HR is a Commodity…Make it an Experience | HR Fishbowl | HR Fishbowl

Written on November 12, 2009 by Charlie Judy in Relationships, Theory

experience-6214348If you’re in business, generally you sell a product or a service.  That product or service, based on a multitude of factors, is received by consumers in some experiential way.  On one end of the continuum, you have a “commodity.”  You can get it at a number of places, it’s pretty much the same wherever you get it.  “Goods” come next as you move up the curve.  There’s a way to differentiate those goods from your competitors through content or through delivery.  Next comes “Service” which has a continuum all of its own – from poor to excellent.  Finally comes an “Experience.”  The Experience may involve a product and/or a service, but it goes beyond the traditional commerce of buy and sell.  The consumer leaves that transaction with a memory, or an impression, or an emotion.  Disney World, for example, offers lots of products and services; most people, however, will tell you that what they love most about it is “the experience” (e.g. I lost my camera and not only did the park find the camera and return it to my hotel, but they presented me with a Disney frame to use after I print pictures.)  If you’re in charge of HR – or have some influence on how it provides goods and services to your employees – take a moment to assess whether your practice is closer to providing a commodity or an experience.  Just to be clear: providing timely paychecks, keeping people benefited, creating a safe and fair workplace, managing annual evaluations, responding to employee questions – those are commodities.  You do those things extremely well, and you’ll be luck to get “duh” out of your employees. 

When someone has a negative experience with HR, they’ll tell everyone.  When someone has a neutral experience with HR, they’ll tell no one.  When someone has a “difference making” experience, they’ll become your champion.  Let the goods and services be your platform, but make the experience your niche.

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