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How HR leaders can capitalise on their moment in the spotlight

Tue, 14th May 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

It's a pivotal time for HR leaders in Australia. There is a growing understanding within the C-suite that employees are at the heart of how a company operates and innovates. HR leaders are finally being given a seat at the table to input on key business decisions.

But this exposure and greater responsibility means HR is also under the spotlight like never before. The pressure is on for leaders to get it right, create exceptional employee experiences, and demonstrate how investments in people impact the bottom line.

Qualtrics employee experience strategy and solutions Steve Bennetts says, “Even though companies have known for a long time what they needed to do to create a better employee experience, the technology enabling them to do it has not existed. That is until now. This means the small mindset shift around HR must be accompanied by a big technological shift.

“The traditional approach of an annual survey doesn't cut it in today's fast-paced markets. People managers and decision-makers need to have real-time access to relevant employee data. It's essential we make that data digestible, and easy to take action on.

“These guiding principles need to underpin the entire employee experience, empowering leaders to understand the moments that matter to employees so they can optimise experiences, products, and services accordingly,” added Bennetts.

Three steps to optimising your employee experience

1. Employee segmentation

There is no universal standard for what makes a great employee experience; each employee is unique with individual drivers and motivations. What makes a great experience will evolve over the course of an employee's journey.

“It's essential to build an understanding of employees that lets the HR team individualise their experience. This requires integrating and analysing different types of data across different touch points - such as their career stage, level of experience, and type of work - and applying clustering techniques to identify groups of employees with similar needs or drivers of satisfaction.

“Segmenting employees empowers leaders with various channels to effectively engage with the entire workforce, cultivating a positive, inclusive, and productive culture,” said Bennetts.

2. Targeting and prioritising investments

To improve employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity, businesses may need to direct investment to different programs and initiatives for different groups.

HR analytics can determine the current and potential value of employees. This information can determine which employees to target with certain initiatives, in which channels, and when.

This type of analytics can also determine which employees are at risk of poor engagement or leaving the organisation, as well as what perks and benefits are most desired by the workforce. The company can then decide on tactics to keep them engaged.

“Using analytics to target and prioritise investments is a great way to optimise HR investments. It ensures resources are effectively allocated, helping demonstrate a return on investment and superior employee experience,” said Bennetts.

3. Demonstrating value

To quantify the success of employee experience initiatives, HR teams need to be able to link employee experience and satisfaction directly to HR KPIs and business outcomes. This can show what works for whom and why so that the HR team can use these insights to develop further initiatives.

Steve Bennetts said, “HR efforts around the employee experience used to be considered hard to measure, which made it difficult to build a convincing business case for improving the employee experience.

“However, with strong HR analytics in place, HR teams can prove the value of personalised employee engagement programs and demonstrate a strong return on investment. Initiatives will be more strategically aligned with organisational priorities and goals, and results will include improved staff loyalty and productivity, leading to business growth.

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