Home 5 Uncategorized 5 Prologue: The employee experience revolution


Date: 12th Oct 2023

Author: Cathy Acratopulo

Topic: Employee Experience and Engagement

Format: Blog

Prologue: The employee experience revolution

Oct 12, 2023 | Uncategorized

In an ongoing environment of rapid change and economic uncertainty, the pressure on Chief People Officers (CPOs) and HR leaders to deliver bottom-line value through attracting and retaining critical talent has never been greater. 

While we continue to teeter on the brink of recession with volatile interest rates and political uncertainty, the one constant has been the high level of employment. While the labour market is starting to show some signs of cooling, there is still huge competition for critical skills and talent. As a result, the balance of power remains with the employee. And what employees want from their employers has shifted significantly over the past few years.

It’s a make-or-break moment. CPOs need to act with agility and decisiveness to understand and deliver on the expectations of their employees and candidates.

They need to set out compelling promises that attract the best talent with a crisp employee value proposition (EVP) and then deliver on these promises with purposeful employee experiences (EX) to re-connect, re-energise and retain employees while promoting a healthy level of performance and productivity.  


This isn’t the time for playing it safe: CPOs need to lead an employee experience revolution.



A holistic approach to employee experience

Over the next few months, we will explore why transforming EX is critical to delivering business value. Trealise the full potential of your investment, LACE believes in taking a holistic approach to EX.

Our model goes beyond the traditional boundaries of the employee lifecycle and considers the different strategies and approaches needed across the physical, digital and human experiences required. 

In today’s hybrid working world, this lens is more important than ever.


Beyond this
, we also believe it is vital to look outwards at the organisation
s purpose, values and customer connections. 

Underpinning all of this is the need to have the right data and insights to guide solutions and investment decisions and to continually evolve the experience.

This is when the true value of EX is realised – when it is actively designed, managed and embedded in all parts of the organisation.



What’s coming?

Over the next couple of months, we will provide you with an integrated view of how you can strengthen your Employee Value Proposition and Employee Experiences to be a catalyst for change in your organisation.

We’ll be breaking it down into a few ‘bursts’ of insights – explore them below.


Burst #1: The indisputablecase for employee experience

Employee experience isn’t just about making employees feel good at work, it’s about driving business value. 

We will explore and debate how EX can deliver commercial outcomes for organisations, identifying the measures of success and the indisputable connections between the EVP, EX, customer experience (CX), employee engagement and business value.  

We are excited to discuss the themes from the brand new research conducted by our friends at Dragonfish, and hear first-hand, the lessons learned from marketing and customer experience colleagues.  


Burst #2: Crafting holistic experiences 

HR leaders need to think beyond the realms of HR to harness amazing experiences at work.  

We will discuss the different approaches required across the physical, digital and human aspects of work and how a continuous listening strategy is key to ensure that the experiences meet the evolving needs of employees.  


Burst #3: Lessons from the C-suite

Connecting employee experience to business value is critical to get the C-suite onboard and to unlock investment and impact.   

We will focus on how to demonstrate the impact of investing in employee experience and how leveraging the right data is key to landing EX on the executive agenda.  

We will be joined by CEOs and CPOs to get their perspectives on how they have successfully elevated employee experience at the board. Our LACE Analytics experts will join us to share practical tips on how to create a holistic EX dashboard.  


Burst #4: Be an EX Pioneer

It is time to go from inspiration to implementation, to build an EX-centric People function with the right mindset and capabilities.  

We will explore practical advice for CPOs on how to build their teams and their Employee Value Proposition alongside their employee experience. Our final burst will feature inspiring client examples and a deep dive of our LACE approach and tools, to help you accelerate your EX ambition.  

We will share success stories from some of our clients to date, focusing on the approaches taken and lessons learned.  

Join the employee experience revolution

This is only the beginning and we can’t wait to have you on the journey with us! Use the form below to sign up for our LACE Insights ‘EX Revolution’ series and get ready for fierce discussion, actionable insights and exclusive opportunities to connect with other HR professionals.

In January, we will host a live CPO event, a day filled with inspiring speakers, panel discussions and networking.

Sign up here to be the first to know about our future bursts and employee experience revolution event!



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Why employee listening is key to good experience

In this week’s blog LACE co-founder Cathy Acratopulo speaks with Simon Smith, the CPO at Aston Martin, about employee listening strategy. Read on to learn what approaches are most effective and what role they play in optimising employee experience – or listen to their initial conversation here. This piece is part of our EX Revolution campaign where we challenge HR teams to take a truly holistic approach to their employee experience.  

What is organisational listening?

