Talent Strategy for Improved Employee Experience - Joseph W. Kelly

Photo by Shridhar Gupta on Unsplash

Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas was transitioning their President role to a new leader. As part of that process, the new President wanted to do a deep dive into the state of his team and understand the experience of the talent that worked for the organization. Joe Kelly, a Board and Executive Committee Member from Deloitte, led an effort to provide the perspectives the President sought through a series of focus groups and interviews. Following that effort, he worked with the President and several key leaders in developing an overall talent strategy that focused on employee experience and a vision for what JA wanted to be as an employer.

The project was so successful that National Junior Achievement leadership asked Joe and Deloitte to run a workshop at the National President’s meeting for the 100+ JA chapters in the country. The session focused on three key topics:

  • How the human experience impacts talent strategy.
  • How to effectively use personas and employee journey maps to positively impact the experience for your talent.
  • An effective approach for developing a strategy and roadmap to drive attraction and retention of talent through the human experience.

To begin, we reviewed how macro trends are impacting how organizations operate in the talent space. Some of the key trends reviewed included:

  • The rise of the Social Enterprise — Organizations now need to focus not just on revenue and growth but also how they respect and support their environment and stakeholders beyond stockholders.
  • Reinventing with a human focus by addressing the employee experience at work.
  • A shift in leadership focus to breaking down barriers to collaboration and refreshing their approach to teaming.
  • A shift to personalizing rewards focusing on options to support employees and providing fairness and equity.
  • An emerging understanding that learning must be embedded into the daily employee experience to support the reskilling needed in today’s world.

The approach covered, utilizes many elements of design-thinking to help drive solutions that address the human experience for employees at work. The efforts focused on the five key areas of communications, recognition, collaboration, development, and employee empowerment. Critical aspects include:

  • Define a Vision — What does the future look/feel like for the workforce?
  • Barriers/Enablers — What interferes with employees getting the experience they desire? What processes and policies are in place that enable collaboration and rewards?
  • Roadmap — How do we move from its current state to our vision?

To illustrate how each of the areas could work on developing their own targeted efforts, we took them through a series of group exercises to brainstorm solutions. The exercises included:

  • Vision setting — Reviewed samples from other organizations and then had small groups develop draft statements.
  • Employee Personas and Experience maps — Used a design thinking approach common to customer journey mapping to understand employee needs.
  • Barriers/Enablers — Illustrated agendas and process for using Individual Meetings to interview employees to understand their experiences in areas like onboarding, learning & development, career mobility, etc. Data from interviews is then analyzed to develop themes in the five key areas.
  • Roadmap — Brainstormed ideas for solutions addressing each of the key areas and dropped into a roadmap to address over time.

The workshop was very successful and many JA areas around the country are now pursuing their own projects to address their employee experience.

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