An organizational audit for employee experience

May 5, 2022 | 7 minute read
Jason Averbook
Co-founder and CEO of Leapgen
Text Size 100%:


In my first blog addressing the modern wave of employee experience in the Now of Work, I addressed the accompanying shift in HR technology. That is, HR technology solutions are no longer about HR—they’re about people and what they need, about how they work, function, and thrive. HR is learning how to better leverage technology to not only manage the workforce, mitigate risk, and operationalize compliance but to deliver learning, skills, holistic wellbeing, collaboration, communication, and leadership. In other words, HR technology is becoming life technology in the flow of work. And those investments are only getting bigger, as we have seen in the Oracle Cloud HCM launch of Oracle ME.

So, what are the facets of employee experience, what are the questions an organization could ask itself to know if it’s delivering a modern experience of work, and what tools and technology are best leveraged to deliver the right experience? Oracle ME takes a platform approach to address the holistic needs of an evolving workforce, and it specifically addresses the need for employees to stay productive in the flow of work, to receive personalized and relevant communication pertinent to their roles and needs, and to feel trust and confidence in their leadership and organization. This approach is what it looks like to pivot workforce solutions to serve their true beneficiary: the workforce.

It’s important to remember a few key elements for any solution looking to improve and elevate the experience of the workforce. Those include:

Empathy-driven experience design

Design thinking, user experience, customer experience, and your workforce experience all leverage empathy to understand how an experience can be improved. An experience designer seeks first to understand the person’s perspective; this is human-centered design—taking a whole-person approach. This approach also assumes each person’s experience is different depending on how, where, from what perspective, and when they have it. My experience onboarding to a new role will be vastly different if I’m a remote hire compared to the experience of new hires reporting to a physical office on their first day.

Empathy in workforce experience design matters to the business because it seeks to meet people where they are. This philosophy isn’t just a design principle, but also a leadership skill. Even pre-pandemic, 82% of people said they would be willing to quit their jobs to work for a more empathetic employer. Consumers also demand empathy as a core value in exchange for their loyalty. Organizations who actively seek to improve an employee or customer journey attract and retain employees and customers better than those who do not.

The only way to drive empathy at scale is through digitization. This approach can be as simple as creating a task or completing a transaction but also addresses what it feels like to perform these work tasks. Oracle Journeys, part of the Oracle ME platform, takes this into consideration with contextual guidance for simplified workflows and task completion—in such a way that the job of being an employee isn’t the work itself.

Proactive communication

Employee experience also incorporates proactive communication or imparting relevant information in a timely manner when it directly impacts one’s job, or even when it does not but adds context and transparency to the broader work environment. Proactive communication helps employees perform daily tasks better, identify and eliminate roadblocks in their own working conditions, gain clarity and maintain focus, and take part in change. Cross-cultural communication and trust in leadership is also reinforced when communication is clear, directed, and bilateral. The announcement of Oracle HCM Communicate demonstrates how technology vendors are taking the lead to support this focus on targeted communication.

Our satisfaction, confidence, and self-esteem at work improve dramatically when information flows clearly and in both directions. The intention to communicate clearly and proactively with the workforce might be there, but the devil is usually in the details. Our workforces are diverse and dispersed, leveraging different communication channels at different moments. It’s critical to build a method of two-way communication with the workforce that empowers managers and employees alike. 

You can build conversational capabilities in your organization with technology, which can help deliver empathy when it is designed to speak the language of the employee. Simple solutions like HCM Communicate, Oracle Connections (an interactive workforce directory and organization chart), or the Oracle Digital Assistant make it easy to get clear answers, clear help, and clear communication before an employee has to go search for it.

Listening & acting

Well-designed workforce experience relies on input: who is doing the work, from what kind of environment and conditions, on which journeys and at what moments that matter, when they are most effective, and why. Designing workforce journeys requires data to personalize and contextualize, but it also produces incredible insights. How did the journey feel? Are people more or less engaged when they complete a particular journey? Are they happier and more productive? What do they need to be better? This is one way to listen to the needs of the workforce—truly seek to understand how work is working for them.

We can solicit feelings and input more directly, too. Creating an environment where active listening is encouraged and practiced builds trust and relationships, both important ingredients for high-performing teams. It’s one thing to listen; we must also act on information or feedback gathered. If an employee tells us they don’t understand a policy we’ve created, we will follow up to ensure comprehension, explain and clarify, or answer questions. It’s important to have tools to help managers engage in not just listening but following through and closing feedback loops.

