How HR Innovators Are Ending Death & Taxes

3 Minutes Read

I have the benefit of talking to HR leaders across industries and around the world. These are the people who create the things others are talking about and one topic is always on their radar, employee retention. It is the death and taxes of the HR world. We don’t have much control over it and it doesn’t help to just ignore it.

Staying positive I’ve been hearing how these HR innovators are making retention a more palatable issue. It’s still on their minds, but they’ve been able to implement programs that let them focus on other areas.

Build a strong, intensive, employee experience

Historically HR leaders all agreed a stronger corporate culture improves retention. The challenge was in measurement. And there is nothing wrong with that because you just know if your culture is working or not. As our workplaces evolve, fostering a measurable employee experience has been a boom for HR leaders. They can see direct results, employees love it because the experience is tailored to their needs, and senior leaders can see clear ROI.

Defining the Employee Experience

Some HR departments remain stuck with the traditional method of defining the employee experience as hard silos where on-boarding and retention might be seen as completely different areas. Treat them as independent, assign stakeholders, and check the item off the list.

I would suggest a pretty radical method of focusing on how to enhance the employee experience. Here are the 3 that come to mind.

  1. Map the entire employee experience at your organization
  2. Test different ideas and learn from them
  3. Consider the importance of implementing the most innovative tools and see the success once you do


Let me touch on these three points in more detail

Map the entire employee experience

What is the employee journey from hire to retire.

  • Recruiting experience
  • On-boarding experience
  • Recognition
  • Understanding the impact on the company
  • And many more and more possibilities

While these may feel like very detailed steps, the benefit is that tools today can help you implement programs for each specific employee step and help HR define what steps impact employees the most.

Test different ideas and learn from them--Let’s tailor experiences that best combine the needs and culture of the organization with the employee experience. Maybe the employees experience can best be met with some type of small recognition or maybe with the opportunity to move vertically or horizontally throughout the organization. If the employee has the chance to grow within the organization in a near limitless fashion then the employee experience is multiple times what it is in most places.

Simple in premise but quite complex in execution. Where does the employee go, what sort of recognition do they receive, what are their moves within the organization, do they leave and comeback? This map allows you to then tie these events into one group and understand what matters to individuals and groups. If the finance team has higher turnover you are able to look at the map of the employees in that group and receive that view of the employee movements that tells you what may be going wrong. You can also compare it to another group so you can have a contrast with what they are doing right.

Consider the importance of implementing the most innovative tools and see the success once you do

Sure, this is a plug for what we’ve been doing for clients. Though we really see the benefit in helping companies implement tools that help increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

The big leap we all are grappling with is machine automation and AI. Some are open to new things and when they learn what something as machine automation can do for their program they leap at the opportunity and see a great opportunity in using it.

Artificial Intelligence is gaining its first toe hold in the HR field. It amazes me that some of the people I speak to who swore they would never let a machine make a decision for them find they love AI because it takes those 50 daily routines down to 5. Both of these examples show that the brave companies who want to invest in the employee experience know that investing in new technologies is the only way to do this.

Let me wrap up for you. If you want to continue your market leadership you will need to do so by retaining the best employees by enhancing the employee experience. This is an easy sounding idea but very complex in its execution. Break down the hard silos and move into a model similar to the one I spoke of earlier in this post. But most important of all, remember that the new model focuses on how you help people and not just nameless faces. The new way works because it helps the organization by helping people.


Todd Horton