Is Employee Experience the Latest HR Fad?

Over the last year or two, the concept of Employee Experience has become more and more prevalent in the HR world. It is changing the way people view the HR function, and replacing the well-used and researched psychological construct, Employee Engagement, as the next big thing.

However, despite its popularity in business, I am yet to see any academic, formal research grounding this concept in psychological constructs. My concern then is, how can we claim to measure the impact of employee experience programs, initiatives and interventions if the construct is not well-defined?

Do we need psychological constructs?

Head of HR, Lara Plaxton, believes employee experience should be a bespoke design for every organization:

“Employee experience… seeks to enhance the interactions between an individual and an organization to make a more positive connection throughout the various touch-points, from before someone even thinks to apply to an organization right through to the relationship post-employment. There is no prescribed best practice or off-the-shelf solution that will make this happen. Its design needs be fit for context, have a holistic approach and be iterative through user research and testing.”

Lara raises some excellent points in her article about the need to have emotional connections with employees when they have critical moments during their careers so we can make those moments better. However, although I agree with creating bespoke solutions that fit with your organization, I also believe that, as practitioners, we should ground such solutions in psychological research.

The confusion unfolding…

Lara’s points on the subject are just some of many. The more I read about the concept of employee experience the more confused I become. According to Gallup, the goal is to ensure employees have a positive experience at all touch-points on their employee journey, but those touch-points are wide and varied. They begin before an employee even works at an organization and end after the employee leaves. The factors we need to manipulate within each of those touch points are widespread.

Deloitte, on the other hand, discusses the five factors that enable a positive employee experience which, in my view, closely resemble (if not emulate exactly) factors that contribute to employee engagement.

Jacob Morgan, the current influencer, suggests that there are three factors that contribute to employee experience; Cultural Environment, Technological Environment, and Physical Environment. This adds yet a further dimension to the concept. I must admit, I am yet to read Jacob Morgan’s book on employee experience, he may discuss and combine all these factors into a model that makes sense; we shall find out. I have my copy of his book on order.

Just to add another layer to the cake, there are still more people comparing employee experience to user experience and design thinking. To say the landscape is baffling is an understatement…

Want to read more?

Originally published on the Innovationbubble blog – head there to read more.

Employee Engagement and Experience




Is Employee Experience the Latest HR Fad?

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