Employee experience is more than just hiring the best people

Samantha Gadd, Humankind

23 January 2018

Suncorp New Zealand’s research earlier this year showed that 25% of respondents think New Zealand businesses lack ambition.

The Risk to Reward research released by Suncorp New Zealand in June this year identified human capital issues as the top factors that influence business success.

In particular, having staff with the right skill set and having a leadership team with self-belief, confidence and the right expertise were among the top five success factors identified by New Zealand businesses.

In my experience, it’s a common theme that organisations have difficulty attracting quality staff with the right skills. 

But is it better to 'buy' skill, or to 'make' it?

Retention is the key to success with human capital

What’s often missed in the conversation about human capital is how important it is for businesses to invest in retaining good talent once they have it.

Small and medium enterprises in particular – which represent 97% of New Zealand businesses – often don’t have the capability, or know which retention efforts will achieve the best and most effective results.

It’s more than hiring the best people

At Humankind, we know focusing on ‘employee experience’, is critical to business success.

It’s so much more than just hiring the best people. It’s about leadership, the environment your people work in, the tools, processes and systems they work with every day, and people operations, including how you onboard your team, people policy and process, and how you remunerate and recognise good performance. 

What you need in your employee experience toolbox

There are some key tools that employers need to think about when they consider what they offer their employees.

  1. It’s not just about money

    Employees are looking to join an organisation that has purpose. Many people (not just millennials) are keen to understand how they and their employer are making a positive difference in the world.

  2. Articulating the messages

    Communication is key. If your leaders aren’t clearly communicating the vision and strategy for the business and progress against these, bringing people on the journey, you won’t retain the employees you need.

  3. Flexibility, balance and trust

    Work-life balance is a buzzword right now, and businesses that are prepared and able to offer flexibility are much more likely to attract and retain top talent. For flexibility to work, leaders need to learn how to measure outcomes and not hours, moving right away from old school clock-watching. If you’re going to be truly flexible and allow your people to balance their lives in a way that suits them, you both need have a very clear understanding of the outcomes they are delivering. Trust underpins the success of a flexible workplace – do your leaders trust their people to deliver, regardless of where they work/face-time?

  4. Good leadership is everything

    Underpinning all of these factors is leadership. Leaders who can trust, connect, mentor and coach their team members will reap the rewards. Modern employees are looking for a leader who is interested in their professional and personal development, and who offer a one-size-fits-one employee experience.
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