2018 was referred by Denise Lee Yohn in Forbes as being the year of Employee Experience. It’s time to transform the perception of work and design a new approach to change management instead of the conventional change management approach.
Why? Because despite seeming a counterintuitive concept: successful customer experiences depend upon putting your employees first, not your customers.
“My philosophy has always been, if you can put staff first, your customers second, and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and your staff remains happy.” —Sir Richard Branson
“We all know the difference between a great experience and a bad one.”, and we all know the difference between feeling part of a team, group, organization or even a soccer team, our just feeling apart from it. We all know the feeling when something just make’s all the sense to us, and gives us the vigour and energy to pursuit, achieve and accomplish a project, an objective or a simple task, or in the other hand, when it just doesn’t make any sense, and just doesn’t pushes us to move forward.
Adobe’s leadership combined customer experience design and employee experience design: “satisfied and engaged employees are more likely to give their best effort and represent the brand well, while satisfied customers are happier and easier to work with.” The unified focus is that people are essential to business, customers, and employees, and then understand that people want the same fundamental things:
"1) To be treated with respect for their needs and their time;
2) To find the information or they need quickly;
3) To feel invested in a long-term relationship, whether it’s with the employer or the brand.”
A lot of companies miss that a great customer experience starts with your employees – employees who feel high levels of engagement in their roles will invest more effort into providing a quality experience.
How is Employee Experience Design measured? The Employee Experience Index measures 5 dimensions:
“1) Belonging – feeling part of a team, group or organization;
2) Purpose – understanding why one’s work matters
3) Achievement – a sense of accomplishment in the work that is done
4) Happiness – the pleasant feeling arising in and around work
5) Vigour – the presence of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement at work”
And what practices can an organization follow to drive positive employee experiences?
“1) organizational trust;
2) co-worker relationships;
3) meaningful work;
5) feedback and growth;
6) empowerment and voice;
7) and work-life balance.”
Building an engaged and empowered workforce means taking an intentional approach to how your organization designs its employee experience.
Employee Experience Design is about mapping the whole experience and looking at the entire journey just like in the Customer Experience journey. Starting from the recruitment, the 1º day of work, the emotions that surround them (belonging, purpose, achievement, happiness, vigour), the cultural environment of the workplace, the feedback, the individual wellbeing and mental health.
Employee Experience Design ends up being far more strategic. The notion that empathy and focus around the human needs are vital to a good organization and a good customer service, and in the end it will represent a good change management strategy.
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein
Daphne Halkias, Joseph C. Santora, Nicholas Harkiolakis, Paul W. Thurman (2017), “Leadership and Change Management: A Cross-Cultural Perspective”, Routledge.