The Workplace As An Experience: Three New HR Roles Emerge

The Workplace As An Experience: Three New HR Roles Emerge

The New Focus On The Employee Experience

 

Human Resource departments are re-defining  what  “new normal”  is in the workplace by  creating memorable employee experiences for employees. These range from working with Real Estate executives to design the space employees work in, providing  smart technologies employees access at work,  and crafting  emotional connections with employees in the workplace.

 

The rise of mobile technology and an on-demand economy are driving employees across all ages to expect similar experiences in their personal lives and at work. The Workplace as an Experience is becoming such a priority among HR leaders that I devoted an entire column to this, highlighting how Airbnb CHRO Mark Levy changed his job title to Chief Employee Experience Officer[1], signaling the importance of this to Airbnb employees.

 

Companies ranging from GE Digital[2] to IBM[3] and Forrester[4]  are re-thinking the HR value proposition, and focusing on instilling a consumer mindset into HR solutions. This means incorporating data analytics, design thinking, and agile methodologies in the HR department.

 

I often get asked: how are companies actually creating the workplace as an experience? My answer: forward looking HR departments are crafting new roles in HR to lead this effort. I am sharing three new HR roles I see being created at three organizations to provide a lens into just how much HR is transforming to deliver greater value to the organization.

 

Three New HR Roles To Create A Compelling Employee Experience

 

Recruiting Scrum Master

 

Reports to Global Head of Talent Acquisition

 

In rugby, scrum[5] is short for scrummage and refers to a method of restarting a play, where players pack closely together with their heads down and attempt to gain possession of the ball.  Similarly, scrum methods are at the heart of implementing an agile recruiting model. This model incorporates the scrum methods used in software development, infusing speed and managing unpredictability in the recruiting process.

 

According to Amber Grewal[6], Global head of Talent Acquisition at GE Digital: “GE Digital[7]’sworkforce has grown from 100 employees in 2012 to around 20,000 in 2016. Hiring digital talent has been a key focus for the company, and in the process we have leveraged software development agile methods to get the right people at the right time in the right place.”

 

The ability to execute fast is critical for a hyper-growth business to succeed. As Reid Hoffmann, founder of LinkedIn LNKD +0.93%[9][8], said in a Harvard Business Review article[10], “Blitzscaling is what you do when you need to grow really, really quickly. Mortality puts priorities into sharp focus.”

 

When you are blitzscaling, a number of processes are inevitably broken. You can’t work on them all at once—you have to triage. This mindset is now being used to find talent for hyper-growth businesses. For example, to meet its hiring needs, GE Digital[11] created a unique agile recruiting framework and established the role of recruiting scrum master. This new role applies many of the scrum techniques used in software development to recruiting by breaking down massive hiring needs into incremental and iterative steps, where the highest value hiring challenges are addressed first for the customer. Through conducting daily scrum meetings, recruiters are able to deliver talent needs and business objectives within two to six weeks versus the average 10 to 15 weeks. The recruiting scrum master also supports and coaches the recruiting scrum team (RST) to maximize recruiting results through continuous corrections and implementations of scrum processes, while supporting the headcount (business) owner.

 

This approach helps GE Digital[12] recruiters engage and connect with passive talent – using technology hackathons to source candidates, connecting with talent via their open source code contributions on GitHub[13], or interacting through gamification. When candidates join the GE Digital[14] talent community, recruiters can stay connected with them in the process, and deliver to the business a successful candidate in record time.

 

GE Digital[15] has been able to reduce the time to hire by 70% for in-demand roles in software engineering and commercial software sales. The scrum recruiting process limits work-in-progress and in turn increases the quality of the candidate and decreases time to hire. Grewal predicts additional software development roles such as recruiting data analyst and recruiting user design will soon start to infiltrate the recruitment process.

 

People Analytics Director 

 

Reports to Vice President Talent Solutions & People Analytics

 

IBM[16]’s Watson[17] became a celebrity in 2011 when Watson[18] beat two champions in the television game show Jeopardy!

The performance on Jeopardy! confirmed that Watson’s natural language processing capability could compete with people’s ability to understand questions, rank potential responses and come up with a correct answer.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and IBM is applying the full spectrum of analytics, machine learning and natural language processing to HR.[19] According to Diane Gherson[20], “HR is being radically transformed to mine huge amounts of data and offer more granular, customized solutions to the business.”  And one of the most interesting recent solutions makes use of an IBM IBM +1.45%[22][21] patent (#US8600847 B1) which includes the ability to predict the retention risk for employees in key roles.

 

Each year, IBM [23]examines risk factors like location, compensation, employee engagement sentiment, and even manager engagement at the aggregate level for both a country and job role. Then it’s the job of Anshul Sheopuri[24], People Analytics Director, and his team to use machine learning to calculate the relative importance of these and other factors, all while maintaining employee privacy. The end result is the identification of employee groups in key job roles at risk of finding opportunities outside of IBM[25] and a program of thoughtful manager intervention to prevent departures. This initiative has been reported to save IBM[26] about $130 million dollars, as measured by the avoiding the inevitable costs of hiring and training replacements.

 

Currently, IBM[27] has hundreds of data scientists (People Analytics Director being one such example) analyzing data to identify proactive retention methods and to probe the best ways to recruit and engage IBMers. One such example is the analytics behind Manager Playbooks which alert managers of potential employee burnout or who identify an employee who is overdue for mentoring sessions or career development  to build up skills for advancement.

