Why not apply design thinking to improve the employee experience with the same care given to delight customers?

Cisco hosted a non-tech hackathon to explore a wide range of HR issues with its employees. The result: 105 new solutions for its global workforce of 71,000 people to improve employee experiences in recruiting, onboarding, and learning and development. To delight employees, Cisco has identified “moments that matter” — such as joining the organization, changing jobs, and managing family emergencies — and redesigned its employee services around these moments.

AirBnB has changed the Chief HR Officer function into a Chief Employee Experience Officer function recognizing that “experience” is the essence of a workplace, especially among millennials.

At Pixar, the Employee Experience Manager provides outreach, consultation and support to a variety of groups and individuals. This means lots of face time, and conversations with employees and managers to better understand experiences, challenges, and development needs.

6 trends linking HR and Design Thinking

Josh Bersin at Deloitte predicts HR teams in 2017 will stop designing “programs” and instead design integrated, high-value “experiences” that excite, engage and inspire employees. HR can leverage design thinking via:

  1. Organizational design, which can incorporate design thinking when restructuring roles or the organization itself
  2. Engagement, which research shows can be driven by using design thinking to make work easier, more efficient, more fulfilling, and more rewarding
  3. Learning, in which new, self-directed learning experiences can be shaped by design thinking’s central principle of putting the user experience ahead of the process
  4. Analytics,in which data analysis and design thinking can be linked to recommend better solutions directly to the employee
  5. HR skills, which must be upgraded to incorporate an understanding of digital design, mobile application design, behavioral economics, machine learning, and user experience design
  6. Digital HR, where design thinking is critical in developing new digital tools that can make work easier and better.

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