The Employee Experience: four stories
1. Make sure you have excellent people in recruitment
A friend of my oldest daughter recently approached on of the big four companies (let’s call them D.), with the question if there was a possibility to do the final research for her master’s degree at this company. The recruiter treated her with a certain disdain. She was too late with her application. Almost certainly there were no possibilities. No questions asked. She would ask around and call back. She never called back. A negative pre-recruitment employee experience. If company D. now approaches this candidate with her fresh master’s degree for a traineeship, she will think twice before applying. And she has told all her friends about the sloppy way company D. treated her application.
2. Treat students as clients
A group of students did some research for the HR Trend Institute. As part of the research, they approached several organisations about their possible innovative HR practices. Most of the organisations did not respond (or very, very slowly). Some reacted positively, and someone of the HR department received the students for an interview. At one company (Let’s call them A.) the founder/ director of A. came to the meeting to welcome the students and to introduce them to her HR lead. This costed her five minutes or so, but it made a big impression on the students. At the final presentation, the students told the story and company A. made a very positive impression on all the students.
3. Departure with dignity
A friend worked in a senior position at the European centre of an American multinational. A new head of Europe was appointed, he reshuffled the staff groups and my friend was made redundant. As this was four month before his official retirement, my friend asked if he could continue working until his retirement and then leave through the front door. No way, was the answer, today is your last day, and please leave your lease car in the parking. A totally unnecessary negative experience in the last months of his employment. Financially it would have made no difference, as they had to pay him anyway.
4. Don’t forget your flexible workforce
My neighbour works at the office of a rather large NGO. In his team of 20 people, focusing on marketing and communication, there are on average round 3-5 freelancers. These freelancers have worked in his team on and off for more than 10 years. He considers them as part of the family. But… they are not invited to the annual staff party, and they do not get the annual Christmas present. To be included in these, you need to be on the payroll.
In 2017, it is all about the employee experience (or the employee journey, as it is also called).
The Employee Experience: a map
On the website of Touchpoint Dashboard I found an interesting article written by Annette Franz, about Employee Journey mapping, with an interesting generic employee journey map.
A good starting point for improving the employee experience for your organisation might be to make a similar employee journey map, tailored for your organisation, and to start measuring how currently employees experience the different aspects. In my experience the view of HR initially tends to be too narrow: a focus on recruitment and the talent experience, and a focus on employees who are on will be on the payroll of the company. What is the experience of rejected candidates? What is the experience of all the people who are working for the organisation but who are not on the payroll? What is the experience of the people who have retired or who have decided to continue their career elsewhere?
Illustration: Studio Fee Overbeeke