Sana Nayyar, VP HR, Urban Company
Ramasubramanian K, Director of HR, Swiggy
Kiran Menon, CEO and Co-Founder, Tydy
Ashissh Kaul, Associate Director - Knowledge and Advisory, SHRM
Just as customer experience (CX) went from a buzzword to being the cornerstone of marketing, Employee Experience (EX) is becoming increasingly central to strategy across organizations.
And technology has been a major driving force in this evolution. SaaS solutions like ours leverage technology to create a winning EX that benefits employees and employers. Along the way, taking the whole system digital has created access to a gold mine of data like never before.
But that brings us to a crucial question - can this data be used optimally, to create a solid long-term EX strategy that builds up to employee happiness?
Tydy partnered with Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to host a webinar with Sana Nayyar, VP HR at Urban Company, Ramasubramanian K, Director of HR at Swiggy, and Kiran Menon, CEO of Tydy, to brainstorm this question.
Here are some of the ideas and insights that were discussed.
1. Measuring your Employee Experience
As the world transforms around us, becoming more connected, digital, disruptive, and flexible every day, the way we think about business and EX is changing rapidly too.
Ramasubramanian K (Ram), Director of HR at Swiggy, believes, “Businesses have now taken the leap of faith. We are now moving the space of work from offline to online which also means that we have a lot of unlearning and relearning to do. Our mindset, the toolkits we use, and the tech that enables us to need to change too. For example, what we measured as employee experience ten years ago versus what we measure right now is actually very different".
Sana Nayyar, VP HR at Urban Company feels that the whole concept of employee data has moved beyond collection.
"Some of that data may be pertinent but a lot of it has changed. For instance, at one point in time, it was very important to know who you were and where you came from. Now it’s more important to understand who you are and what you bring to the table, and how we can enable you on this journey of creating value and impact for the organization you work for. So, from that lens, I think it is more important to understand what you (your employees) are thinking and feeling right now. Are you experiencing what we want you to experience? What is working for you and what is not?”
2. Connect your data to collect insights
Finding a gold mine could make you very rich. But simply finding it is not enough. This must be followed up with the effort of mining it, or the gold is of little use. Similarly, with so much of the employee experience being delivered online now, most companies have access to a potential gold mine of extremely detailed and varied data about their employees.
But just like with the real thing, the next step is crucial.
Sana highlighted the need for this by saying “How do we derive insights from the data we collect? I think that’s a more critical job for an HR person. How do I use all this information that is coming to me?”.
Kiran Menon, CEO of Tydy, agreed and pointed out that the purpose of delivering a good employee experience is to "connect all the things that really matter. Connect people to purpose to profit".
According to Sana, technology plays an important role in tying these together. “You have different technology taking people through these various experiences, then you might have something else altogether which is measuring these. The ability to bring all this data together and cascade it down and to bring insights to the table is very critical and I think this is where technology has a huge role to play.”
3. Replicate the Consumer Experience model
The praises of how far Consumer Experience has come are sung often and well. It has been one of the defining themes of the last couple of decades. A true success story of how technology and strategy came together to create a whole new dimension. The result is a generation that has come to expect intuitive personalization in every aspect of their lives as consumers.
Ram asked astutely, why should they not expect the same when they walk into their workplaces?
Millennials and Gen-Z now expect continuity of their personalized experience as consumers and employees. The solution he offers is to use the talent and tech that’s already achieved great CX to recreate the same for EX.
“When I say employee-centricity, it’s not just about going and talking to employees. A lot of times we miss the trick of co-designing or co-crafting with our employees. Some of these people are designing processes for millions of users out there. Just get them on board and ask them to actually craft their own processes and probably take a leaf out of their book. That’s the simplest hack that you could actually do.”
Also check out: CX Lessons for EX with Google APAC's Head of Marketing & Creative Services
4. Bring HR & IT together
Where does the buck stop? Is it the CEO or the CHRO? Who is finally responsible for delivering a good employee experience across the organization?
Through Tydy’s experience working with large enterprises like Genpact and Unilever, Kiran pointed out, “Unfortunately, everyone thinks that if EX is broken, HR needs to fix it but it is impossible to do. What I am starting to see is that companies that do take that leap are those that are way ahead from a maturity perspective. They are companies that see our projects and deployment as a partnership between the CHRO and the CIO/CTO. So, it isn't just an HR problem but a larger business technology problem. You start taking away those siloes of ‘this is an HR problem, let them fix it' and have multiple departments partnering to make sure it goes through. At the end of the day, none of this is an individual responsibility.”
5. Nurture the human connect
“Don’t confuse experience with technology.”
Sana pointed out that despite all the technology and digital tools available today, the foundation of EX is inherently human.
And the sentiment was echoed by Kiran. “Very often when we start deploying across companies, there is this notion that if you bring in technology, you can do less and be a lot less human. But what I always say is if that technology does not enable you to have a much more contextual conversation, then maybe you need to reconsider that. It’s not about eliminating human interaction. Whatever you do from a data or tech perspective has to ultimately improve the human relationships that you want to build within the organization.”
Are you using your data effectively to create the best possible Employee Experience for your people? If you'd like to understand how we've been transforming EX for some of the best employer brands in the world, get in touch!