The 14 wounds of employee experience

Before going into more operational subjects, I thought it would be useful to take stock of the subjects, the points of friction, justifying the implementation of an employee experience approach. For the record:

One thing that jumps out is the organizational and managerial nature of the subject, which is at the opposite end of the spectrum from a “well being” approach (but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also matter, by the way) and even more so from a “happiness at work” approach.

In employee experience there is the word experience

Surprising? No, at least not when you don’t forget that in employee experience there is experience! An experience is something one lives. And what do we live in the workplace?

90% of what we experience is working in operational and productive situations. It’s a customer, a project, the tools we use, the processes we follow, the colleagues we work with, a manager or even a project manager who leads all this and, we tend to forget, ourselves with an expertise and skills that we try to develop.

Then yes, there is the general atmosphere and the contact with people “outside of work situations”. Of course, a detestable atmosphere does not help and is a factor of disengagement and departure. But on the other hand an excellent atmosphere helps to stay for a while but if the rest doesn’t work it doesn’t make a miracle in the long run. In any case you will rarely hear someone say “everything is dysfunctional, I feel like I’m dragging a weight and fighting against the organisation at every moment but it doesn’t matter because the atmosphere is nice”. It’s a matter of priority. All the more so as the employee knows what he will be evaluated on, whether the atmosphere is good or not.

It also shows the limits of a purely HR approach that does not involve the business, the operations. You can implement the most efficient, fluid HR processes with the most pleasant tools…but this will only have a significant impact if employees spend their time using these processes and tools, which, if it were the case, would be more of a problem than good news. Yes of course it is essential that HR as well as each support function optimizes its processes, tools and operations but in the end we hope that the time spent using them will be as little as possible.

The risk of being off the ground

This applies to employee experience as well as HR, IT and many so-called “support” activities: if we only take into account a part of the reality of the employees we are “off the ground”.

Everything I described above (project, manager, process etc) is what I call the employee’s context. Acting on skills without taking into account the rest (tools, process, manager, collaboration, etc.) has a limited impact on experience and ultimately on performance. The same goes for IT: the best tools bring little if they are not adapted to the way you work, collaborate, support complicated processes, if they are not adapted to the need and the objective pursued. Etc, etc.

Then of course, if everyone does their part, the problem is solved. Well, it won’t.This must be done in a coherent and concerted manner. And when operational managers, HR, IT, etc. sit around a table to draw up a joint strategy aimed at putting the employee in the best context to enable him to perform, to remove all the friction points? Never.

An “Employee Experience”, “People Operations”, “People & Operations” director or even a Chief Operations Officer can be the leader who guarantees this consistency. If it is given legitimacy, the means and that it can weight, it does not matter what the title is, as long as the mission is clear and the means are there.

Photo : Pain at work from songpholt par Shutterstock

Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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