Why Every Chief Human Resource Officer Should Become Chief Employee Experience Officer

by guest blogger Katarzyna Kowalska of emplo

Everyone realizes the importance of good customer service. You do too, don’t you? Providing outstanding customer service is a great way to differentiate your business. While products are easy to copy (especially in today’s highly commoditized world), customer service still isn’t.

Do you know where great customer service starts? It starts with your employees because your employees are your most important customers. If you don’t treat them the way they want to be treated, they won’t become your brand’s advocates.

The most successful companies value employee experience as much as they value customer experience. Are you one of them? I hope you are!

What does it mean to be a chief employee experience officer?

 

Some time ago, Airbnb has turned their chief human resource officer into a chief employee experience officer, and not without a reason. You might think that it is just a fancy job title, and you are right—it sounds really good, but it is much more than that.

According to Bersin, “A chief employee experience officer’s job is to make sure that HR is thinking about what is making employees productive at work and making sure that the tools that they are receiving at work from IT are helping them get their jobs done. That’s a very new role for HR.” 

Being a chief employee experience officer focuses on people and their experiences rather than on processes. HR officers are evolving from process developers into designers and experience architects; it’s a really powerful role! But with big power comes big responsibility.

You have to rethink every aspect of work: the physical environment, human interaction, recruitment processes, communication, and employee evaluation. All of these factors impact how employees perceive their workplace.

Why is the chief employee experience officer role so important?

 

The quality of employee experience shapes the future of your company; it’s a serious statement but it’s true. The rules of the workplace have changed, and employees are becoming more and more demanding. Tempting them with higher salaries, a cool office space or unlimited free coffee is no longer enough to keep them engaged and motivated. I know you have heard it many times before, but Millennials are becoming the largest share of the American workforce, and they are a tough crowd to impress.

However, it’s not just about Millennials; all employees, irrespective of their age, are equally important. Since on average, an employee in the US spends 47 hours a week at work, with 4 in 10 workers saying they work 59 hours a week, the least you can do is to make sure they enjoy the experience. Right? But that is easier said than done.

Many great companies are already doing it!

 

Companies such as Airbnb, Adobe, DuPont, Autodesk and New York Life have already realized the importance of creating a great employee experience, and it has really paid off. 90% of Airbnb employees are likely to recommend Airbnb as a great place to work. How did they achieve it? Mark Levy, the head of employee experience at Airbnb, says they focus on creating a memorable workplace experience; they treat their employees just like they treat their customers. Their office resembles a home; employees can work from anywhere they like and whomever they like. Airbnb Co-founder Joe Gebbia says that “everything at Airbnb is a continuation of what it’s like to be a guest in somebody’s house.”

However, it’s not just about the office space. They pay a lot of attention to their recruitment process. They analyzed the best and the worst hiring moments (focusing on emotions) and learned from them. They also hugely value employee development. However, they don’t just assign training to employees; they let their employees co-create talent development opportunities. This enhances engagement and motivation.

 

Take advantage of collaborative technologies

 

Part of every employee experience officer’s role should be to ensure effective communication. Nowadays, people use social technologies to communicate, which have become an inseparable part of our daily lives, so why not use them to communicate at work? The way you communicate should reflect your company culture. Are you dynamic and innovative? Then dive into the world of social technology just like Airbnb did. They perceive social technologies as a powerful tool for communication and for understanding local differences between Airbnb worldwide offices.

Of course not every company has a budget as big as Airbnb or Google that allows them to spend lots of money on their office space. But you know what? This definitely shouldn’t stop you from creating an awesome employee experience. As mentioned earlier, the physical aspect is the least important. Use collaborative technology to your advantage. There are many solutions available; emplo is one of them.

emplo not only allows you to enhance internal communication by significantly reducing the number of internal emails, but it also brings your employees closer together. Thanks to such features like the personalized newsfeed, groups, or the knowledge base, your peers can exchange ideas, share knowledge and cooperate on projects. All of this will help you significantly in creating a remarkable employee experience that your employees deserve—of that I am sure.

Have you decided who the chief employee experience officer is going to be in your organization? If not, then you better start thinking about it. Good luck!

 

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