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If people reach perfection they vanish, you know ― T.H. White
Airbnb was (and still is) a huge source of inspiration for us when establishing HR360 Ltd. Through moving with the shifts in consumer behaviour, Airbnb is renowned for connecting with visitors on a more personable level, outperforming their competitors on the basis of being more in touch with their customers' values and beliefs; To live like locals, anywhere. Prior to Airbnb’s disruption, HR360 Ltd's mission was very much people-centric, but we didn’t quite have the words that encapsulated a more human approach to the way we run our organisation. Then we came across Mark Levy, Chief Global Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb. Inspired by Mark and his revolutionary movement toward creating experiences for people, we wondered: If we could apply Airbnb’s ethos to the way in which we run our organisations, what could that look like?
The Whole Human
The Employee Experience speaks to an experiential organisation - one that does not only engage traditional work elements but brings together all the parts that make us uniquely human. Gone are the days where technical skill, a university degree and the credentials from your previous employer are sufficient to be qualified for a position and to succeed within an organisation. With the advent of technology and digitisation, what the world needs now are frameworks and tools in place to help retain and leverage our human qualities. If we take Airbnb’s mission; To create a world where you can belong anywhere - and apply it to organisations, this sense of belonging does not come from being a technical expert or being the top of one’s class at Oxford University. It comes from fostering significant relationships with our peers. It comes from finding meaning and value in the work that we do. It comes from our ability to identify with other human beings so that we feel safe and supported in our jobs.
Mission not-so Impossible
This is the challenge of organisations going forward in an increasingly digital world; to go back our humanness, by thinking and engaging on an emotional, spiritual level. By creating these levers that help us see the whole person, we can build organisations that live and breathe this full perspective of the human experience. This will be key in order to ensure our human resources - our employees - are not only surviving but thriving.
When was the last time you had a human experience at work?
When Mark joined Airbnb, the Human Resources functions were split into multiple groups, including talent, recruiting and a group called “ground control,” which was responsible for the workplace culture. There was talk of bringing the departments together and Mark questioned, "If Airbnb had a Customer Experience Group, why not create an Employee Experience Group?"