Employee Experience in the Digital Era


Employee Experience in the Digital Era

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Employee Experience in the Digital Era

Allie Idleman

We recently attended the 2017 Human Capital Forum: Employee Experience in the Digital Era hosted by Argyle Executive Forum in San Francisco. This event brought together industry leaders to discuss how HR is evolving in the modern business environment. They discussed ways to accommodate the needs of multicultural, multigenerational workers, both onsite and remote. The discourse started at the most basic level: How do different companies define engagement? How does that definition inform the way you handle HR? There were many schools of thought on these issues, representing the diverse industries in attendance at the Forum. Here’s what we learned:

Employee support goes a long way.

Our Chief Engagement Officer, Andee Harris had the opportunity to share her insight on the panel, “Employee Empowerment: A Modern Approach to Performance and Engagement” with Luciana Duarte, Vice President, Global Head of Employee Communications, Engagement and Culture at HP Inc., Eric Hunn, Executive Director of Human Resources at Whole Foods Market, Sudarshana Rangachary, Vice President, Human Resources and Communications at The Gap, and Trisha Stiles, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at CBS Interactive. The panelists each had their own way of defining engagement. Rangachary defined it as “winning the hearts and minds of your employees.” She further explained that when employees believe in the company and feel the company supports them, they are less likely to rely on extrinsic motivation (e.g., pay, benefits, etc.) to meet job expectations. Support comes in many forms, but frequent and meaningful conversations help eliminate the effect of recency bias on annual performance conversations.

Engage employees for improved work.

The theme of employee inspiration and self-motivation was woven throughout the panel. Traditionally, employees are prompted toward better performance with the “carrot” of raises and high rankings. However, Harris and her fellow panel members see employee engagement as a more effective strategy. “Hire people with growth mindsets; then focus on goals, performance, and check-ins,” Harris advised. Stiles believes organizations should train managers and employees to not think of how compensation is part of performance and focus on what is learned and achieved. As Duarte said, “When employees feel properly engaged by a strong HR strategy, they will strive to improve their own work.” Contributing to the good of the company becomes as rewarding as participating in any other form of community.

Millennials in the workplace.

An interesting moment occurred during the Q&A session when a comment about the negativity toward Millennials was raised by none other than a Millennial. The word “Millennial” has a negative connotation in the business world and although HR says it is changing processes because of Millennials, this new generation is really just evolving the way everyone works. Millennials have accelerated HR’s response to the want and need for feedback and recognition, but all generations seek this.  

Being able to speak with and learn from thought leaders has helped us move to the future of the workplace and embrace the multiple generations within it. What is your company doing to take on modern employee engagement? Comment below.


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