3 ways to strengthen your EX and win the war for talent

The pandemic’s aftermath, coupled with current economic, social and political conditions, have created major challenges for today’s business leaders—and CHROs in particular. And as 2023 unfolds, their responsibilities will only continue to grow and evolve, says Yvette Cameron, senior vice president, global product strategy for Oracle Cloud HCM (and an HR Tech Influencer).

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That’s in part because, despite the current economic landscape, employees remain more bullish than ever, expecting higher salaries to meet rising inflation, along with flexible work environments, transparency in pay practices, career mobility, mental health support, DEI commitment and more. In addition, employees want work experiences that are personalized, meaningful and intuitive.

“They want their experience to support their individual needs, provide them with opportunities to be heard and give them a sense of connection to their peers and overall workplace culture,” Cameron says.

Organizations must respond by putting the employee experience at the center of the wider business strategy, “so employees feel valued and appreciated, and know their needs are being considered.”

But, with often-limited resources and a rapidly changing business landscape, Cameron says, this is “no easy feat.”

Cameron offered several strategies for strengthening EX as 2023 unfolds:

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Create personalized employee experiences at scale

Tailor communication to employees around new benefits and recently changed policies, along with messages that reinforce core values, she says. Additionally, Cameron adds, HR leaders can deliver personalized, step-by-step workflows that guide employees through important milestones and opportunities—both personal and professional —such as new hire onboarding, transferring to a new role, new project engagement or growing their family.

See also: Josh Bersin’s 9 HR areas to focus on this year

“This allows employees to receive the resources specific to where they are in life or their careers, and reinforces that their employer both understands them and their relationship with the company, and cares about them as a person,” she says.

Cameron likens the personalization process to traditional customer-buying experiences: The more individualized attention customers get, the more likely they are to recommend the company or product to friends, she says.

“If a business applies this same thinking to its employees, those who create and deliver personalized experiences will likely see comparable outcomes, with increased employee engagement, productivity and retention,” according to Cameron.

Put talent intelligence to work

Cameron says upskilling and reskilling are crucial for meeting fast-changing demands, especially in today’s economy, but focusing simply on traditional training alone isn’t enough. Personalized learning, fueled by the needs of employees and the business—and identified through organizational data—will be important.

“Businesses need to put their talent intelligence to work by using data from across the enterprise to understand where the gaps are in the organization,” she says. They also must manage workforce plans for today and tomorrow (and a year from now), and provide meaningful recommendations and decision support in the flow of work to help employees succeed and deliver better business outcomes.

Cultivate “human” leadership for a people-first culture

Finally, Cameron says, the EX expected in today’s evolving world of work requires a new type of leadership.

“Not only do business leaders need to focus on understanding and supporting their workers’ success, but they must also demonstrate preparedness, readiness and the ability to make decisions, communicate strategies, plans and priorities, and connect their workforce to outcomes,” Cameron says.

To succeed in this future of work, managers (and future managers) must take a “people-first” approach—shifting from traditional leadership models to those more focused on commitment and collaboration with employees.

“When leaders take a people-first approach to their workforce processes, demonstrating empathy, transparency and high accountability, they’re able to unlock the potential and performance of individuals, teams and the business,” she notes.

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Tom Starner
Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at [email protected]