HR Leads Business

Mar 7, 2017 | Barry Lawrence, MBA, HRCI Staff Writer

Employee Experience: A High-Performance Advantage

Creating an ideal workplace and employee experience are essential for organizations seeking higher levels of performance from employees. But what, exactly, does the ideal employee work experience look like?

New insights from the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute find that human resource management practices that employees are most productive when they experience belonging, purpose, achievement, happiness and vigor. Workers with high experience scores are more likely to report high levels of work performance. They are also less likely to quit.

"Organizations are paying closer attention to the employee experience as a source of competitive advantage," say analysts in The Employee Experience Index. "At the same time, employees are bringing much higher expectations to the workplace and making greater demands of their work experiences. Practices that acknowledge the uniquely human qualities if the workplace address these expectations."

Along with strong leadership and management to set the tone, the analysis identified five key organizational practices that drive more positive employee experiences:

  • Organizational trust: Employees expect the organization to act with integrity in all relationships.
  • Coworker relationships: Employees perform better when coworkers agree to help each other out when needed.
  • Meaningful work: "Meaningful work ensures that employees' skills and talents are being fully utilized and there is greater alignment to shared, core values."
  • Recognition, feedback and growth: All are critical to positive employee experiences.
  • Empowerment and voice: Employees seek "greater freedom through empowerment and opportunities for voices to be heard."
  • Work-life balance: Employees need time to recharge, according to the analysts.

All must be reflected in the behaviors and actions of leadership and management.

"Leaders and managers play a powerful role in setting the overall tone and direction of an organization, effectively setting the stage for a more positive employee experience. This begins with a high level of clarity around future direction and why employees matter in successfully moving the organization forward."

As HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) has written previously (see: Digital Performance: 'Alexa, How Is My Team Doing Today'), HR leaders can now access real-time data about employees' behaviors, moods and stress levels. With tools such as IBM Watson Talent Insights, IBM and others are creating a future of predictive talent management solutions to enhance the employee experience and performance.

Such tools, as stated by Josh Bersin, who recently spoke at our InterconnectHR event, will push HR to be more responsible than ever for driving improvements in employee productivity. Whereas organizations and teams have been the hallmarks of excellence in recent years, the next era of high performance is evolving around more autonomous themes such as community, wellness, growth and continuous learning. All represent new opportunities for the next generation of human resource management.