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Employee experience is as important and creative as brand experience  

Helen Lea
experience

Paul Papas, global leader of IBM Interactive Experience, says the “last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experiences they want everywhere.” Contributor Helen Lea, Chief Employee Experience Officer – MYOB.

Technology is changing the way people experience everything, including the work they do, the way they do it and the spaces they do it in. The businesses that will build the best teams – and deliver outstanding performance – are already focused on bringing these technologies into their businesses.

At MYOB we’re rethinking the experience of our employees.  We’re doing this differently, by bringing together all elements of that experience into one team focused on our people and their success.  This means digital experiences, physical workplace experiences, talent acquisition, learning and development, employee services and more are united in one team – focused and equipped to deliver on shared priorities.

For us “experience is everything” – and we are delivering an organisation where it’s increasingly easy to operate and get things done, we’re supporting MYOB’s success and we find those areas where we want to truly differentiate ourselves and create exceptional experiences.

Technology has made our lives easy. Netflix knows when I’m halfway through a series and once I’m done it will recommend the next series I might like to watch. Increasingly we bring this consumer expectation to work, where the experience is rarely as easy – systems aren’t easy to navigate, bureaucracy often exists or processes are outdated.  Our team is putting effort into bringing that same simplicity to the workplace.

One of the advantages of this new structure and approach is that we are not juggling the often different priorities of HR, Property and IT – but building one set of priorities that we deliver together.

For example, as a growing business, being able to attract and onboard people easily is key to our success.  This year already we have employed 560 new team members, and this needed easy processes that could scale. Every one of those team members needs to be fully equipped:  a laptop, somewhere to sit, a welcome pack, a security pass and so on. We deliver on this through one consolidated employee services team who are able to trigger and coordinate all of those steps into a seamless experience for the new person.

This same single employee portal is the source of answers to questions of all kinds – from an employee query on my leave balance, to a request to fix a flickering light above my desk, to a request for support on a confidential personal matter.  It’s a one stop shop and it’s just as simple to navigate as if you were looking for information on the website of your favourite brand. We’re continually experimenting and testing more things, bringing the lessons from the customer experience experts inside the organisation.

Another example is in how we bring opportunities for flexibility to all of our teams.  Our team tell us that they prioritise this highly – knowing they’re empowered to deliver and have some choice in how to succeed in their work and home lives is really important.  This has challenged us to think differently about flexibility, experimenting with new approaches in jobs where this had previously not been possible.  So often companies have policies around flexibility – but where we’re different is that we can think about the entire employee journey. Policies mean nothing if technology doesn’t facilitate collaboration and remote access, if leaders aren’t equipped to focus on outcomes and if we don’t know how to make best use of the time when we are together.  Our aspiration is to do this really well – creating a uniquely MYOB proposition.

Most of my own career has been spent in more traditional definitions of HR – but as the world of work changes around us rapidly we need to think about the challenges and opportunities this provides in a new way.  There are lessons all around us from our colleagues in customer experience, brand and service design – and now it’s time to take these to the experience of our people. There’s no play book here, no “best practice” to compare to, so it requires creativity and new thinking and that’s both important and fun.

Just like any brand experience, the opportunity is there for us to shape the new expectation of work and look to creating experiences for our team that they don’t know they need yet.


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