Is your board missing this expertise?
Employee experience has been identified as a key trend for 2018.
Your customers experience your brand through your staff and this is especially true in the age of consumer directed care in disability and aged care. At DecisionWise they call this the Law of Congruent Experience. Your employees will deliver a customer experience that is directly proportional to their own employee experience.
This could present many boards with a real challenge as directors are by and large lawyers, accountants, business executives and more recently IT and risk experts.
What’s missing is People and Culture expertise.
According to Elizabeth Proust, AICD Chair, in her Foreword to the 2017 AICD NFP Governance and Performance Study the research indicated that while most directors rated their organisation’s culture highly, more than half of directors said that culture had not been formally part of their board agenda in the last year. The authors conclude that culture is too important to be left to chance and boards should take an active role in managing culture.
Boards don’t often reflect the diversity of the workforce they represent. In many instances, their work experience and career development has been markedly different to the current employee experience.
An organisational blind spot.
As for purpose organisations who come under greater scrutiny and pressure for revenue diversification, it is easy to understand why the people and culture budget is not a priority. That said, given that the wages budget is generally the largest organisational expense an investment in the employee experience can deliver significant ROI.
Trend forecaster, Trendwatching, released a report towards the end of 2017 identifying the trend of ‘Glass Box Brands’. The premise of the trend is that in this age of transparency, your internal culture is your brand, whether you like it or not.
Gone are the days of businesses being private black boxes, purely judged on their product or service. They are now public glass boxes. This transparency has been fuelled by the hyper connectivity of the world we now live in.
Perhaps key to effective investment is to understand the distinction between employee engagement and employee experience. In her article for Forbes, Denise Lee Yohn expands on what EX is not. It is not:
• New and improved HR
• Perks and parties
• Employer or employment branding
• Treating employees as customers customer
• Employee engagement
Equally important is that the numbers stack up. Research by Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage, identified three environments that matter most to employees: cultural, technological and physical.
Investments in these three employee experience environments led not only to happier employees but also to larger talent pipelines and greater profitability and productivity backed up by the financial data. The experiential organisations had more than four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue. They were also almost 25% smaller, which suggests higher levels of productivity and innovation.
It will be interesting to see if the 2018 AICD NFP Governance and Performance Study reflects Elizabeth Proust’s call to action with regards to culture.
I’d be interested in hearing what your board is doing in relation to employee experience. Let me know in the comments section below or contact me directly
Liska Turner is an executive recruiter that specialises in the For Purpose Sector. She works with Boards and CEO’s to build sustainable organisations through connecting people and ideas. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 9279 2777.