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Your staff’s experience isn’t HR’s responsibility anymore

By Louis Urbanowski, Recruitment Industry Expert

Company Profile

The Access Group

For years we have entrusted anything to do with culture, engagement and experience into the hands of the HR department, leaving them with all the people-centric tasks. While HR do play a huge role, they’re not exclusively responsible for your employee experiences. As Deloitte1 states, leadership, organisation structure and teams, career mobility, diversity, HR services, and more all have an effect on an employee’s experience. For Forbes2 they compare employee experience to football: although the goalkeeper’s main role is to keep the ball from entering their own goal, it’s up to the rest of the team to prevent this too, if not, everybody loses. Essentially, employee experience is affected by everyone from the top down.  

1.    Leadership

The phrase ‘people leave their boss, not their job’ has been making its way around HR teams for a while now, and with good reason. 75%3 of people leave their companies because of their boss. Given the amount of influence that their actions have within the employee experience, leaders should serve as ambassadors in this context. While it is likely that HR will set the pace for the rest of the company, leadership must be walking the walk. This means setting goals and values, with the employees in mind, that you also hold yourselves accountable to. According to Forbes4, leadership has a significant impact on the factors that foster employee trust. If an employee trusts in their organisation this not only increases employees’ willingness to provide feedback and enhances5 effectiveness and efficiency, but it also provides the safety for employees to feel like they belong within their company’s culture. A positive employee experience begins with trusting in your organisation and its leadership.

2.    Managers

Research has shown that managers make up at least 70%6 of an employee’s satisfaction and engagement on the job. A huge onus is placed on managers when looking at an employee’s experience in the workplace, and so it’s only right that they act with employees’ best interests in mind. Currently, 80%7 of managers are seen as not motivating enough. Managers are often laden with the task of being motivator, teacher, confidante, and employee all at once and this can seem difficult to juggle. However, communication is key, be it via recognition or feedback. If your employees have the tools and information necessary to carry out their job to the best of their ability, they are more likely to be motivated to do so. Furthermore, a key way to motivate your team members as managers is to provide them with autonomy and opportunity. Hackman & Oldham list these as key factors in building intrinsic motivation, and a motivated and engaged employee often comes part and parcel with a positive employee experience.

3.    Employees

The employee experience counts not only on the actions of HR and leadership, but also on the employees themselves. Gallup8 states that employees who are looking for a more fulfilling experience at work should take a more active role in nurturing their own engagement. Self-motivation includes things like setting your own goals, building your own communities and networks, and also actively seeking out opportunities. This also includes providing the organisation with regular feedback. There is no such thing as ‘the perfect employee experience’ and if something is not working effectively and an employee spots it; it’s their responsibility to point this out to others who can do something about it.  Every experience is unique and so it would be naïve to assume that somebody else has noticed and will point out the exact same error as you. 

Ultimately, employee experience is the responsibility of each and every department in your company from the top down. There must be synergy across functions to truly ensure that everybody’s experience is a positive one.


1 - Deloitte
2 - Forbes
3 - Office Vibe
4 - Forbes
5 - Psycnet
6 - Paul Burrin
7 - Forbes
8 - Gallup

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