Posted by: Emily Smoothy

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Employee Experience with Melanie Oakley, Chief People Officer at LendInvest

Last week we joined Melanie Oakley, Chief People Officer at LendInvest, and a number of HR professionals within the technology space, for an insightful roundtable. The theme of the discussion was 'Employee Experience' and various sub-topics emerged including 'Who is responsible?', 'What needs to be done?' and 'Where do businesses go wrong?'.

It can be difficult making it to events with such a busy schedule, so we wanted to share with you the key takeaways for the session.

The key points discussed were:

  • Employee experience is often down to individuals – both the reasons to stay at a business or reasons to leave
  • It’s always about the people and culture, not the benefits – the joy from duvet days or late starts only really last for a certain amount of time
  • Too often businesses focus on getting talent through the door but once they are in, it's important that the focus is continued. It’s a lot easier to retain staff than to recruit.
  • It’s important to ask your employees what they actually want, not just assume and create programmes or objectives which will not have a positive effect on them or aren't needed
  • Employees should drive their own conversations with Managers when it comes to performance management – it shouldn’t always be HR chasing. This needs to be embedded in the way employees think about things and performance reviews should be about an individual’s development
  • It’s important to show your people that you are doing your best to make things frictionless when they do have multiple things on and are struggling with balance
  • Listening to your people and talking about their pain points – what could make their lives easier and as a result make them succeed in their jobs better
  • Understanding that micro-cultures will exist in a business
  • It’s ok to “pilot” things and gather feedback afterwards – it’s often the best way to learn what works
  • It’s important to recognise that some Managers need support for leadership capability. We shouldn't just promote or hire in and assume they are ok to lead effectively. Often it is left until problems arise and then HR needs to step in to upskill, whilst trying to smooth over damages
  • It’s important to highlight that it’s not just HR’s responsibility to ensure positive employee engagement. They can certainly put the framework in place but often it’s important to remember that the wider business as a whole needs to take ownership in certain aspects
  • You need to make people feel like they are at the centre of the business
  • Employee surveys – it shouldn’t be that you just do them once a year, it needs to be continuous and this is such an important way to get crucial feedback
  • On that basis, it doesn’t matter how many times a year you complete them, it’s what you do with that feedback and how you show the business, that counts. If people don’t see the follow-up, they won’t continue to participate
  • Communication = engagement. Using multiple forms of communication is also just as important to channel messages in the right way. You can’t assume by sending one email that it will get through to the whole business.
  • Collaboration is key – it’s so important that HR focus on that collaborative piece with wider teams and stakeholders in a business
  • Wellbeing – physical and mental health initiatives. Businesses have a duty of care to make sure their people are ok at work, so it’s important that employees understand from day 1 that this is an area they can be open with their managers/stakeholders in order to take responsibility for themselves. It’s about preventing them from being off sick a few months down the line due to them burning themselves out and not feeling they have the ability to ask for help or support.
  • Resilience – people react and respond to things in different ways.
  • Blame cultures – when things go wrong it is easy to point the blame at their people instead of taking ownership of this. Employers need to be able to do this to avoid employees feeling like this occurs when things do go wrong.
  • Meaningful work – the most important thing and things tend to flow from there.
  • Clear and defined objectives from day 1 also, set the expectation from the start and treat people the same on day one as a legacy employee.

If you found the above points of discussion thought-provoking or this blog post has piqued your interest in the many quality events we run, we encourage you to reach out to Emily Smoothy or Brittany Newell to learn more about upcoming events.

Once again, a big thank you goes to Melanie Oakley for the timely education on employee experience which matters to every business, big and small. We look forward to the next one!

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