I’m particularly enthralled and excited about any solution that both listens and acts—not just strengthening relationships and building trust through active listening, but measuring the intent and impact of those conversations, suggesting actions to support next steps, and driving more effective engagement and communication over time. Oracle Touchpoints and HCM Communicate appear to hit the nail on the head, and I trust them to connect the dots between leadership and the workforce as they continue to iterate on this offering.

Modern and simple

A modern workforce experience looks like a modern consumer experience: Mobile-first, people-focused, intuitive, frictionless, and personalized. It knows who we are, delivers personalized experiences accordingly, meets people where they are, and assumes they’ll access it on their own time, in their preferred channel or device, and in a way that best suits them. Modern experiences don’t need to force adoption; they assume adoption because they are easy, fun, and value-adding. Just like no one asks us to adopt spell check, we use it without thinking and in the flow of work.  We use voice dictation if we like it, but we stop using it if it doesn’t work or hinders the flow of our activity. Similarly, the digital workforce experience should be seamless, frictionless, and add value to the individual.

This is the difference between enragement and engagement. When we originally designed workforce solutions for the HR technology users themselves, we thought little of how the workforce would access our tools and systems, the value they would gain by using these resources, and whether the tech would be easy to use in the flow of work. Modern workforce solutions consider the real beneficiaries of these tools: the workforce itself.

Most HR organizations don’t have design thinking capabilities; designing for the empty chair requires designing with people at the center. Technology capabilities are important to deliver experience, but the capabilities of your HR department, lines of business, and managers to design experiences are even more critical. Oracle understands this need to personalize at all these levels to support the employee-focused design strategy.

Inclusive in terms of full and extended workforce

We cannot design a modern workforce experience without being inclusive: in this case, meaning with careful consideration of the full and extended workforce. People work from anywhere in the world,  work in a variety of employment relationships, work on their terms, and in highly varied environments, and they are diverse in their needs and expectations. Everyone needs design consideration, including the deskless workforce, your part-time and contract employees, freelancers and gig workers, those working in distributed or hybrid conditions, those who work externally to your business—everyone.

Modern solutions will be able to support a diverse and extended workforce, providing the right access and accommodation to any worker contributing to your business. Equity of access to technology, resources, company information, support, and development is also critical to creating workplaces where people feel a sense of belonging, the ability to thrive and self-direct, and grow.

The bar is set

These are some of the facets of modern employee experience, and any organization seeking to transform itself, compete for and retain talent, and drive innovation in the Now of Work would do well to self-audit against a few of these key principles. Are you leveraging empathy in your experience design? Do you know your workforce intimately? Have you built ways to communicate proactively and in a personalized way? Are your managers empowered to both listen and act when input is provided? Is the experience modern and intuitive? Does it address everyone who works for you?

These are the expectations of today’s workforce, and they are also the needs of your organization if you are to attract, build, and empower the talent you want. You can get there if you leverage the best technology we’ve ever had in our lifetimes, design with people at the center, and seek to deploy people capabilities rather than technology features.

We can change work for good, and we should.


To learn more about personalizing your workforce experience, discover Oracle's employee experience perspective and watch the on-demand replay of our recent virtual summit.

Enjoyed reading this blog? Subscribe to our newsletter, HR matters to keep in touch.

Jason Averbook

Co-founder and CEO of Leapgen

Jason Averbook is a leading analyst, thought leader and consultant in the area of human resources, the future of work and the impact technology have on that future. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Leapgen, a digital transformation company helping organizations shape their future workplace by broadening executive mindset to rethink how to better design and deliver employee services that meet the expectations of the workforce and the needs of the business.

Prior to founding Leapgen, Jason Averbook served as the CEO of The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC). In 2005, he co-founded Knowledge Infusion LLC and served as its CEO until 2012, when the company was sold to Appirio. Earlier in his career, he served as the Chief Business Innovation Officer at Appirio Inc., where he led the HCM business. He has also held senior leadership roles at PeopleSoft and Ceridian Corporation. Jason has more than 20 years of experience in the HR and technology industries and has collaborated with industry-leading companies in transforming their HR organizations into strategic partners.


About Leapgen

Leapgen is a global digital transformation company shaping the future of work. Highly respected as a visionary partner to organizations looking to design and deliver a digital workforce experience that will produce valued outcomes to the business, Leapgen helps enterprise leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business. Contact us to get started.



Previous Post

Companies need a complete HCM solution, and Microsoft does not deliver

Jeff Wilson | 10 min read

Next Post

3 ways to enhance the Asian American Pacific Islander employee experience

Albert Qian | 3 min read