Ready for EX?

/, Design/Ready for EX?

By Sue Newcombe

The expectations on HR are changed.  Not changing – changed.  No longer can HR practices succeed if they continue to move and work along traditional lines.  The world of HR work is now much more fully centred on the Employee Experience (EX).

HR is, was and always will be about the people within organisations.  Today, the expectations from the people in organisations could not be more crystal clear.  They want meaning, engagement, development, great leadership and conducive conditions. Where their expectations are understood and met, the people within organisations are able to deliver far greater results than ever before or were even thought possible.  Organisations who ‘get’ EX will be the ones that move forward into the future and thrive while the others will be those that get left behind and fade away.

In context, an organisation still has to have a strong and focussed business strategy which assures it delivers on its promised products and service, a strong, deep end-user marketing focus, superior financial and commercial acumen, and of course a relentless improvement approach to their customer and supplier relationships.

HR needs to lead the way forward with regard to the people within the organisation and the art and practice of EX will be the method of delivering on this.   The concepts and thinking around this are not really new, they have been around for some time in other areas, but are emerging now as adaptable for HR purposes. The time is right – now -for HR to rethink itself and get on board.

EX doesn’t just happen.   Most HR professionals will need help to learn the fundamentals of it including ‘design thinking’.  This is not something most experienced HR people have in their skill pack, but something that most HR people can readily transition to and with support and the right resolve will soon be tackling the EX needs of their organisations successfully.  It’s actually better than the old stuff HR has been working on for the last decade or so – it refreshes meaning, engagement, development and great leadership for HR people themselves.   So it’s going to be that breath of fresh air at the next HR conference, HR meeting or HR plan presentation.

Talent, succession, engagement, performance, leadership development, change management, culture – have all been at the forefront of most HR professionals’ minds for the last ten years or so.  Add to the complexities of diversity, inclusion, wellbeing, retention, aging workforce etc. and life has been pretty full on in the world of HR.  If you also had health and safety in your job description you pretty well had enough challenge for multiples of yourself.

EX still encompasses much of this but it approaches it very differently.  It looks for solutions to problems that are specifically designed out of what the employee experience is and needs to be for them to work for their own and their organisation’s success.


About Sue Newcombe
Sue is a seasoned HR professional with extensive HR leadership experience in some of Australia’s largest organisations including BHP Steel, IPW Group & Minova. Find out more about Sue here: