Why Everyone Should Be Involved in EX – Not Just HR
It makes sense that so many people attribute the employee experience (EX) to the HR department. After all, HR representatives are the employee advocates of the organization, claiming responsibility over payday, benefits, employee complaints and more. However, this is ultimately a short-sighted view. HR can’t do everything alone, and other departments have a great opportunity to impact EX in a positive way.
We recently spoke to Cyril Boisard, people director and senior organizational strategic advisor at GSoft, to learn more about how to improve EX and how GSoft’s suite of products address the key employee experience touchpoints. He shared insights about the most important parts of EX, how different departments contribute to it and the benefits of improving it at your organization.
The Key Elements of EX
Boisard highlighted four major components of EX: Onboarding, learning and development, flexibility and technology. Onboarding is what ultimately defines a new hire’s overall experience, and everyone has a part in doing it successfully. That includes coworkers, managers and the organization overall. L&D is vital to help employees grow into their role and help the organization's growth, and a strong L&D function will make employees prepared for the future and excited to contribute to the company’s success. Flexibility refers to the organization giving employees flexibility in where and when they work, as well as trusting them to get their work done on time rather than micromanaging them.
Technology matters more than ever before in the environment where so many employees are working remotely or through a hybrid model, Boisard said. “Today, technology can enhance or destroy the employee experience,” he said. “IT must collaborate closely with HR in creating the best technological environment so it’s not a blocker to the experience of every employee.”
Technology solutions can help you improve each of these elements. For example, onboarding software Softstart is designed to make a strong, deliberate impression on new talent, with a streamlined, simple onboarding process that makes employees feel integrated with their employer from the very beginning. Tools like this are valuable for companies looking to improve EX organization-wide.
“A tool like Softstart — which helps you create an onboarding experience that will help anyone have an impact quicker and connect with every part of the organization — is mandatory in my perspective,” Boisard said.
Management and Leadership’s Roles in EX
Executive leadership contributes to EX in many ways through the decisions they make. Everything they do impacts the employee experience, Boisard said. “[They] need to be congruent with what they say — not just say something and act differently,” he said. ”Also, the direction that they take needs to be aligned with the values of the company.”
Managers also have a significant role in EX, as they directly impact the quality of their team members’ daily experiences. There’s a reason people often repeat the saying, “People don’t leave bad jobs; they leave bad bosses.” To foster a team where people have a positive employee experience, Boisard suggested that managers connect and listen to their people, trust them, coach them and create an environment where people can “fail” and learn from it.
“Especially now that we are distributed, managers have a much more important role,” Boisard added. Indeed, in a hybrid or remote work environment, the proximity that managers have with their employees is a valuable EX resource.
GSoft’s software solution Officevibe helps by letting managers easily set goals for employees, prepare for meetings, and do quick and easy follow ups — helping them have a more active role in EX. It also gives a voice to every employee, allowing them to give honest feedback and let managers know how their team is doing.
How to Create Cross-functional EX and Reap its Benefits
There are many potential benefits to improved EX, including higher retention, easier recruitment and a stronger bottom line. Employees themselves, meanwhile, will be more aligned with what they do, helping them feel more fulfilled in their professional life.
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For organizations rethinking their current EX, Boisard suggested that they start by thinking long-term about their desired results. How exactly do they want EX to impact the organization differently than it already does? He said that organizations should avoid “one-size-fits-all” solutions and instead create something that bridges the gap between employees’ needs and the organization’s ambitions. If you do not include these unique needs in the things you do, you will likely not reach the employee experience objectives that you have set.
He added that one significant, recent trend is that people’s expectations of work have changed. The past few years have seen employees rethink where they want to work and what working conditions they’re willing to put up with. “We need to understand how to better engage [employees], what their expectations are, [and] how we can connect them with the company,” Boisard said. “Belonging is an important part of employee experience. A tool like Officevibe that gives a voice to people is mandatory in our line of work.”
EX Is an Ongoing Process
It’s a universal truth that HR cannot be responsible for EX alone, no matter the size, industry or maturity level of the organization, Boisard said. And once a company begins to rethink its strategy to make EX a company-wide goal, it must be an ongoing part of how they do business.
“This experience needs to be reviewed and is never ‘finished,’” he said. “People change, and companies grow. Do not hesitate to challenge something that you have put in place that is not relevant anymore.”
Making cross-functional EX an ongoing process is also important because companies are generally still figuring out how to best include other departments. “We haven’t mastered everything around employee experience — far from it,” Boisard said. “We have much to learn, but the important thing is that we are constantly trying to improve, and we are listening to what people have to say.”
He added that companies should never feel pressured to create something that does not accurately represent them or their culture. “The EX that you build must be aligned with the culture that you're trying to create,” he said. “If you try to create something with the only purpose of making people work ‘more,’ it’s doomed to fail.”
Learn more about GSoft and their EX solutions in the link below.