It's Time to Start Talking about Employee Experience in Board Meetings

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I was in a board meeting recently when it suddenly occurred to me that there was something missing from the conversation - noone was talking about the employee experience. And when I thought about it later on, I realised that, in 10+ years of sitting on boards, the amount of time dedicated to this critical topic was often insufficient. 

By leaving the employee experience out of our strategy discussions at board level, we’re missing an opportunity to develop a major competitive advantage.

If you’re an early-stage startup or scaleup, you may not have a board right now, but you probably will one day. And, in the meantime, there’s likely a group of people who steer the company agenda, featuring founders, investors and anyone else who challenges your strategy. 

I’m a chair and a non-executive on several boards spanning SMEs, financial services, and voluntary and charity sectors. These are all good boards. Meetings are well-run, with well-prepared agendas and clear roles and responsibilities. Board members take those responsibilities seriously and the standard board items include funding, strategy, operations, technology, regulatory and compliance matters and, of course, any urgent or mission-critical challenges and opportunities that may have arisen in the previous quarter. So far so good.

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But it strikes me as odd that, when companies decide to invest in a performance and employee experience platform like Frankli that drives high-performing teams, it’s rarely driven by the board. People are usually the most valuable asset class in a business, the hardest to find and retain and often represent the most expensive total cost. So why isn’t people strategy on the agenda at every single board meeting in every single business?

People-related items do, of course, appear on board agendas, but tend to appear in various pockets across the meeting, on the risk agenda, on a key person succession plan, or maybe in an update from HR on attrition stats or new key hires. The discussion rarely moves beyond standard operational HR and personnel issues. Surely there’s space to dedicate quality discussion time to the people needs of the business too?

With this in mind, I’ve developed some ideas for how we as co-founders and board members can bring this potentially game-changing topic to the table. 

Frankli helps transform employee experience through innovative performance and engagement tools.

6 Ways to Introduce Employee Experience at Board Meetings: 

1. Appoint one or more board members with people strategy and high-performing team culture expertise.

2. Offer the CEO both a sounding board and a challenge in equal measure on the company’s people strategy.

3. Initiate discussions on innovative ways to drive the best possible employee experience.

4. Approve investment to ensure people resources are prioritised, potentially including digital employee experience platforms.

5. Horizon scan with the widest possible lens to consider how the business will attract, retain and develop their most valuable and expensive assets, i.e. the people who work there today and tomorrow.

6. Keep asking these powerful questions;

  • Should employee experience play a larger role in our discussions?
  • Do we have the talent we need to deliver our strategy?
  • How are we going to retain top talent?
  • Should we be investing in an employee experience platform like Frankli to help us create a truly superb employee experience?
  • Are we as innovative and progressive on people matters as our competitors?
  • What are others doing that we’re not?

Frankli helps sustain high-performing teams and transform employee experience through innovative performance and engagement tools. Find out how.

‍60-Second Version: It's Time to Start Talking about Employee Experience in Board Meetings

I was in a board meeting recently when it suddenly occurred to me that there was something missing from the conversation - noone was talking about the employee experience. And when I thought about it later on, I realised that, in 10+ years of sitting on boards, the amount of time dedicated to this critical topic was often insufficient. 

By leaving the employee experience out of our strategy discussions at board level, we’re missing an opportunity to develop a major competitive advantage.

6 Ways to Introduce Employee Experience at Board Meetings: 

1. Appoint one or more board members with people strategy and high-performing team culture expertise.

2. Offer the CEO both a sounding board and a challenge in equal measure on the company’s people strategy.

3. Initiate discussions on innovative ways to drive the best possible employee experience.

4. Approve investment to ensure people resources are prioritised, potentially including digital employee experience platforms.

5. Horizon scan with the widest possible lens to consider how the business will attract, retain and develop their most valuable and expensive assets, i.e. the people who work there today and tomorrow.

6. Keep asking these powerful questions;

  • Should employee experience play a larger role in our discussions?
  • Do we have the talent we need to deliver our strategy?
  • How are we going to retain top talent?
  • Should we be investing in an employee experience platform like Frankli to help us create a truly superb employee experience?
  • Are we as innovative and progressive on people matters as our competitors?
  • What are others doing that we’re not?

Frankli helps sustain high-performing teams and transform employee experience through innovative performance and engagement tools. Find out how.

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