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Watch on demand: How to build a successful employee experience programme

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Panellists on November's HR Lunchtime Debate discussed how to build an employee experience programme that genuinely benefits staff.

Employee experience, said Sharon Benson, HR director at care home provider Sunrise Senior Living, starts even before employees join the company.

“I think sometimes you can oversell an advert or oversell the job – and when somebody arrives, it’s not really what you marketed,” she said.


Previous HR Lunchtime Debates: 

Webinar: Why your employee experience programme could be failing your people


“And so I think it starts with being really honest and transparent about your vacancies, and, actually, what the job entails.”

This, she argued, prevented employees from forming a gap between their expectations and the realities of the job – a blow to the employee experience that could be difficult to get over.

The panel agreed it often takes sensitivity and empathy to build an employee experience that truly benefits employees.

Shakil Butt, CEO and founder of HR for Hire, said: “Some HR leaders just see it as a rebranding, and it’s really not. It’s a lot more holistic, a lot more complete.

“If you're not answering that critical question: 'What's in it for me as an employee? How does this impact me?' Then you're not really thinking about the employee experience.”

Adopting such a frame of mind can, simply, be achieved through collaboration with staff when creating the company’s programme, said Jordan James Barry, chief people officer of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

“If you do the co-design thing, the business ultimately feels engaged, and they get what they want.”

Benson agreed, adding: “We've worked with colleagues to shape them so that it's in their tone of voice. You know, I might use the word resilient, but if the front-line use  ‘thick-skinned’, it should say ‘thick-skinned’”

Similarly, communications in the strategy need to reflect employees’ experiences and modes of media consumption, said Dan Brayshaw. 

“We often hear from employees, and the surveys that we’ve done, that a lot of the content employees are receiving is not relevant to their particular role or job,” he said.

Some 41%, he added, say that their company’s communications are irrelevant to their job.

There are more and more means of measuring success every year. Indeed and Glassdoor, Butt said, are vital because they tell you exactly what employees are thinking.

He concluded, though, that however one measures success, HR should have courage of their convictions.

“It comes back to how we support everyone being the best versions of themselves, so nobody feels excluded. Because at the end of day, if they’re feeling excluded, then they won’t be there for long.”

Watch the webinar on demand here.