There was much talk about ‘employee experience’ at UNLEASH World in Paris last month. It’s a broad term and not easy to define succinctly. It encompasses multiple factors that impact an individual’s experiences throughout their entire time with an organisation.

Employee experience as organisational lens

Those experiences shape how an individual feels about their employer, making employee experience a major driver of engagement (and therefore organisational success). From the onboarding process to interactions with their line manager; career development opportunities, to training and wellbeing… employee experience is the red thread that runs throughout the employee journey.

But how do you even begin to diagnose the health of the employee experience inside your organisation? Industry analyst Josh Bersin shares some helpful insights in this blog. No doubt we’ll see further developments in this area, as new methodologies emerge.

Applying employee experience as a lens through which to view organisational health is creating a shift in the technology market with vendors creating solutions not just as tools for HR but for employees, to help them simplify and improve their experience of work.

Not surprisingly, there is no one-size-fits-all tech solution that meets HR’s diverse and complex needs. Organisations are looking for best of breed solutions from vendors to create a suite of tools that meet the needs of their organisation and employees.

Driving change is a top priority

Change and transformation* and its impact on the workforce was a major priority for many of the HR professionals we spoke with at UNLEASH. Transformation often requires a complex mix of behavioural and structural change as well as changes to processes and systems.

In our conversations, people agreed that involving employees in the change process helps to accelerate change. But there were varying degrees of successful implementation, in part because of a lack of deep employee insight.

Without knowing what your people are thinking and why, it’s very hard to take effective action and to move forward as an organisation; and it’s even harder during times of change. A good starting point is to review your employee feedback strategy and then put mechanisms in place to gather feedback; continuously, not just via an annual engagement survey.

Why? Because the traditional survey is dead. It doesn’t give HR leaders and managers enough insight about what’s really going on with their people.

Employee listening: a building block of engagement

Continuous listening and anonymous two-way dialogue, on the other hand, will reveal insights that help organisations to take action on employee feedback. Visitors to our stand last week were particularly excited by the Targeted Anonymous Dialogue™ feature of the Peachy Mondays platform and how it could transform the way they gather feedback. It was great to have such validation.

Giving employees a voice is one of the four enablers of engagement and encourages employees to contribute their experience, expertise and ideas, as well as share their concerns about decisions and matters that affect them. Continuous employee listening can also act like an internal smoke detector, picking up on issues early-on so that they can be addressed before they escalate. Leaders, listen up!

HR and IT must collaborate

The explosion in HR technology is making it hard for HR professional to stay on top of new and emerging trends, and to choose the right solution. If ever there was a time for HR and IT to collaborate more closely, it is now! Researching, evaluating and selecting the right technology requires the knowledge and expertise of both disciplines.

As an HR technology provider, we’re acutely aware of this impact too and believe that we should be simplifying work, not making it more complex.

Our response to this is an integrated feedback platform that provides organisations with a single view of all their data, wherever the feedback is coming from, and throughout the employee journey. It means you can efficiently process, manage and action feedback using one familiar interface. And with one platform that’s easy to use, it’s more likely to be adopted.

Drawing our reflections to a close (and getting ready for #cipdACE in Manchester) we’d like to share one final thought. Our mission to help organisations become more people-centric is more important than ever. Engaged employees drive better business outcomes, they go the extra mile. Simply put, happy people work better.

*Download our white paper to find out more about driving transformation using real-time employee feedback.