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Add a Little Theater to Your Employee Experience

October 15th, 2019

actor theater masks

The employee experience is one of today's HR hot button issues. The Society for Human Resource Management has an entire resource center devoted to the topic. And there's more than 1,000 articles and references to "employee experience" on that one site alone.

A whitepaper with fresh research into the significance of the employee experience for business was released just last week by the HR news site TLNT.com.

It's hard to imagine, therefore, that there's anything more to be said about the subject. Then along comes Tom Haak of the HR Trend Institute with an off-the-wall idea: hire professional actors to pose as employees to liven things up.

He came up with this after discovering that party organizers will hire actors to ensure a memorable evening for guests. It's a twist on those mystery dinner theaters and theme parties. There everyone is clued into the action. In the latest iteration, the actors pose as regular party guests.

Companies often hire performers to add an element of excitement to product unveilings and other big ticket events. Haak proposes adapting the idea for the workplace.

For the most part, his suggestions are a little weird. Hire someone to play the role of a hapless employee. "If anything can go wrong it goes wrong with Mr. Unfortunate," he says, making other employees feel better about themselves.

One role that might have some merit is to inject an actor into a group of new employees during onboarding. Haak wants them to be super enthusiastic, infecting the others with enthusiasm. A more realistic scenario would be to have the actor ask the questions you know new employees have but don't ask. A few blunt questions like, "How will using PTO really affect my career here?" or "What happens if me and my new team aren't a good fit?" and soon enough you'll be hearing from everyone.

Another possibility is to use actors in training sessions to make role-playing more realistic and true to life.

No one is going to rush out and bring in actors to play a Mr. Unfortunate or Perfect Boss, but if nothing else, consider Haak's suggestions as a creative approach to employee experience.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images

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