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Employee Experience and HRM: 8 differences

Employee experience is not just a trendier word for Human Resource Management. It is not simply a slick repackaging. Employee experience is not only employee engagement surveys, not just improving digital HR processes or an other name for HR support.

Employee experience differs from traditional HRM in these 8 points:

1. Employees come first in the organisation, not the stakeholders or customers.

As Richard Branson says: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.” The organisation enables employees to be the best versions of themselves.

2. Alignment

The organisation’s raison d’être, slogan, norms and values ​​are upheld, serving as a yardstick for the organisation’s choices, behaviour, procedures and systems.

The experience you want to offer your employees aligns with the methods and techniques used to achieve the intended customer experience.

3. A holistic and inclusive view of employees

Employees are people with full lives, also outside of office hours. Attention is given to all employees’ personal lives, and they are allowed to be themselves. Contract status (full or part time, permanent or temporary) is not a reason to treat people differently. As teleworking increasingly brings work into our homes, home is also brought to work. The workplace itself seems like home.

4. Employee input is actively sought: how are things going?

What do employees find important about their work? Do they like their working environment? Are they equipped with the right tools to succeed? Answers to such questions are found in annual employee reviews, for instance, or via regular pulse measurements, in one-to-one interviews or through sounding board group consultations. All relevant information is used to make improvements.

5. Employees engage in finding solutions and improving the organisation

through innovations, as well as revision of (HR) procedures and systems. Change comes through co-creation.

6. The organisation ─ especially larger ones ─ is data-driven

The data derived from frequent measurements and use of HR analytics. (Predictive) employee analyses and cross-analyses are performed, and decisions are data-driven.

7. Where appropriate, design thinking is used

to actively transform the employee journey ─ from recruitment to offboarding. We do this by putting ourselves in the (potential) employee’s shoes and reshaping their journeys, using positive emotions and surprises, and doing more than the employee expects, in line with the organisation’s norms and values. The employee’s expectations are at the forefront, not the organisation’s functional requirements.

8. Employee experience is not a department

Rather, it is a way of viewing employees that emerges when all relevant parties collaborate in an integrated approach: HR together with ICT, marketing, communication, facility management and management. Support from top management is a key condition for success.

It is only when your organisation is engaged with all these facets that you can claim to be taking the employee experience approach.


Author: Heleen Mes