Employee Experience: The Great Differentiator

Nelly Boustany

Recently I’ve read many articles that discuss how today’s generation of employees expect an engaging and enjoyable work experience. But how do we define what that experience will be for employees working in our organizations?

It’s critical for any organization to keep a pulse on its culture and engagement through employee feedback, and many elements influence the employee experience from hire to retire. It starts with the employee’s relationship with the company brand prior to joining and continues through hiring and onboarding. Then it really comes down to the company culture, work environment, leadership practices, collaboration tools, and more. In fact, it is the blend of professional, financial, and emotional factors that differentiates a great employee experience from a mediocre one. In order to create an employee experience that reflects an amazing customer experience, HR today needs to take an outside-in perspective.

Deloitte touches on this subject in its 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, identifying five essential factors that contribute to a positive employee experience: meaningful work, supportive management, a positive work environment, growth opportunity, and trust in leadership. The glue that holds these factors together is solid collaboration and communication across the organization. Jeanne Meister also covers the topic in great detail in a recent article published in Forbes magazine.

Talent (employee) experience is a primary focus at SAP. As part of our HR transformation, we are revisiting everything we do to ensure we create a great experience for our talent. We are exploring new ways of recruiting, working with, and engaging employees while leveraging the power of the latest HR technology.

Since last year, our approach has included an employee assistance program, providing 24/7 support to employees and family members across the globe. Our performance management system, based on continuous dialogue and future-focused development conversation, utilizes a different leadership approach and a mindset that fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion, allowing everyone to bring value to the organization and be part of its success. Our new employee experience program demonstrates a continuous emphasis on human touch, offering personalized services that address individual needs. Our HCM technology enables employees and managers to be more efficient and smarter about their work, and learning is accessible through the mobile phone anytime, anywhere. Our new office designs provide an environment for collaboration and teamwork. Our corporate social responsibility programs allow our teams to have a purpose and contribute to “making the world run better and improving people’s lives.”

This trend is gaining a lot of attention on a global scale. Speaking to many customers and other fellow CHROs in the Middle East and Africa, I see many large local organizations recognizing this shift and proactively taking measures to drive the transformation within their organizations.

Whether your company operates on a global, regional, or local level, factors such as digitization and the increasing number of millennials in the workforce are shaping and redefining the future of work. A differentiated employee experience will be key for attracting as well as retaining talent.

I am interested in hearing your views; please share them in the comments.

For more on this topic, see The Era Of Employee Experience Is Here.


Nelly Boustany

About Nelly Boustany

Nelly Boustany manages HR business partners dedicated to supporting all business functions across Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for SAP. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring business success through developing and executing on our people strategy across the region in alignment with corporate company strategy. She also oversees the wider HR team supporting the MENA region such as talent acquisition, HR operations, and talent development. Since joining SAP MENA in 2011, Nelly has brought a clear focus to the people agenda and has instrumental to drive SAP growth in the region by attracting, developing and retaining top talent from the region and around the world.