Personalising the employee experience

By Lydia Cillie-Schmidt

I recently read an interesting article by Steve Denning in which he recorded an interview with Chris Connors, Head of Technology and Transformation and Colleen Fuller, Head of Talent and Experience (T+E) at Vistaprint. See the article at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/04/06/transforming-hr-as-agile-business-partner-the-case-of-vistaprint/#12417546ed6d)

One thing that Collen Fuller mentioned that made some of the predictions regarding the personalisation of the employee experience as a trend in 2018 more practical for me, is that Vistaprint is becoming much more aware of how people would like to work. She said that people don’t all want the same development opportunities, rewards and physical space and that the one-size-fits-all approach is becoming increasingly undesirable. This is therefore a main driver in how they create experiences for their employees. Vistaprint’s actions also support what Deloitte mentioned in their 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, namely, that as the power of the individual grows, organisations are revamping their approaches to workforce management, rewards systems and career models to better listen and respond.

The focus on personalisation also reminded me of a statistic that I saw in an article the Future of Retail (http://trendwatching.com/quarterly/2018-05/the-future-of-retail/) where the following example was provided regarding the increase in expectations for instant personalisation and total relevance:  “People are even changing the way they search on Google: there has been a 60% growth in mobile searches for '__ for me' and 80% growth in mobile searches for '__ should I __' in the past two years (Google, January 2018)”.

Colleen Fuller also mentioned in the discussion with Steve Denning that Vistaprint is approaching the employee experience as a product portfolio. She explained that within that portfolio, they have different areas or “products” that they choose to focus on and invest in. “Examples of this include performance and feedback, reward and recognize, grow and develop, leadership, and acquire and onboard”. She further explained that they leverage insights internally and externally to guide them and that they rely heavily on people across the organization for input and feedback.  

This need for constant input and feedback may explain the growth of real-time feedback tools like “HappyOrNot”. The HappyOrNot terminals have been used since 2008 to get real-time customer feedback and to calculate the Net Promotor Score (NPS). The company has however also entered the employee experience market and progressive companies are using the feedback terminals to get information on the employees’ experience on a continuous basis. This information is then used to personalise the employee experience and to calculate the Employee Net Promotor Score (eNPS).

As Deloitte stated in their 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report: “Understanding and improving the employee experience is critical for companies operating in a highly competitive global economy. Providing an engaging experience will help companies succeed in attracting and retaining skilled employees”. It seems that some companies (such as Vistaprint) as featured by Steve Denning have made great strides in this area.

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