The NeXt HR

Evolving the Function in the Era of Employee Experience

The NeXt HR

The Era of Employee Experience is Here

The C-Suite now recognizes that the employee experience (eX) can have broad and meaningful impact on business outcomes, from innovation to financial performance. However, delivering an eX that unlocks the power of people and teams is easier said than done. Many CHROs and their teams are addressing key moments that matter for their workforce across the employee lifecycle – with the goal to inspire, elevate, connect, simplify and remove friction. CHROs are also asking themselves what’s next for their organization and the HR team in the current era of eX. While looking to the future, they are still grappling with challenges from the past:

HR Business Partners have been in place for some time now, and demand for strategic support for business leaders continues to rise

HR Operations is evolving, but is still not fully leveraged by the rest of HR nor the business

HR technology is in the cloud, yet managers still don’t embrace self- service and the vision for analytics hasn’t been fully realized

Confusion about who the customers are for the centers of excellence (COEs)

Meanwhile, enabling business outcomes through HR is now a common expectation of the C-Suite, and everyone is struggling to define – and understand ownership for – the employee eX. In fact, Kincentric’s research shows that 70% of organizations say employee eX is the domain of the HR function*. This view, however, ignores the fact that delivering a differentiated experience requires coordination across several different corporate functions and with the business to define the desired outcomes and the roles and responsibilities to achieve them. Our research also shows that while 91% of organizations say employee eX is important, only 31% are prepared to deliver*. This creates an exceptional opportunity for HR to lead the charge.

Integrated people solutions that align with employee needs and supporting technology are necessary, but not sufficient. While a wholesale change to the HR Operating Model may not be necessary, CHROs will need to evolve their model to create both capability and capacity to deliver on the intended eX. Additionally, HR must align with the business on the appropriate balance between driving business performance and a sharpened focus on the employee eX.

Evolving HR in the Era of Employee Experience

Inability to react quickly to a rapidly changing business environment Deploy agile teams for critical initiatives, organization events, and as an ongoing community of expertise
Technology as the only enabler Enable HR through leadership, governance, HR capability, technology and analytics
Fragmented and siloed HR programs, processes, and teams Integrate across HR to deliver end-to-end people solutions
HR business partner role that has not delivered on its promise Make the investments necessary to enable HR business partners to become talent and organizational strategists
Programs and processes designed from the inside-out to deliver efficiencies for HR Design from the outside-in to deliver a differentiated employee experience
Internally focused with emphasis on traditional HR needs and business expectations Externally focused to understand and align with the business, market and customer needs

The NeXt HR Operating Model

The design of the traditional three-pillar HR model — COEs, HR business partners, and HR operations — must be tailored to meet the specific goals and circumstances of each organization. Regardless of structure, an optimized HR Operating Model is focused on delivering four key outcomes:

    Critical Enablers

    Successful Implementation is Dependent Upon Five Critical Enablers

    Taking Action

    To be successful, organizations must adopt an agile and flexible HR Operating Model that puts employee experience at the center of design.


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    Partner HR & Talent Advisory Global Practice Leader
    Partner HR & Talent Advisory | U.S.
    Partner HR & Talent Advisory | U.S.

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