All businesses since their inception keep investing billions to improve their customer experience (CX) journey. Undoubtedly, it’s always viewed as the company’s sole point of differentiation as customers have always been a game changer in all kinds of businesses. Moreover, in this digital age of personalization, customization and convenience; CX has become the battleground for existence and survival for businesses.
However, the goodness of having a great CX need to be juxtaposed with another equally necessary and important component - called Employee Experience (EX). There is a direct correlation between both these success generating elements and the parallels between a superior CX and EX are significantly proven. On one hand, an optimized CX generates higher sales, revenue and customer loyalty. And on the other hand, an inspiring EX attracts the best talent, enhances engagement and boosts productivity to the core. Hence, the fusion of both these key element results in a stellar business’ financial performance.
So, the question to ponder is: How can leaders build a strong and differentiated employee experience?
To simplistically put, EX is a sum of almost everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization and covers every employee interaction. Hence, it is imperative to make EX a corporate priority for building your true brand. In fact, the top 3 essential and fundamental factors that have highest impact on contributing a positive employee experience are:
Physical Experiences refer to the choices related to workplace environments – an ecosystem to thrive happily and co-exist with holistic development. Employees at every stage of their career life cycle expect not only a better-designed physical experience but also new models of delivering a positive progression. In fact, progressive companies like Cisco, GE, IBM and others have used contests to collect employee ideas to develop new approaches to workplace design, benefits, and rewards. Other approaches that leaders need to plan primarily in this segment are:
- Use design thinking while developing programs related to employee learning, career progression, reward and recognition and other tangible benefits.
- Pilot new learning experiences with a small number of critical workforce and assess the new experiences’ impact on employee productivity and business value.
- Coach employees to take on additional and challenging responsibilities as per their capabilities.
- Integrate corporate, community and social programs.
- Consider diverse employee preferences while designing workspaces.
- Create a culture of cross-organization collaboration and communication that can be tangibly measured.
Human Experiences refer to value-based moments of interaction with people. Always remember that it is the human interaction with leaders, peers, coaches and team members that are at the heart of improved employee experience. In a recently conducted research; face-to-face interaction is seen as the preferred channel to interact with colleagues by the majority of employees and a great number of people would rather opt to work at a company that provides a positive, fun and social atmosphere. Some of the actions centered on enhancing human experiences can be:
- Developing interventions to monitor emotional states of employees to enhance engagement.
- Company leaders must plan to “co-create” experiences which are more humane.
- Instill a transparent system to ‘know’ your employee concerns and develop a quick redressal mechanism.
- Never undermine the value of continuous feedback process. Make it a part of the company’s culture.
- Use analytics and other surveys (internal, external and social survey data) to understand the personal moments that matter the most.
Digital Experiences refer to choices of using technology that facilitates efficient management of the everyday task. Some of the technology-based approaches that leaders need to act are:
- Utilize productivity and collaboration apps like Facebook’s workplace, Wrike, Asana, Trello, etc. for goal alignment and enhanced employee performance.
- Use AI-based tools on predictive analytics for anticipating employee needs.
- Personalize employee needs through self-service apps to create a consumer-friendly experience for employees.
- Integrate performance management apps like SuccessFactors, BetterWorks, etc. for continuous feedback measurement.
- Create a robust communication channel through the use of chatbots and other platforms across the organization.
To summarize, it is no more about prioritizing the stakeholders or customers alone. Employee experience is an equal strategic priority for organizations. EX involves designing and delivering distinctive experiences for employees that create a competitive advantage. EX inspires the workforce to bring their best to the job every day and by applying principles of customer centricity into talent management practices, leaders can create a more relevant and impactful employee experience that drives business outcomes.
If your organization has adopted EX as a strategic priority, let us know using the comments section below.