In a world being transformed by digital technologies, increasing transparency, and the rising demand for talented professionals with fast-changing skills, employee experience is an increasingly important dimension of competing for and engaging your workforce.
- Organizational culture, engagement, and employee brand proposition remain top priorities in 2017; employee experience ranks as a major trend again this year.
- Nearly 80 percent of executives rated employee experience very important or important, but only 22 percent reported that their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.
- Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents reported they were not ready or only somewhat ready to address the employee experience challenge.
The world is suffering from a huge employee engagement crisis, and there is no sign of improvement.
Yet, many companies have not made employee experience a priority, often delegating this problem to an annual engagement survey, whilst their employees demand increasing transparency and a productive, engaging, enjoyable work experience.
Traditionally HR has addressed issues such as employee engagement, culture, rewards, learning and career development as separate, independent programs. The same way they have addressed value delivery to customer, in a siloed way, as opposed to a integrated approach looking at the whole value stream.
What we need to look at here is at the employee value stream and making sure this experience end to end is the best one for the employee, the organization and the society.
What is Employee Experience?
The Employee Experience (EX) is not a set of perks, such as ping-pong tables and free drinks. While perks like these are easy to implement, and they make employees feel better during the short-term, these kinds of incentives do very little to engage employees or to solve core business problems.
When we talk about EX we are considering the combined experience of a meaningful work, a supportive environment, development and growth opportunities, mission, purpose and transparency.
The Employee Experience is the sum of the various perceptions employees have about their interactions with the organization in which they work.
Your EX can either destroy your organization or transform it into something great.
How do we get started?
Just as organizations have moved from customer satisfaction to look at the total customer experience they have to focus their efforts in understanding and continuously improve the entire employee experience, by pulling together several disciplines into an integrated approach.
A better Employee Experience will result on a better Customer Experience.
Deloitte recommends the following ideas in order to improve your firm’s employee experience (adapted from the source with my own contribution, since sometimes Deloitte can be a bit old-fashioned):
- Elevate the employee experience and make it a priority: Recognize that the integrated employee experience is as valuable and can have as much (or more) of customer experience strategy. Articulate a differentiated employee experience, and ensure it coordinates all aspects of the work, workplace, and workforce experience
- Designate a senior leader or team to own it: Like any other value stream, employee experience should have a team or leader taking responsibility for delivering value to employees. Programs such as leadership development, performance management, workplace design, and rewards now fall into the domain of the integrated employee experience. We must bring silos together like we do with product development.
- Embrace design thinking (buzzword, but the idea is important): Study, listen to, and learn what employees are doing every day and discover new ways to simplify work and improve productivity, performance, and engagement.
- Consider experiences for the entire workforce: All segments of the workforce —candidates, full-time, part-time, freelancers, gig employees, and even, often, alumni— will expect elements of the employee experience to be designed to attract and engage them
- Look outside: Use information from Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and others to spot areas of opportunity and weakness. Visit peer companies and look for fresh ideas about how to redesign the employee experience
- Enlist C-suite and team leader support: Senior leaders must be accountable for the employee experience
- Consider the impact of geography: Even though the trend is global, successful approaches will vary by geography. International companies should understand cultural differences in how employees perceive the work experience
- Measure it: Move beyond annual or biannual engagement surveys to regular pulse surveys and open feedback systems. Use candidate interviews, stay interviews, ongoing performance conversations, and exit interviews as ways to build a complete, real-time understanding of the issues your employees face. Consider instituting real-time pulse and feedback tools such as OfficeVibe.
Factors that contribute to a positive employee experience
More on Business Agility series
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- Business Agility Series #3 – Employer Brand
- Business Agility Series #4 – Careers and Learning