Article: Supercharging EX – The role of the CEO, CHRO, CIOs and people managers

Talent Management

Supercharging EX – The role of the CEO, CHRO, CIOs and people managers

In an exclusive conversation at the People Matters EX APAC Conference, an expert panel of business leaders reflected on the shifts to employee experience.
Supercharging EX – The role of the CEO, CHRO, CIOs and people managers


As companies navigate a new hybrid world of work, employee experience features prominently among the list of organizational priorities. It has become central to business operations. This has meant that EX is no longer a siloed HR activity, but an activity that calls for greater collaboration. In a remote work context, employee experience affects not just retention and engagement, but also productivity, fulfillment and innovation.

In a panel discussion at People Matters EX APAC conference, CHROs, CEO and CIO voiced they views on how they’re thinking about the EX challenge in their organizations.

This session was moderated by Tanmaya Jain, Founder & CEO at Amber by inFeedo.  The panelists included: Byron Fernandez, Group CIO at TDC, Olivia Chua, CHRO at Jebsen & Jessen Group, Carlos Aboitiz Chief Corporate Services Officer at Aboitiz Power and May Sunega, Head of HR and Communications at Sun Life Asia Service Centre-Philippines.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the session:

Answer the why of EX technology

With remote work dominating business operations, companies have turned to technologies as a solution to boost EX related challenges. But just aligning technology isn’t enough. There’s a need to align it with outcomes that are relevant to the business.

At the very beginning, “You have to start with a why, why do you have the system? Why are you implementing this?” May Sunega said. “Because sometimes we get so lost with the sophistication of the system, we get so wrapped up with different things that are happening around us,” With so much data at hand, think about why you have to do this in the first place? And anchor the different types of data, for example, is it to improve attrition, engagement, or upskilling.”

Enable all people managers on experience

Employee experience requires a mindset shift in today’s world. It is no longer just restricted to the CEO or the HR function, neither is it a leadership issue.  

“Every single people manager in the organization who oversees a team owns employee experience,” Carlos noted. The role of the CEO and the COO is to ensure that there is an alignment in the vision and execution – and identify new opportunities and possibilities over time.

Recognize engaged teams

Just as companies recognize performance in company wide town halls and all hands meet, there’s also an opportunity with the help of technology to recognize the most engaged teams, Tanmaya said. “Whether that’s identifying which manager has the highest engagement in their teams, or the highest ENPS score, etc.,”  It ensures that the conversation is not just about performance, but also about driving happiness at the workplace, which has an impact on the workplace culture.

The changing role of HR

“The role of the HR essentially is to be a facilitator; they need to remind managers that they are better equipped to engage with the employee. And in case they’re coming to HR, it means the system isn’t working. It’s important to provide education and awareness in this context,” Oliva noted.

HR needs to have the clarity of expectation when aligning with the IT team on employee experience. “Talking to an IT person with an open mind ensures that you are able to exploit the opportunities that may already exist,” Byron Fernandez said. “There’s also a need to spend time on the implementation as the odds are stacked when the process is rushed,”

As technologies continue to inform how companies enable feedback on experience, the panellists also spoke about how chatbots were not just leveraged for transactional purposes, but to also enable sensitive inputs that they could leverage to avoid or prevent the worst outcome in the future. “While we should ensure that the system works, one shouldn’t get enslaved by the system,” May noted. There’s a need to be cognizant of the fact that regardless of the technology leveraged, human connect cannot be replaced and that’s where HR and people managers can play a critical role.

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Topics: Talent Management, #PMEXAPAC

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