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Steve Boese Dives Deep on Employee Experience, Management and Trust

In episode 87 of HR Break Room®, we sat down once again with Steve Boese, the co-host of the HR Happy Hour podcast and program chair of this year’s HR Technology Conference. We were excited to discuss some of the front-burner issues HR professionals are facing.

At the top of the list was the idea of the employee experience. It’s a buzzworthy topic in the human capital management (HCM) space, and Boese sums it up as the answer to the simple question, What is it like to work here? Anyone familiar with the topic knows a lot goes into that question, but Boese believes one essential driver of the employee experience is the ability to succeed.

The first key to success is having the resources to do the job. When challenges arise, as they always do, an organization should be ready to help employees navigate those obstacles simply and quickly with the right tools, technologies or information. Without these basic ingredients for success, the employee experience suffers, or as Boese describes it, “How does it feel to work here? Bad.”

The managerial role in an autonomy-driven organization

If your staff is supported with all the things they need to succeed, then what is the role of managers in creating a culture of autonomy? Boese pointed out that while HCM technology has historically been beneficial for streamlining administrator functions and empowering employees, the managers in the middle have sometimes been overlooked. In addition to the functional tasks of their positions, much of the managers’ responsibility involves engaging employees individually as mentors, coaches and leaders.

“Managers have so much to do, and I think we’ve often not given them the right tools they need to do their job,” said Boese. “If we give them the right set of tools and allow them to do all those jobs more rapidly, more efficiently, more effectively, they can spend more time on what’s really important now with an autonomous workplace, which is connection, collaboration and, essentially, almost one-on-one coaching.”

A workplace built on trust

In addition to these necessary tools for job performance, Boese offers another key recipe for autonomy and improved employee experience: trust.

“I very much believe that 99% of people show up to work each day wanting to do a good job and wanting to succeed. How do we help them succeed? We have to trust them — trust that they want to do a good job, they want to succeed, they believe in what we’re doing,” Boese said.

When you empower your employees with the tools and training they need to succeed and then back that up with the trust of their organization, you have an autonomous workforce ready to contribute to the overall organization’s purpose and goals.

Boese easily summarizes the value of that support: “It suggests a level of trust we have in our workforces that we believe in their ability to perform at the highest level.”

This just scratches the surface of Boese’s insights into the current state of HCM and employee experience. To hear them all, tune in and listen to episode 87 of HR Break Room®.