Designing employee experience is all about engaging employees better such that it reflects on their performance. So, there must be consistency, structure, and motivation while you design a plan for improving employee experience as well as performance. In fact, employee experience or EX, as most companies like to call it today, is the next competitive frontier for businesses.
There was a time when customer experience was the sole priority and indeed it helped businesses reach a competitive advantage. However, when everybody starts doing the same thing it doesn’t help anyone stay at an advantage for long. Additionally, your employees are the ones who contribute and help you run your business with you, aren’t they? Hence, a growing number of companies are now turning to design employee experience to attract, engage and develop employees.
“A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees- Shep Hyken“
Needless to say, employee experience is of supreme importance!
Things to keep in mind while designing Employee Experience
The millennial generation wants what it wants
Data suggests that millennials comprise 30% of the population and by 2025 will represent 75% of the global workforce.
Millennials look for work that is meaningful, a flexible and autonomous workplace that gives them the freedom to make decisions, own projects, seek mentorship and guidance. This isn’t because, millennials, are all born with a silver spoon in their mouth or are accustomed to a certain opulent treatment. It’s all because of certain standards that technology has set in their lives.
Food, cabs, deliveries, etc.are all just a click away for us now. Life, in general, has become more comfortable and fast as compared to the 90s or early 2000s, then why not expect a similar level of comfort at work too? In return, Millennials are diligent, focused, responsible, and willing to go the extra mile to accomplish a project even if it means staying for extra long hours on a Saturday night. They make things happen!
Personalization and Transparency – Not just words but action too
Unlocking the true potential of your employees is like an art. You have to free yourself from all possible biases – age, gender, experience – and keep learning to get better at it. One of the keys is to focus on HR products and services to strengthen the emotional connection between people. Therefore, employee engagement activities such as Pulse Surveys, company-wide polls, open idea board, fun activities, etc., gives employees their own individual voice.
Another factor is transparency and honesty however if you only talk but actually do nothing about it then it becomes futile. You should be able to ask yourself questions like, “Are my team members comfortable at work?”, “If I ask them a personal question will they be willing to share it with me?”, “Do they want to open up to me outside work at a personal level?”. You might or might not be there yet but creating an open, honest, and trustworthy environment ensures employee comfort, safety, and engagement.
Journey mapping for Employee Experience
You know the joy you get when you look at old pictures? Pictures of you growing up, the milestones, and likewise? Employee journey mapping is similar to that. The difference being you define outcomes and results while mapping the journey. It’s a method of visualizing the journey the employee has had in your organization. The important milestones, achievement and likewise. The map would show every stage that the employee has gone through in the company. This will help you to understand what the weak and strong points of an employee are. This would also give an insight into what things matter the most to the employee.
Talk the talk to walk the walk
No matter if this point gets repetitive, I will talk about it again and again because this is of utmost importance and hence the recurrence. You have to keep communication channels open! You have to talk to the employees to know what they like and what they loathe. By talking we don’t mean just disseminating information. Talking means getting to understand them. You cannot deliver what they want when you have no clue about what they want. Can you? So, you can cater to your employee’s needs only if you get to know your employees.
Well…..Let’s talk wellness!
Invest in employee wellness before you even start thinking about employee experience. Employee wellness is crucial in ensuring that your employees feel valued and worthy. Wellness is not just physical. Programs that foster mental health and wellbeing must also be encouraged. All these will add to curating an exemplary employee experience.
It may not come easy but it’s fun
Every day may not be your day, just like the high and low tides. There are times when you are 100% prepared, confident, and looking forward to participating in an event but the outcome is contrary to what you may have expected. It doesn’t mean that you stop trying, right?
This is where employee experience comes in. It is exactly what gets you out of bed on a rainy Monday morning. Employee experience is what encourages your team members to look forward to another day at work even when things don’t go too well. They’d still have a team and a manager to look up to and share what’s going on in their mind.
Let us look at some survey results on employee experience by Deloitte.
- Employees have been discussing the importance of employee experience since 2017, and it still remains a trend in 2019.
- 80% of employees rated employee experience as (very) important.
- However, only 22% felt that their company can actually make a difference by integrating work with an exceptional employee experience.
- 59% of survey respondents say that they are not/somewhat ready to manage the challenges that come with designing employee experience.
Further research and survey results by Global Human Capital Trends and others suggest something similar. The ability of organizations to address issues related to engagement and work culture has dropped by nearly 14%. Therefore, 2019 is definitely the year in which companies can identify the improvement areas and fix them.
We have spoken extensively about talking to your employees and communicating with them and more. So how do we do it?
Won’t it be wonderful to have HR available to all your employees and candidates 24 hours a day to answer any question? That’s possible with HR chatbots.
Conversational intelligence is here, incorporated in a chatbot. The world has shrunk and our workload has increased exponentially. We are constantly connected to all the information that we need on any subject at any given point in time via a smart/mobile phone with data service which is now as ubiquitous as bottled water.
Except for information that is relevant to me in my job.
Your employees and candidates are your customers
Did you know that 69% of consumers would prefer talking to a chatbot rather than wait in line to be connected and have their questions answered by humans?
We suffer the availability of a few resources to answer all our questions. We muddle through arcane apps to find the information that we need. Most of us give up leading to a horrendous employee experience. We are limited by waking and working time of others to respond.
How about changing this completely with HR chatbots?
Providing information to people that depend on you at the time they seek the information, at the speed they would expect, the intelligence that they would demand crisply. And make it all self-service.
It’s possible now with a chatbot. An intelligent agent that does not take a break, learns from the interactions to build intelligence, is always available, and can provide any response to a query or lookup data for an authenticate inquiry crisply in a pinpoint fashion.
All of this with conversational intelligence. AI bots are now mature enough to do so across the employee and candidate spectrum. No more searching through menus, reading through incomplete FAQs, browsing through documents to find the information you need in a hurry.
No more enduring the old way.
Leverage technology to ace Employee Experience
HR and tech teams have been feeding computers data for a couple of decades and now computers are really getting ready to serve us.
The roles have changed. So should we. This has been no more than data in and out that legacy platforms support. New age technology is aligned much better to serve intelligently. Take over all the mundane tasks of information search and retrieval, speaking out.
Employees who enjoy the company experience are the ones who will take additional and more careful initiatives at work. Customer support and retention won’t really be a problem because your employees will ensure that they take care of it all. What you have to do is design employee experience from hiring, through training, to exit (yes, exit too) and the results will reflect in the overall company performance.