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Employee Experience

Making Employee Experience a Boardroom Priority

The world of employee experience has been transforming at a rate none of us have encountered before. Accelerated by the pandemic, dramatic shifts in EX have seen both increased employee engagement across Asia (68%) and a reduced intent to stay (55%). These changes have heightened the importance of employee experience management, and also created a sense of uncertainty that we are learning to manage collectively.

I recently sat down with a panel of business and people leaders who are challenging pre-existing paradigms in the EX landscape to reshape the way their organisations are listening, aligning leadership teams, and driving action. While our discussion was focused on intentional employee experiences and how to assist people to thrive through uncertainty, we touched on many aspects of leadership, culture and retention that most leaders today will find both pertinent and relatable.

Watch our conversation here in full and read on for insights from our engaging panelists on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive meaningful business outcomes while putting people first.

Our Panel:

Deanne Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Aware Super

Vaughn Sheahan, Head of Organisational Development and Analytics, BHP Limited

Sarah Minford, Team Experience Partner, Endeavour Group


There are three key boardroom priorities for HR leaders to consider at this time

Shared by: Deanne Stewart, Aware Super

Firstly, boards really want to get a sense of the culture of an organisation beyond what is on a piece of paper. What is the degree of congruence throughout an organisation as it relates to the culture? There are so many examples where companies say ‘this is our culture’, but if you scratch the surface and go two to three levels down, it is a very different organisation. So, cultural congruence is a big priority. Secondly, and related to culture, is risk and risk culture. How well is risk being addressed and managed? And thirdly — especially during the current war for talent — beyond a single metric on employee engagement, boards want information on the intent to stay and the key reasons for turnover, particularly around employee wellbeing. Mental health and psychological safety are front and centre with boards.

The importance of connecting EX programs back to business outcomes

Shared by: Vaughn Sheahan, BHP Limited

It's good to keep things simple and work with straightforward metrics like turnover, giving your data clear correlations back to experience management. This approach will help you to build business cases and talk about the value of improving experiences. You can identify, for instance, the clear value on the table and money wasted through voluntary turnover. These metrics can be modelled and a dollar figure put on them.

From there you can identify slight changes on the scale of engagement and put a figure on the importance of managing engagement. There is an opportunity to look at external research to help you to build hypothetical models that can be applied and tested within your business to validate your hypothesis and quantify the economic impact of engagement within your business.

The analytics beyond engagement drive rapid improvements in culture and intent to stay

Shared by: Sarah Minford, Endeavour Group

Our retail stores use an NPS survey in our customer experience program and a team engagement survey for internal employee experience management. A sentiment existed within our business that if there were good team engagement scores then there would be good customer experiences in store. But prior to using Qualtrics, we’d never integrated the data sources, making this only a hypothesis without any data to validate the assumption.

In working with Qualtrics, we’ve been able to look closely at the correlation between the customer and team experiences and see the connection between these experiences. This has allowed us to start to speak a consistent language in the business. The customer NPS score is very well ingrained in the group and pleasingly our findings have supported our assumptions. Combining CX and EX is incredibly powerful.

“What has proven most successful for us as far as scorecards is to look at the teams that sit under the bottom quartile of the benchmark for global engagement. From there we can hone in on turnover, safety issues and productivity, looking more broadly at the metrics within those teams.’

- Vaughn Sheahan, Head of Organisational Development and Analytics, BHP Limited

Think beyond a single metric to a balanced scorecard that drives our key outcomes

Shared by: Deanne Stewart, Aware Super

Despite the challenges of the last couple of years, the silver lining for corporates in the area of employee experience is that we are now openly discussing what employees are looking for and what organisations are expected to provide when it comes to EX. I can think of five distinct areas where it's pivotal to get the employee value proposition right and to do that, we have to look broadly at our KPIs and metrics.

  • Purpose and values - Being part of an organisation that is a force for good is top of mind for so many employees. Consider your business’ social license and how you are making the world a better place.
  • Flexibility - Some organisations have embraced and offered flexibility while others are keen to snap back to old ways of working. As humans we all crave some flexibility and want an organisation to be tailored around us and not have to tailor ourselves around an organisation.
  • Inclusivity - People want to feel they can bring themselves into an organisation and be accepted. It's interesting to consider how your organisation might express inclusivity in hybrid and virtual working environments.
  • Career Development - People want to know they are developing, being challenged and thriving.
  • Well-being - This encompasses more than physical safety but there is a particular focus on mental well-being. This is harder to measure in a virtual world so we have to be looking for the signs of wellness.

Using a range of analytics drives rapid improvements in intent to stay

Shared by: Vaughn Sheahan, BHP Limited

Looking at a single moment in time, data can only tell you so much, and may not portray an accurate takeaway message. When an employee leaves an organisation, it is because of something that happened six to nine months before their exit. At BHP, we saw new hire failure rates led to employees leaving just 12 months later due to a lack of career development. By connecting this data we determined where the most efficient and effective interventions can be made. - BHP

The importance of Environmental & Social Governance (ESG) in informing business culture and employer brand

Shared by: Deanne Stewart, Aware Super

The core reasons many organisations look at their social licenses are to attract talent and manage their reputation.   If you get this wrong, you can suffer from a team perspective as well as when it comes to share price.

ESG also matters from a risk lens, we know that a well run and governed organisation has 5-10% higher shareholder return, these issues matter from a risk and opportunity perspective. - Aware Super

“A week doesn’t go by without hearing from someone on my team about how passionate they are about ESG and that it forms part of the reason that they are with us over another organisation.”

- Deanne Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Aware Super

Inspiration for the proactive retention of people

Shared by: Vaughn Sheahan, BHP Limited

We have been focussing on getting the basics right through safe environments and psychological safety. Providing supervisor support and dealing with turnover and retention issues give you a platform to build on as you consider other opportunities for retention. - BHP

Shared by: Deanne Stewart, Aware Super

Genuinely living your organisational purpose and making it core, is a key attractor for talent, people want to be part of something growing, aspirational and transformational. - Aware Super

“We’ve been understanding more about employee experience versus expectation. Is the movie matching the trailer when people join? That is a really important thing to think about when planning for retention.”

- Sarah Minford - Team Experience Partner, Endeavour Group

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the future of work for generations to come. Experiences carry such great importance and the organisations making strides in EX are not only reaping the rewards of improved engagement and productivity, but meeting and exceeding their innovation and reputational goals too.

To learn more about how you can move beyond a single metric of engagement and design the ultimate Employee Experience, download our EX25 Guide here.

Hear from Aware Super, BHP Limited and Endeavour Group