The Deloitte employee experience hackathon | Human Capital | Deloitte Netherlands

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The Deloitte Employee Experience Hackathon

When employee experience and service design come together

On June 11, we as Deloitte NL hosted our first Employee Experience Hackathon. In this 4-hour virtual event we worked on relevant and actual employee experience (EX) challenge. In this blog we explain more on the approach, the challenges our participating companies faced and what we delivered as a result.

It is amazing what you can achieve in such short amount of time when you have the right people in the room, combining HR expertise, design thinking and service design capabilities.

The goal of the Hackathon was to crack the case and prototype towards a tangible solution in order to answer relevant employee needs, no matter the topic or status. With five company teams we focused on challenges they faced around employee experience.

As Deloitte we often observe that employee experience can be quite intangible. How does a positive experience look like? And how do you design an experience? This is the reason why we embedded service design in the mix: to make the opportunities real and possible solutions tangible and testable. We also often observe that EX challenges are very diverse. Therefore we tagged along subject matter experts for each of the expertise fields our participating teams were struggling with.

Five company teams, Deloitte specialists, 42 people in total: Let’s get to work!

You fall in love with the problem

Meetings were held with each participating company prior to the event during which we zoomed in on three questions: what is the employee experience challenge? What underlying employee needs does this address? What could a potential solution look like?

Every challenge was unique but contained a strong EX component. From designing a learning journey for a future people manager, through constructing an onboarding experience to finding a way in which agile coaches could deliver a better experience to the agile team members they serve. These challenges indicated why employee experience is such a challenging topic: employee experience is everywhere, is impacted by many factors and stretches far beyond the scope of HR. To scope the solution we chose to focus on a specific persona with each participating company. This allowed us to work more effectively and come to a better end result.

Set yourself up for success

The EX hackathon started off with a bit of inspiration. What is our point of view on employee experience? And what is the impact COVID-19 on the employee experience? Understanding the bigger picture is important when designing a focused solution. Each participating company was then invited to pitch their own challenge. The other participating companies gave valuable input on each challenge and especially stated all challenges were very recognizable. This strengthened what we said before: experiences are everywhere. By learning from each other we can improve the employee experience for all.

Work with focused experts

The core of the Hackathon was a pressure cooker breakout, with the goal of creating a tangible solution to the EX challenge There was one golden rule: rough is good enough. This would be a rollercoaster ride and just a taste of what service design entails. Short and crispy. A small team consisting of the company team and a Deloitte facilitator, subject matter expert and service designer, delivered a prototype design of the solution. This tangible visualization made it easy to brainstorm: what works and what doesn’t? How does the employee journey look like? Does this actually address their needs? From visualized journeys to clickable app demonstrations – we designed it all...in two hours.

A famous saying however goes: A goal without a plan is just a wish. The same goes for a design. It’s what you do with it that matters. We therefore ended the breakout session by creating a 5-5-5 plan: what steps are required in the next 5 days, 5 weeks and 5 months for the solution to come alive? Combining this plan with the design makes for an excellent combination to kickstart the solution.

And be amazed by the results

All teams finally got together again to present what they designed. Each solution was very different as each challenge was very different. Each solution however had one thing in common: the employee experience would definitely be improved. Again we observed lots of interaction during the presentations. People complimenting each other, sharing experiences, telling best practices and promising to connect afterwards for more detailed conversations. Very inspiring!

So, what's next?

The entire team was very proud of what has been accomplished. All participating organizations confirmed they left the session with renewed energy and inspiration to start working on the solution we designed together. With the right preparations, subject matter experts and service design specialists we created tangible solutions to often intangible employee experience challenges in a short period of time.


We also acknowledge the fact this is just a starting point. Really designing and implementing an employee experience solution takes weeks with in-depth research, persona creation, prototyping and creating a service blueprint that includes people, processes and technology. Larger involvement of employees is crucial to learn about their pains and gains, co-creating with them and validating employee experience propositions. We strongly believe that with the right capabilities, expertise and mind-set you can quickly deliver tangible and relevant solutions to improve the employee experience in your organizations. Interested to learn more? Please contact one of our specialists on the topic.


This blog was written together with Jeroen Andreae.

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