How to create a strong employee experience in your workplace by shifting your role as an HR leader?
The evolution of the workplace has come a long way. Decades ago, the question was “What do employees need to work?” – A question of Utility. This then evolved into “What do employees need to work better and faster?” – A question of Productivity. And then, it became “How can we make employees happy so they perform better?” – A question of Engagement. Now, only the most advanced workplaces have gone a step further, now their question is “How can we create a workplace where our employees want to come to work, even when they can do home office?” – A question of Experience.
Creating a strong employee experience in your workplace is the key to attracting and retaining employees in today’s job market.
Indeed, creating a strong employee experience in your workplace is the key to attracting and retaining employees in today’s job market. So how can you truly create an exceptional employee experience? How can you stand out? Where do you start? How can you succeed? And, how do you sustain your success long term? Before rushing into adopting a strategy to create employee experience, there is an invisible prerequisite needed. The cornerstone of creating and sustaining an outstanding employee experience is your own mindset as the HR leader. For more on this, see our article: Innovation as the key to the future of HR leadership. Without the foundation of the correct mindset in place, you will not make the most out of any strategy, no matter how solid it may be.
The key to successfully create an outstanding employee experience in your workplace is adopting a new mindset around your leadership role as an HR professional.
What Greenleaf is referring to, is a mature form of leadership, one that is not dictating but rather serving. A serving form of leadership is one that facilitates rather than dictates. To be leaders in the mature sense of the word, we have to shift from ‘designing for’ to ‘designing with’. I believe this is equally applicable to me as an architect and workplace consultant as it is to you as an HR leader. For you, this would mean shooting your leadership role from ‘dictating’ to facilitating.
As you adopt this new mindset, make sure you set yourself up for success by aligning your team, all employees and your environment to put every chance of success on your side. Here are three things you can put in place to ensure your efforts lead to long term success. For more detailed information about how to implement each, see our downloadable book.
1. Use your physical workplace as an implicit tool to help support your facilitator role.
When it comes to your workplace, being a facilitator means creating situations that are incomplete, impermanent and imperfect. This will very subtly invite employees in your organisations to ‘fill in the gaps’ and share implicit feedback through their behaviour, often unconsciously. This gives you valuable feedback, hints, and insights into what employee experience would suit them best.
2. Optimise your workplace design to actively contribute to your employee experience.
Your workplace should not only be a shelter for your activities. When designed in an optimal way, your workplace can also be a communicator and express to anyone using or even just visiting your organisation what your company is about, your values, vision, and strategy. Even further, a well-designed workplace can act as an active enabler to encourage everyone in the organisation to live the values, strategy, and vision of the company.
3. Engage your teams in a truly participatory process.
Once you adopt the mindset of servant leader, introducing any change – small or significant – in your organisation is an opportunity to elevate your organisation’s workplace experience. This is only true if you truly facilitate the process. This requires four steps: understanding, then aligning, then activating and finally adapting.
So, as an HR Manager, in order to create a strong employee experience in your workplace, you want to adopt a new mindset around your leadership role, a mindset of servant leadership, so that you are able to attract and retain the best employees in today’s job market.
Are you ready to implement these principles? Download here the book The Power of Interactions and make sure you set yourself up for success by aligning your teams, all employees and your workplace towards creating the outstanding employee experience you need to take your organisation to the next level of success.