It is a revolution that is moving the HR/employee relationship from transactional and reactive to interactional and proactive. It is driven by companies and leaders who view their employees as their most important customer and are investing in redesigning the ‘employee experience’ at every level; crafting an experience for employees that is engaging, empowering, valuable and customized for them.
There are many factors impacting this revolution:
- Productivity Concerns – Employee productivity rates remain relatively flat despite the focused efforts to drive employee engagement and culture over the past decade.
- Low Unemployment Rates – Retaining employees is easier when there are not many job openings in the market. Due to the fact that Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce at 1 every 4 seconds, there are many job opportunities for skilled employees.
- Retention – Today’s average worker stays at each job for 4.4 years. Employees who are frustrated with the career track opportunities at their current employer often seek new roles as an opportunity to accelerate career growth.
The employee experience is the new competitive edge in today’s modern workforce – it is what will attract new talent and encourage them to stay.
The decision to begin intentionally creating an employee experience within a company is one that will requires sweeping change in just about every area of HR: recruitment, performance management, leadership development, benefits, compensation and people analytics to name just a few. These changes represent a major overhaul on how things have been. They will require time and persistence, and it won’t happen overnight. In the meantime, the one area of focus that can immediately improve the employee experience is leadership development.
The commitment to develop a truly customized and relevant leadership development strategy is a divergence from how leadership development has primarily been conducted in the past. In many cases, leadership development consists simply of a ‘check the box’ training that offers a selected few a generic training experience, often with little to no follow up or support. Participants feel only the immediate fulfillment of engaging in such an activity, but that fulfillment soon wears off and new skills are often lost within a year. And that little bit of benefit was only for the few who were lucky enough to attend the once-a-year-check-the-box training.
Current research around current L&D doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Employees rate L&D with only a 15% net promoter score, meaning only 15% of employees would recommend L&D services to their peers.
That’s a lot of room for improvement. A recent study found that of employees that receive training, 62% say it’s only somewhat relevant or not applicable their job at all.
Generic, typical classroom style trainings that aren’t relevant may actually hurt more than help.
Leadership development strategy is the mechanism by which a thoughtful, relevant and dynamic employee experience is designed. Effective development efforts are focused, intentional, customized and specific for the customers – the leaders which they attempt to reach. Just like your external customers, your internal customers can tell if you’ve just thrown something together in an effort to use the available budget and be able to say, ‘well, at least we did something’.
This is a driving force behind Enact’s leadership solutions. We believe that it is imperative that your development aligns with your business needs. The participant experience must be relevant, practical, engaging and specific to the needs of your employees. Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.