Despite many companies’
efforts to embrace new technologies and more human-centric working
practices, there are still some workplaces today that are populated
by employees who feel like cogs in a wheel. Managers are perceived,
at worst, as slave drivers and, at best, incompetent middle-manager
process fiends. Work itself feels like drudgery.
have experienced one of those types of jobs yourself at one stage in
Thankfully, today we’re taking a much more
considered approach to employee welfare and really starting to care
about how individuals feel about their day-to-day roles.
is because of what I like to call the ‘empathy epiphany’ that was
highlighted by ServiceNow’s Pat Wadors and
in a head-to-head, on-stage discussion at
ServiceNow Now Forum London 2018 , which drilled into what
employee experience really means in the
workplace, as well as what it will mean for the future of
The session reflected much of what
ServiceNow founder Fred Luddy said when he envisioned a
cloud-based platform that would enable regular people to route work
effectively through the enterprise. Wadors, our Chief Talent
Officer, and Hough, our General Manager, used their time to dig into
what really matters to today’s workforce.
about so many of the themes and issues that were discussed at this
meeting, but before I give you my take on things, allow me to
provide you with some of the thoughts that were expressed on the
The future of work and the digital
We know that workers need great technology,
productivity, uptime and data. But we also need to know that the
data they are served with is accurate and timely, if everyone is to
have a good work experience. Keeping data validity and veracity
front of mind is very important as we build this new digital world
Wadors explained that she knows that many
workers will exist in their own silo mentality and preferred way of
working. She also acknowledges that many others will be open to
scale and growth and so will be ready to engage with a whole shared
service structure that an organisation can offer.
to be able to work with both mindsets and pretty much everything
that falls in between.
Both Wadors and Hough agreed that
modern work experiences can be described and defined around three
- The culture, practice and policy
that govern any individual in their role.
- The systems
and tools used in order to do a job.
- The physical and
digital environment inside which the worker has to exist.
Moments that matter for employee experience
Taking these factors in hand and managing
positive employee experiences around them can be
overwhelming, so where do we start? During the onboarding
process ? How about before?
Pat Wadors says
that it’s all about finding the ‘moments that matter’ in any given
role. There are sometimes the little things that really make an
employee feel engaged. From talent acquisition to
the onboarding process , to ramp up, to promotion
and onward to offboarding… we can get signals for what is working
and what isn’t at any given point, but only if we listen properly.
Building the new world of work can indeed be overwhelming, so
it’s a question of making changes in iterative incremental steps. We
have to be able to measure the state of work at any given point in
time, assess where we are, and then make more informed decisions on
where we go next to make work processes work better for the
organisation and its employees.
The fragility of the
employee value proposition
We need to
map out the cycle and cadence for change required to move forward.
If you are ramping up your headcount at around 20% or more in your
organisation, then you’re at risk of ‘breaking’ your
employee value proposition , that is – your ‘promise’
and commitment to your staff that you can provide them with a good
place to work that allows them to flourish and be productive.
Farrell Hough reminded us how we must understand that today, an
employee will very often know that they can leave a role and find
what they are looking for in another gig. This reality factor
underlines just how important it is to provide the right
employee value proposition for every worker at all
She makes a great point. If a business were losing
customers due to a problem, then managers would rally the troops
around to find out what kind of business resources are needed in
order to direct some new courses of action. It’s the same with human
capital if we’re at risk of losing it then it’s vitally important
that we realise this.
ServiceNow itself is experiencing
rapid growth and so is using the ServiceNow onboarding
process module to humanise the experience and localise
every experience for every employee coming online.
worker should feel like their first day at work is a time when the
company is really excited and happy to have you.
I think all the time about how we used
to treat talent acquisition and employee
experience with less care because the potential labour
pool was more abundant. In that scenario, we took less care over
people. But today we have skilled worker scarcity in so many sectors
of industry that we need to think more carefully about
talent acquisition , particularly when it comes to how
we treat our most precious resource.
Looking forward into
the next half-decade or so, we still have a few obstacles ahead of
us. As we now look to make sure we embrace employee
experience , with a watchful eye on diversity in all
forms on the road to combatting unconscious bias, we have much to
ServiceNow is excited to be building the
future of work in a place where employee
experience is at the heart of every organisation’s
mission statement. Think about the fact that we probably wouldn’t
even have had this discussion in quite such a direct and measured
way at the turn of the millennium, or perhaps even the turn of the
In figurative terms, we’ve now joined the
support network and ‘shared with the group’ out loud. Now is the
time for action.