CXOs: Guardians of the Employee Galaxy

One of the newest executives to join the C suite is the chief employee experience officer (CXO). Its very existence and terminology seek to redefine the human resources function.

Companies are not altruistic in creating the CXO role. They do it because it impacts the bottom line. They also see it as important as customer experience.

Jason Bradshaw, the chief customer and marketing officer at the Volkswagen Group, told a conference in Sydney that companies with highly engaged employees outperform competitors by 147%.

“Any company in Australia today can improve their customer experience. But sustaining improvement is 100% reliant on the experience of your team members,” he said.

“People empowered through leadership and culture, combined with processes enabled through technology, is how to have success from a customer and employee experience point of view. This is not just nice to have; it has a tangible impact on the bottom line,” he added.

Taking Off on Experience

One company that is taking stock on employee experience is Air New Zealand. It views the experience of its over 12,000 employees essential to performance. The first NZ Employee Experience Awards in October 2018 also showed that other NZ companies think the same.

Air New Zealand segments its employees by personas that define aspirations and priorities. Traditional HR processes segment employees by age, sex or length of tenure.

The approach saw employees helping to develop attractive pension offerings and travel benefits. These benefits continue to attract new employees.

Understanding Motivations

The approach gave Air New Zealand a better understanding of their employee motivations.

For example, employees with “aspirers” persona are those not looking for long tenures. But they might return after completing education, career and life goals.

Air New Zealand found these employees looking to gain as much experience in different roles. They were also attracted to the company's core offering: travel. So, the company viewed these employees like customers and offered travel benefits.

Volkswagen used virtual reality (VR) headsets to train employees on customer interaction. It also used natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) to identify the right jobs in the group.

The Experience Duo

It is all part of the rise of the “X” factor in modern business. The CXO now joins the customer-facing chief experience officer to deliver the right experiences. They are also using design thinking and innovation to make work more fun and fulfilling.

That is the aspiration. The next few years will tell us if it was well achieved.