On how today’s organizations tackle their need to get to know each one of their employees to personalize action plans, and thus, improve their employees’ work experiences, it is interesting to observe that HR is incorporating new work methodologies and tools taken from other disciplines, such as software, marketing or communications. Some worth mentioning are:
These emerge in early 2001 in the software field to overcome the existing traditional process models. A feature these methodologies have in common is how they interpret software development as an activity which always comes with a certain degree of uncertainty. This uncertainty drives the need to put the onus on people, to let them self-organize and interact with one another with the aim of satisfying the customer's requirements and flexibly adapt to changes occurring during projects. Some of the most important agile methodologies include Agile Modelling, Agile Unified Process, Crystal Clear, Extreme Programming and Scrum, indisputably the best known one of them all. The purpose of adapting and using these innovative methodologies for the HR field is to create work teams in which commitment, cooperation, and consensus among all stakeholders are fostered, so they successfully deliver the most productive solutions that bring greater value to projects.
A method for solving problems and designing innovative products, which applied to HR offers enormous potential for improving employee productivity and satisfaction. The simplest and most widespread model for applying this methodology, espoused by Tim Brown, is the one defined by Stanford University which defines 5 stages:
In this initial stage, the objective is to put ourselves in the shoes of our target, be they clients or in HR’s case, our employees. Knowing how they think, what their expectations, concerns and needs are—these are required for moving on to the next phase.
After we have obtained and analysed all the information in the previous stage and we are familiar with the way our public thinks —in our case, our employees—we will then be able to define the problem to solve.
This is the phase in which the working group’s creativity can be given free rein to propose ideas to solve the problem defined beforehand. Once presented, the group stakeholders select the best ones by consensus.
Then it is time for our selected ideas to materialize. For this it is best to make a prototype that is as simple as possible and that does not entail a large investment, either financially or in terms of the time needed to do it.
In the final stage of this methodology, we test if the idea or the selected ideas meet our employees’ expectations. Based on their responses, we decide if the solution is valid, finalizing the process to begin development, or if on the contrary, if it’s necessary, go back and modify it, going through the previous stages until we find the right solutions.
This concept originates from Inbound Marketing. The creators of Platform Marketing at HubSpot, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, first came up with the idea of Inbound Marketing in 2005. Applied to HR, it aims to make the employee fall in love with the organization. The company must generate value proposals that meet the needs and expectations of employees so they can eventually become brand ambassadors of the organization.
Employee Journey Map
Employee Journey Maps plot and define the different key stages of the journeys taken by candidates, collaborators, and former employees of an organization to identify their needs, expectations, fears and more in each stage. Ultimately, such maps create a positive emotional bond between organizations and their employees.. Although there is a standardization of key or critical moments that usually have the most toll over candidates’ emotions, for example the recruitment period, the hiring process, their first day of work, the onboarding period, the day to day activities, professional development, or leaving the company—each organization is recommended to perform an analysis of the moments that can most affect an employee based on their characteristics. Designing their own experience curve allows HR to detect strengths and weaknesses of their employees during this journey and to work on them. This will undoubtedly deliver an edge over other companies.
If you found this post interesting, we encourage you to explore our guides for HR professionals on “Employee Centricity: discover how to improve your employee experience”.