data we are seeing and hearing. Willis Towers Watson undertook a large research project encompassing 10 million employees from 500 companies to really investigate the key components of employee experience and their relationship to business performance. From this research, we were able to create a model focusing on the key areas that drive HPEX.
This model helps organizations make the critical shift from just talking about EX to underpinning it with evidence-based research, benchmarking where they currently are and prioritizing the most crucial areas to action and deliver positive impact.
Analysis of this model across organizations' financial performance shows that superior employee experience is proven to drive financial success. Organizations with a more effective employee experience out-perform their peers for top-line growth, bottom-line profitability and return to shareholders.
Download the full research report: Identify the Factors that Make a High-Performance Employee Experience (HPEX).
For EX to be meaningful, action needs to be taken
The most common misstep in any EX journey is taking the time to listen and collect data, analyze it tog gain insight, and then fail to do anything with it. This negatively impacts the ROI of the process, reduces engagement and participation from employees and ultimately means that required change to elevate EX will not happen.
There are two key challenges to overcome:
1. The ‘So What?’
If steps haven’t been taken earlier in the process to cut though the noise and give the data collected useful insight, organizations will find themselves without any signals to build action from.
2. The ‘What Now?’
This is where organizations need to make that critical shift from meaningful insight to targeted action. Aligning listening data against talent assessment solutions can help to bridge this gap and shorten the distance between recognizing where action needs to be taken and having a solution to plug in.
Flexibility, consistency and accessibility are key.
With EX encompassing all employee touch points, organizations need a suite of talent solutions that cover the talent cycle; from hiring the right people, doing things with the right people and leading the organization in the right way.
It is advantageous for organizations to leverage a suite of integrated solutions. As EX is a journey connecting many dots and touch points, it is better if the actions put in place speak the same language for a better and more aligned approach.
A common barrier to taking action can be the misconception that it will be too resource intensive, expensive and lengthy. There are a wide variety of solutions available to organizations from cost-effective off-the-shelf options to more tailored and detailed interventions. High-impact results can be achieved from a range of solutions and delivered by various stakeholders from people managers, to HR, to senior leaders.
How are organizations doing this in practice?
We partnered with a media organization who were looking at their future strategy, aiming to fulfil its long-term objectives to inspire and entertain.
The process we implemented is outlined below and the full case study can be downloaded here.