The current pandemic and its impact on office culture has, unsurprisingly, brought about a renewed focus on the employee experience. Here, themes like hybrid work models and occupational health and safety, are under more scrutiny than ever before. It’s clear that a (cue trend word) VUCA-volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous – macro environment has produced a crux point for change for both employers and employees.
Case in point is the so-called “Great Resignation”, something that is happening but not confined to the US right now. And while there are clearly macro social and economic issues to be addressed (and a deep discussion to be had about the ethical and moral role of business in society), additionally there’s also the opportunity to reframe the value that employment has for workers, and for companies.
This naturally leads to and opens up the discussion around employee experience. In its simplest form this is defined as a workers’ perceptions about their employment journey through all the touchpoints and interactions at a particular company. And, broadly speaking, covers things such as workplace culture and relationships; company values and how they are lived; recognition and how, when, and why it is implemented; support provided to grow in one’s career; as well as the tools and whatever else is required to enable employees to do their jobs effectively.
Create good customer experiences
So if you think about it, it makes complete sense then that good customer experience very much depends on good employee experience. Here companies with engaged employees have been shown to outperform their competitorsby 147%. Why? Because what they’re expected to deliver to customers is congruent with what they experience at work. Engaged employees equate to better customer service, and faster service recovery. And that is precisely why EX is now being commonly referred to as the new CX.
Here what you ultimately want to do, is match the desired customer experience at each point of interaction within the business, with the corresponding message and action for the employee. Ensuring that you give employees the full set of tools, resources, and autonomy to deliver on their job properly which, in essence, is the true purpose of employee experience.
No longer just an HR function
As such, employee experience has long since evolved from solely being an HR function, to a function that bolts on to every aspect of the business; where operational processes and tools, and management practices in particular are all aligned as a means to enable employees to do their jobs as effectively as possible.
It therefore follows that the employee value proposition has to be derived from the same set of thoughts as the customer value proposition. It makes no sense, and in fact proves contradictory, to tell your customers that your business is one thing, and then communicate and demonstrate something completely different to employees. Both must be congruent in thought and action, ensuring a mutual connection between customer and staff member that is complementary.
So what’s it really all about? At the heart of it, it comes down to empowerment through empathy. This means that if we empathetically understand our customers’ needs from a CX point of view, and create each touchpoint accordingly, the same empathy is required in viewing employees and delivering on their needs to enable and empower them to do the best possible job they can, ultimately enabling them to make an ongoing contribution to growing the business. So in the end businesses looking at tangible ways to promote growth, really need only spend some real effort on their EX to get the results they’re looking for.
This article was written by Lisa Cohn.