Human-centered Design as a Tool to Improve Employee Experience: The Case of a U.S. Plant-based Food Manufacturer

Abstract: U.S. organizations are facing a self-resignation problem. Employees are leaving their jobs at rates never seen before, mainly due to human dissatisfaction. The high staff turnover rates put organizations in jeopardy, compromising their entire operation. Organizations that are not able to retain and attract local talent can incur ergonomics, quality, productivity problems and additional business risks. We propose an empirical study conducted in a plant-based food company located in the Northwest of the United States, facing a turnover problem, to bring new knowledge in the field of employee experience. Based on the Human-Centered Design (HCD) and case study methodologies, we conducted 152 in-depth interviews with the operational workforce from the company of the case study to discover the employee needs. Later, we evaluated data obtained from the interviewees applying HCD principles (convergent and divergent techniques). After grouping our data, we identified ten themes “communication,” “training,” “accountability,” “management,” “trust,” ‘safety,” “equipment functionality,” “favoritism,” “food safety,” “recognition,” “culture,” and “work environment.” We propose the themes can help decision makers to ideate organizational strategies to improve the employee experience perspective by aiming at the satisfaction of human needs and the human role in the manufacturing setting.

Authors: Contreras-Cruz, Angel, Kirbac, Aynur, Dennett, Christopher, Daim, Tugrul U.

Contreras-Cruz, Angel, et al
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Technology in Society, Volume 73, May 2023, 102248
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