From the Editor – by Anna A. Tavis Ph.D

This special issue of WSR comes out at the time when the world finds itself in the vortex of the global crises—the pandemic, shattered economies and political upheaval—all at once. Our authors set out to test how the workplace in general and Employee Experience (EX) in particular were affected by the unprecedented disruption and whether the trajectory towards the future was being changed. Most agree that the underlying fundamentals have not only persisted but have accelerated. Each contributor added their unique insight to the composite picture of the future workplace that is clearly emerging.
RAVIN JESUTHASAN opens the issue by highlighting today’s workplace dilemma defined by how companies solve for “the great dichotomy of employees seeking certainty and stability while organizations pursue flexibility and agility.”

The four subsequent articles explore the role of AI in elevating Employee Experience. ERIC BOKELBERG explains how AI based Virtual Agents are designed to enhance Employee Care. KATHERINE JONES writes about AI in HR showing how the people profession is transitioning with the help of advanced data and technology from transactional to transformational and innovative. SUSAN SANDERS describes four technology based strategies that guide internal HR communications in crisis. FRIDA POLLI deploys her singular artificial intelligence based methodology (Pymetrics) to reimagine talent Evaluation & selection.

STELA LUPUSHOR and JAMES WILLIAMS demonstrate how the pandemic exposes the dangers of over indexing on efficiency in HR processes and advocate for designing for resilience and capacity building. MOHAMED DEBOUK describes how organizational focus on Employee Experience eventually leads to desirable business outcomes.

Finally, ANNA TAVIS shows how Employee Experience has to become the shared agenda of the executive team, with the CEO taking the lead designed and delivered by CHRO supported by the CFO and CTO.

This diverse selection of articles demonstrates that even in the precarious of times there is much innovative thinking and practice is underway building towards the future. To use Albert Einstein’s much cited quote “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” We are seizing the moment.

Anna A. Tavis, Ph.D
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Dr. Anna Tavis is Clinical Professor and Academic Director of Human Capital Management Department at NYU School of Professional Studies, Senior Fellow with the Conference Board, and the Academic in Residence with Executive Networks. Dr. Tavis has been named to Thinkers50 Radar for 2020.

Dr. Tavis is a former Executive Editor of People+Strategy Journal and is currently an Associate Editor of Workforce Solutions Review. Dr. Tavis published two volumes of edited essays Point/Counterpoint: The New Perspectives on People and Strategy (SHRM 2013 and 2017) that are approved for HR professional certification credit. Her latest book, Humans at Work was published in March, 2022.

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