To help the business and its people adapt and thrive in the face of digital transformation, Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) are investing in three things—HR analytics, the employee experience and renewing organizational capabilities. Of these, the employee experience is possibly the most critical component to attract, develop and retain top talent. The numbers explain why.

An excellent employee experience (EX) pays. A study found that organizations that deliver highly satisfying workforce experiences outperform their peers in terms of cumulative long-run stock returns by anywhere from 89 to 184 percent. Another report notes that companies with highly engaged workforces are 21 percent more profitable. For Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs), this is an opportunity to step up in their roles to become architects of EX and drive business performance.

The nature of the workforce is changing. Technology is making the work experience—and the workforce—more democratic, more networked, more human. Employees are increasingly demanding the same level of personalization and flexibility in the workplace that they experience as consumers. CHROs need to be mindful to put their people first and at the center of change to create the future workforce, leveraging technology to elevate, not eliminate their people.

As more automation and AI-driven solutions enter the workplace, it is becoming increasingly clear that human skills such as leadership, critical thinking and creative skills need to be nurtured. While AI and automation can deliver efficiencies, the combination of human ingenuity and intelligent technology can deliver exponentially more value—the ‘truly human’ capabilities of workers will provide differentiation, allowing organisations to innovate, uncover new value and enter new markets.

 

The truly human capabilities of workers will provide differentiation.

Title: The truly human capabilities of workers will provide differentiation

Source: Future Workforce Survey – Banking: Realising the Full Value of AI

However, building EX excellence can be challenging for HR organizations as they must now deal with complex extended workforces that may include fulltime employees, contractors and freelancers from multiple generations.

HR actions that deliver on EX

The HR organization’s goal is to understand and optimize each individual’s skills and deliver relevant, highly personalized experiences that keep all workers engaged and committed to doing their best. In Accenture Strategy’s 2017 HR/Employee Experience study, which surveyed 950 HR and C-level executives across eight countries, respondees identified the actions that HR can take that will have the greatest impact on the employee experience.

Top actions include rolling out digital technologies to improve employee experiences, which 81 percent are already doing; and creating a dynamic, adaptive operating model that responds to employee needs in real time.

Source: Accenture Strategy, HR/Employee Experience study, 2017

Go beyond HR to deliver EX

HR leaders need to extend themselves beyond traditional HR functions to deliver personalized employee experiences. Some are sending a strong message, even changing the CHRO title to better define their role. Airbnb is an example.

Airbnb’s HR chief, who goes by the title of Chief Employee Experience Officer, is responsible for traditional HR functions, as well as the “workplace as experience” vision. The focus: redesigning their employee experience to support a culture with the employee at the center.

SOME HR LEADERS ARE OPTING FOR

MORE INCLUSIVE TITLES SUCH AS CHIEF

EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE OFFICER (CEEO),

CHIEF LEADERSHIP OFFICER (CLO), OR

CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER (CPO).

Importantly, the actions of companies like Airbnb are not just designed to give employees what they want. They also give the business what it needs: a committed, highly productive workforce that can adapt to constant change.

Join me next week as I look at how HR organizations are renewing the capabilities of the organization by leading by example and creating a culture of continuous learning.

For more insight on this topic, read Accenture’s point of view, HR Sparks Change Reaction.

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