• Editor

The New Role of HR: 'Experience Architects'

It’s not time for something different. It’s time for something better. A lot of my work and research on employee experience (EX) involves the HR function in some way. Although many of the touchpoints within EX revolve around and are under the direct control of leaders, HR remains a key player in shaping and building positive experiences in work, but how are HR leaders transforming and what capabilities are coming to the fore?

Historically, HR has been caught in the middle. The orders coming down from the top and a deep mistrust rising from the bottom. It’s been a no-win game. Things going well, the brand wins. Things going bad, HR gets the blame for the poor culture. Indeed, leaders routinely name and shame HR by pointing the finger at colleagues who are often not able to fight back.

However, the more enlightened CEO is demanding something else from HR. To be an adored brand, you need a good amount of love in the marketplace. The C-suite is now recognizing, at a level scarcely seen before, the connection between how their consumers AND employees feel. Thriving employees creating a thriving brand experience.

Now, this area is rife with distraction. The shiny new tech, the incredible new apps, the amazingly colourful workplace experiences and all that. Yet, within all the glossy marketing and all the content from the EX being shared by employees on social media, one thing is clear.

It is the highly visible shift towards human-centricity. Companies are actively building around what it is to be a human-being. The whole being too, in and out of work. How can you get the best out of people if you don’t understand them? How can they thrive if they are set up to fail by outdated workplace and HR practices? How do you do this when things get tough?