In our experiences that we encounter at workforce, employee experience is becoming an essential part of organizational strategies to compete effectively globally. Companies are redefining the concept of employee experience as a strong EX is clearly seen to be one of the key differentiator in a tight talent market of today. If experience at work does not match the need that employees are used to in their daily life, then they are likely to look around for another opportunity in no time. Especially when it comes to retaining your best talent, EX is the new standard for defining how companies should interact with their people.
A growing number of organizations are suddenly submerged into creating strategies and action that focuses on enhancing employee experiences. They are heavily working on ideas to find answers to some critical questions like ‘How can we best equip our employees on their journey with us? How can we keep our employees engaged and empowered at our company?’ In fact, few progressive organizations have perhaps found the answers that may help to elevate their EX. Bring in the element of technology and use it while treating EX as a strategic priority! Technology tools blended with the humanness at work will certainly help in creating an insightful EX journey that needs to be taken care of by the CIO and CHRO together as a team.
Forrester conducted a global survey in seven countries to understand which organizational elements matter for better Employee Experience. Several variables were tested and finally, the top three categories emerged to give birth to Forrester’s EX Index. These were:
Amit Bhatia, Senior Analyst (CX) Forrester Research rightly explained about each of these three major factors that matters the most to employees, when it comes to employee experience. Companies need to empower, inspire, and enable their employees in every possible way. ‘Empowering’ employees to choose how to complete their assigned task, ‘Inspiring’ a strong belief amongst employees to align their value system with companies’ vision and ‘Enabling’ employees with every possible tool to make them efficient in their current role. These factors play a crucial role in fostering a better EX in every organization.
Perhaps the penetration of the three factors is extremely significant. Hence, with the process of digitization transforming every business, an inflection point to re-imagine employee experience has become imperative with the help of data and tech tools has become the need of the hour. CIOs of many companies are taking steps to empower their employees to take productivity and innovation to new levels. HR Leaders along with CIOs, in tandem are trying to develop roadmaps and interventions to overcome the drag of inefficient processes and policies putting a high premium on the design, ease of use of the experience, and the efficiency of their workflows. The Employee Experience technology ecosystem is helping to analyze the variety of technologies that have started impacting employees’ daily journeys and identifies the ones that have the greatest impact on EX. The two important concepts that have a direct effect on EX tech journey are:
Systems of Support
This helps organizations nurture, monitor and grow employees with the help of tools related to workforce analytics, VoE and employee feedback to optimize the employee experience. Systems of support often improve elements of EX that lie outside the realm of productivity, such as culture, recognition, or working expectations.
Systems of work
These technologies help employees to get their work done by enabling employees to communicate, collaborate and complete their daily tasks. Collaborative work management helps in digital experience monitoring, enterprise collaboration, and enterprise content management. Microapps and portals are authentication system designed to provide further support. RPA and Digital assistants are used for supporting the workplace IoT.
Moreover, the employee experience playbook for the CIO and CHRO also recommends the use of a powerful method called employee journey mapping that helps both the above stakeholders to identify the needs and challenges of EX. The data-driven report highlights various factors that are needed to run a successful EX program and shares lessons learned from the companies that have used employee journey mapping to improve productivity.
To sum up, EX involves designing and delivering distinctive experiences for employees that creates a competitive advantage for the organization. EX inspires the workforce to bring the best to their job every day. By applying principles of customer centricity into talent management practices, it has become imperative for leaders to focus on creating a more relevant and impactful employee experience that not only drives better business outcomes but also helps in retaining their high performers.
(This article is based on the session Built for Tomorrow: Employee Experience Playbook for the CIO and CHRO by Amit Bhatia, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research at TechHR 2019.)