You don’t have to be HR to have an impact on the employee experience

This article comes back to the recurrent question of who to entrust with the employee experience topic and why, even if they seem to be the most legitimate, HR is not always the most relevant on the subject. It will show above all that most of the employee experience topic is in a grey area where HR does not dare to go and where those who are legitimate are not necessarily aware of the impact they can have on the topic.

HR doesn’t always feel legitimate to drive the employee experience

This was one of the lessons of the 5th Employee Experience Barometer: HR doesn’t always feel legitimate to take care of the employee experience.

A conclusion that doesn’t really surprise me: those who feel that employee experience should essentially address the moments or situations where people are working see that the subject is not within their scope.

I would like to take this opportunity to quote again this observation by Jean Denis Culié that I recalled in a recent article on the future of work:

More globally, work must be put back at the center of the relationship between the employee and the employer. Human resources management has taken hold of the quality of life at work, and management is interested in objectives and results. But what is important to employees is to be able to do their job well.

And who is in charge of making sure that employees can do their job well?

Helping employees to do their job well

In the first place, I would say the manager, even if by dint of worrying about the what, they end up forgetting the how. It’s a pity because if the manager doesn’t set up a continuous improvement process within his team, who will do it?

But there is also what I call the “back office”: all the functions that are supposed to support the employee (including the manager) and their interface with the employee in question.

If you’re looking for what makes an employee’s job difficult or simpler, look no further.

Revisit the fundamentals of the back office and support functions
Taking an interest in the back office allows you to (re)ask yourself some good questions.


I would much rather be COO than Director of Employee Experience

At one point in my life, I was lucky enough to be appointed Director of Employee Experience so I could implement what I believed in. And I quickly became concerned with those very operational topics that for me were the ones that had a real impact on the daily lives of employees and their work.

You can buy Playstations, organize afterwork sessions, organize meditation sessions, set up a gym…it’s all good, but in the end you don’t address what really matters to the employees.

It is in this logic that I was then entrusted, in addition, with part of the operations management, and then the whole of it, the employee experience part becoming then a part of my role but certainly not the one that takes up the most of my time nor the one I prioritize.

The truth is that I have a thousand times more impact on the day-to-day experience of employees as COO than as head of employee experience. Today I have both levers in my hands, but if tomorrow I had to give up part of them, I would gladly abandon the employee experience to the QWL lovers, preferring to deal with what happens when people actually work, the real win-win issue between the employee and the business.

Operations at the heart of the employee experience

As I have written before, it should be perfectly normal to talk about “people” and operational excellence in the same sentence.

Like Jean-Denis Culié, I see that there is an unaddressed area today from a “people & experience” perspective between QWL and the manager. But this area is not left unaddressed: it has a manager, the operations department, who is not aware of how it could contribute to the employee experience and to whom HR refuses to talk.

Bottom line

Between HR that only cares about QWL and managers that only care about goals there is an area that employee experience does not address. This is a pity because it is the area where the employee spends 95% of his time.

The employee experience will either move forward by partnering with operations management or it will disappear

Image : impact de GoodIdeas via 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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