Some are also dedicated to analyzing employee sentiment from internal social collaboration platforms, with the goal of recommending approaches the company can take to address concerns.

 

Last year, the People Analytics group  alerted Gherson and her HR team of a widely debated conversation on the IBM[28] Connections platform. IBM [29]had decided against reimbursing for Uber[30],Lyft[31] and other ride sharing services, due to security concerns. But Max Black[32], a NY-based Millennial working in the Watson consulting unit made the argument for why the policy should be reversed in an internal blog entitled, Global IBM Petition to Bring Back Ridesharing Reimbursement. Hundreds of others weighed in too. The People Analytics team surfaced the concerns and within 24 hours the Gherson had reversed the policy via her own blog. This contributed to employees’ feelings that their concerns were heard and addressed.

 

Head of Employee Experience

 

Reports to Chief People Officer

 

The HR shift to employee experience would not be complete without an actual role: Head of Employee Experience. At Forrester[33], this role reports to Chief People Officer and is responsible for putting the employee at the center of the workplace. At Forrester[34], Lucia Quinn, the Chief People Officer, believes creating a compelling employee experience requires a deep understanding of the needs and expectations of employees. This led to creating a new role,  the Head of Employee Experience, who is charged with working beyond silos of individual departments to assume a cross functional role working with Human Resources, Real Estate[35], Marketing, IT, and Internal Communications. One can either assume this title as Mark Levy did at Airbnb, as described in my Forbes column entitled Airbnb CHRO Becomes Chief Employee Experience Officer[36], or create a new role reporting to Chief People Officer as in the case of Forrester[37].

 

At Forrester[38], this new role is focused on creating an awesome employee experience, so new hires stay and are engaged during their first few years. Often research shows new employees with tenure of less than two years leave because of frustration[39] with unproductive, poorly optimized work processes. This is exactly what the role of Employee Experience is addressing at the firm.

 

Interestingly, in the case of Forrester[40], the Head of Employee Experience, Jon Symons[41] did not come from HR but from Communications. Symons says he is charged with “Forging an emotional connection between Forrester employees and the Forrester brand.”  In doing so, Symons works on a range of projects from examining how to use Glassdoor[42] and other employer rating sites to strengthen the brand to creating awesome employee experiences across the employee life cycle, from new hires to long tenured employees, and even exploring how Forrester alumni can advocate for the company’s employer brand.

 

These three roles all focus  on creating a compelling employee experience, and are becoming the ‘new normal,’ for how Human Resource departments are transforming the workplace as an experience. These new roles also point to the opportunity for HR to reach out to employees in other disciplines such as marketing, communications, software engineering, and data science who are filling these roles.   It’s not merely re-skilling HR, but HR recruiting new skills into the function!

 

What are the new roles you are creating in HR? Share them here and let’s start a conversation on this important topic.

 

Original author: Jeanne Meister

References

  1. ^how Airbnb CHRO Mark Levy changed his job title to Chief Employee Experience Officer (www.forbes.com)
  2. ^GE Digital (www.ge.com)
  3. ^IBM (www.ibm.com)
  4. ^Forrester (www.forrester.com)
  5. ^scrum (en.wikipedia.org)
  6. ^Amber Grewal (www.linkedin.com)
  7. ^GE Digital (www.ge.com)
  8. ^LinkedIn (www.forbes.com)
  9. ^LNKD +0.93% (www.forbes.com)
  10. ^Harvard Business Review article (hbr.org)
  11. ^GE Digital (www.ge.com)
  12. ^GE Digital (www.ge.com)
  13. ^GitHub (www.github.com)
  14. ^GE Digital (www.ge.com)
  15. ^GE Digital (www.ge.com)
  16. ^IBM (www.ibm.com)
  17. ^Watson (www.ibm.com)
  18. ^Watson (www.ibm.com)
  19. ^Fast forward to 2016 and IBM is applying the full spectrum of analytics, machine learning and natural language processing to HR. (www.hreonline.com)
  20. ^Diane Gherson (www.linkedin.com)
  21. ^IBM (www.forbes.com)
  22. ^IBM +1.45% (www.forbes.com)
  23. ^IBM  (www.ibm.com)
  24. ^Anshul Sheopuri (www.linkedin.com)
  25. ^IBM (www.ibm.com)
  26. ^IBM (www.ibm.com)
  27. ^IBM (www.ibm.com)
  28. ^IBM (www.ibm.com)
  29. ^IBM  (www.ibm.com)
  30. ^Uber (www.uber.com)
  31. ^Lyft (www.lyft.com)
  32. ^Max Black (www.linkedin.com)
  33. ^Forrester (www.forrester.com)
  34. ^Forrester (www.forrester.com)
  35. ^Real Estate (www.forbes.com)
  36. ^Airbnb CHRO Becomes Chief Employee Experience Officer (www.forbes.com)
  37. ^Forrester (www.forrester.com)
  38. ^Forrester (www.forrester.com)
  39. ^research shows new employees with tenure of less than two years leave because of frustration (digitalworkplacegroup.com)
  40. ^Forrester (www.forrester.com)
  41. ^Jon Symons (www.linkedin.com)
  42. ^Glassdoor (www.glassdoor.com)

Read more http://www.2elearning.com/insights-blogs/blogs/entry/the-workplace-as-an-experience-three-new-hr-roles-emerge

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