Organisational listening is the process of collecting feedback from employees to create a better workplace. This information can then be used to inform policy, process and improve working experiences within your organisation. Many organisations have lost the art of human touch when it comes to the listening elements of HR; it has the tendency to be standardised. However, the symptoms of this - poor engagement, productivity and attrition - have led many people teams to rethink their approaches. Annual engagement surveys are typically considered the base level in employee listening. They have their place in giving you year-on-year changes, particularly if you ask the same questions and can reflect on the responses. However, they may not give you the level of detail that allows you to truly understand the answers you get. Instead, in order to report effectively, it’s important to invest in more detailed channels, such as focus groups or more frequent surveys to segments of your workforce.  

How can you understand employee sentiment?

As the positive correlation between engaged employees and business outcomes becomes more widely understood, the interest in understanding employee sentiment has grown. CEOs and board teams are challenging CPOs for insights, and Simon explains the importance of increasing the regularity of employee listening in both formal and informal settings. He also underlines the importance of segmenting your listening groups, such as setting up focus groups for new starters or older employees to get different perspectives. This more personal approach, as opposed to relying entirely on surveys, can have a great impact on your organisational culture as well as providing more insightful results. Employees feel like they are really being listened to and partaking in a two-way conversation with their CPO. The challenge, however, is that whilst it creates a more personal touch, it is more difficult to capture main themes because it generates an overwhelming number of opinions and feedback. Therefore, it is important to ask structured questions to result in structured answers.  

Analysing people data

One of the key benefits to getting regular feedback is being able to use that to inform future decisions and make agile changes where needed. That said, cultural change is not linear, and you only have control over certain parts. The key is to drop in small changes, listen to the results and make necessary adjustments in response to that. It’s important to be transparent with your workforce and show them you are acting in response to their feedback, whilst also communicating a realistic timeline to avoid falling short of expectations.  

What technology is out there to support employee listening?

At a time where the public eye is centred on technology and AI, it’s impossible to ignore the power of tools in enabling good listening channels, but it’s also important to get the balance right between the human and the machine. Tools such as Mentimetre, Remesh and Slido provide a great way of engaging employees, gathering live feedback and sparking conversations with your teams. As AI’s presence increases within organisations, there will be more capability to track feedback in real-time. Some tech already has capability to track traffic to company platforms or analyse employees’ language around a particular subject, whether this is with a positive or negative sentiment, and to what scale. This enables line managers to see this data weekly, in theory allowing them to understand the immediate impact of any change within the company. However, there is a significant ethical aspect here that must be considered, and employees need to trust that their organisation will use their data in the right way. Additionally, HR teams and managers need to critically analyse this type of data, but wider feedback is imperative, as in isolation it may be misleading. This will require a shift in skillsets for many teams but is key to staying at the forefront of brilliant employee experience. The insights can then form a basis for ongoing conversation between employee and manager, as this is where the real value comes from.  

The flipside to employee listening is employee monitoring, what are the dangers of this?

There are elements to employee listening – for example looking for sentiment in language use – where trust between organisation and employees is necessary. Your team needs to understand that you are gathering data for the right reasons. The ICO released research recently where they surveyed 1000 employees, finding:
  • 70% said that they found monitoring in the workplace intrusive
  • 20% said they would be less likely to join a company if they felt that they were being monitored.
It is critical to sustain strong communication and transparency with employees as to why you are listening to them, what you will do with that information, and when. If this isn’t followed, employees could change their behaviour whilst being listened to, ending in false results and damage to your culture. Ready to transform your employee experience? Reach out to us by filling out the form below. We're excited to help you in your journey!


Does HR have a branding problem?

Chris and LACE Manager Georgina Sutton speak to guest Jocelynne Thompson, Director of People Strategy and Transformation at Virgin Media O2 to discuss if HR has a branding problem. The conversation centres around the perception of HR within the business world and addresses the challenge of enhancing HR’s branding and communication. 

Why does HR often struggle to position itself strategically within organisations?

While HR professionals increasingly see themselves as strategic advisors, the broader business community often views HR as a support function dealing with problems reactively. Georgie underscores the importance of HR effectively conveying its proactive and forward-thinking initiatives to the wider organisation.  Jocelynne adds her perspective on the essential role of a growth mindset within HR. She highlights the significance of HR being willing to take calculated risks and stresses that HR should align its internal and external branding with its value proposition. Authenticity in HR's branding is crucial to a strong employee value proposition and ensures that there is no gap between the promises made and the actual experiences of employees within the organisation.   The conversation also explores the importance of HR taking an outside-in perspective and staying informed about broader economic and commercial trends. Jocelynne envisions a future where HR guides organisations as people-led entities right from the start, rather than being an afterthought.  Overall, this podcast episode delves into the challenges HR faces in branding and positioning itself as a strategic partner within organisations. It emphasises the need for HR to adopt a proactive approach, align its branding with its value proposition, and contribute to shaping organisational strategies in the future.  https://soundcloud.com/user-539831783/does-hr-have-a-branding-problem

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