The following is a guest post by Philip Alexander, CEO of Mentorial and curator of the Startup Digest HR & Employee Experience Reading List. This post originally appeared on Medium.
‘Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder’
– Sheryl Sandberg
Prior to 2006 it was a challenge to work from home, to be connected to the internet wherever you were. Connectivity, and the associated technology, has transformed the way we approach every interaction. We have entered a world where we expect everything to be highly automated, integrated and constantly improving.
Companies have taken this on board and transformed (on working on) how they engage with their customers; integrating services across all channels; investing heavily in digital technology to improve customer experience; moving them through the right pipeline and ensure the stay as customers. Companies have allocated billions of pounds to solving customer experience, and their employees really notice this. It is particularly obvious as at the same time, they see limited efforts to do the same for them.
Mobile technology has converged the worlds of work and leisure — where your phone is, you can be working. This has driven a greater focus for employees on where they work, the purpose of the work, and their satisfaction. This is coupled with decreased friction in the labour market for skilled labours.
Within organisations, HR has radically transformed over the last 150 years, from its beginning as Welfare Officers in the 1890’s, through to Personnel Management, then HR as we know it now, and emergent functions like Talent, People Operations and Human Capital.
The next wave of progress in HR has to be predicated on an understanding of the shifts caused by technology that employees see customers access.
Companies need to shift how they perceive and design for employees.
Design for people, not employees
- People work for you for a period of time. Don’t assume they are yours forever, but do everything you can to keep them, and encourage them to come back.
Make every channel work together
- All messages have to be supported across the organisation, no matter from whom.
Authenticity as the determining factor for the experience
- Copying Google does not make you Google.
- If you advertise one thing, you have to deliver on it. Employees, like customers, will not wait around.
Redefine what end-to-end means
- Start with pre-recruitment engagement and finish with post-employment engagement.
- An employee should join you at the right time, and leave you at the right time. If this happens, they can be your best advocate.
We need to rethink how organisations relate to their employees from first principles, and this is E|X.