Recently I was reading a consumer psychology research dialogue by Thomas Gilovich. While the research concludes that people derive more satisfaction and happiness from experiential purchases as opposed to material purchases, what really intrigued me was the underlying concept of how experiences create positive psychological impressions on us and its relevance to organizations and individual employees.
The research indicates that experiences provide greater satisfaction and happiness because they form a bigger part of the person’s identity and memory. If this concept of interconnection of experiences and what it does to individual’s happiness quotient, satisfaction, self worth, social relations and psychological state is extrapolated to their workplace, organizations can definitely achieve higher engagement levels.
What is so Magical about Experiences?
It is proved that experiences live longer in memories and have a strong visual referencing ability, due to which an individual can revisit it any number of times and it does not depreciate in value. Not only this, experiences connect us to others through the story telling power. We are happy when we share experiences. Last but not the least, they are unique and cannot be compared.
Reality of the Workplace Scenario
Gallup 2015 findings show that out of the 3.2 billion global workforce, only 13% employees are engaged and 63% are disengaged. In addition to this a vast majority of employees’ worldwide report an overall negative experience at work including women — and just one in eight are fully involved in and enthusiastic about their jobs.
It is important to understand that people spend substantial part of their lives working. As a result of this the quality of the workplace experience is inevitably reflected in the quality of their lives and thus it becomes all the more critical for organizations to work on giving experiences then material benefits to make a lasting impact.
There are many players in the R&R industry who provide a variety of experiences as engagement solutions for a demographically diverse audience. Many organizations are slowly moving towards availing these experiences than material things to engage and influence employees at various points in employee lifecycle. They are thinking of ways to engage employees at psychological level by redirecting efforts and expenses in building more enriching experiences.
Organizations that have topped the list of Great Places to Work Survey 2015, have one common parameter on which they have scored, that is the way they engage and connect with employees an customers through experiences. For example, Claris Lifesciences celebrates the first salary of their new employees where senior management comes and talks about their stories, in another example where ‘no tip’ policy by Barbeque Nation generates a difference experience for its customers. Yet another example is how American Express gives 2 years partially paid sabbatical to its employees to explore their calling.
The above examples set a strong example of a trend which is slowly picking up where experiences matter more to employees, customers and organizations.
This writeup was first published on the Blog section of Gifxoxo.