It is time HR departments moved beyond just creating a culture of keeping employees happy and meeting their expectations. The customer needs to be treated as a major stakeholder in the workforce strategy, the workforce policy and the workforce technology, besides the work culture. Due weightage should be given to employees, investors and social frameworks while keeping the customer at the centre. Enter HR version 3.0 or the new world of workforce management. So while version 1.0 of HR was about process and policy compliance and version 2.0 focused around talent and technology. Now is the time to bring the customer at centre stage with V3.0.
In a customer-centric organisation, servicing the customer permeates every level, from top to the frontline and from the back office to the storefront. For example, a well-known airline company linked the employee incentive directly to customer feedback, when they provided performance cash vouchers to travelers (customers) requesting them to give them to employees who delighted them. These vouchers were budgeted in the monthly incentive payout of the employees.
The question is, is version 3.0 universally applicable? Yes it is. The driving force will be focus on reward and recognition, driven by customer participation and not just a performance matrix. Every employee’s role is aligned to the customer – either they help in acquiring clients or help in delighting them. Each employee should get a taste of the impact they make in the life of the customer. If multiple companies are involved in preparing the final product, then employees of all the entities should have an understanding of customer expectations.
In short, organisations should focus on outcomes rather than output. Output refers to the number of pieces produced/calls made but outcome is about the impact created in a customer’s life. Keep outcome at the centre and output will follow. It is important for HR professionals to understand the customer brand and align it to the employer brand. This will connect employees to the company’s growth story and improve their performance.