WHAT ABOUT EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE?
Delivering Employee Delight
Customer experience and employee experience are now two of the driving forces of business. Independently, each function leads to valuable relationships — with customers and employees — but when CX and EX are managed together, they create a unique, sustainable competitive advantage. Companies should consider integrating the two disciplines and installing a Chief Experience Officer to lead the combined effort across the entire organization.
Denise Lee Yohn, Harvard Business Review, June 13, 2019
IN YOUR NEW NORMAL – ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION TO EX?
The CX-EX Connection
Employee experience (EX) is a critical but often neglected component of organizational development. As customer experience (CX) seeks to unite entire organizations around a single, dominant culture of service excellence, it has become a major organizational disruptor and influencer. CX seeks to align the three foundational inputs upon which it is built– customers’ engagement expectations, brand promise, and the corporate culture that supports the brand. Today, within the context of CX, EX is more important than ever: There is an inextricable link between the two because employees play a vital role in satisfying customers’ expectations and delivering the brand promise. According to Shep Hyken:
A brand is defined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by the employees. [Twitter, March 26, 2013] The internal customer experience determines the external customer experience. [Twitter, July 19, 2016]
What are your plans for EX?
Experts in the field of CX, from Denise Lee Yohn to Shep Hyken, from Southwest Airlines to Starbucks, agree that there is an interconnection between CX and EX. In today’s business environment, CX is placing a demand on companies to develop their EX so that employees feel that they are as important and valued as external customers. This idea of equivalence between a company’s internal and external customers is not a new one and many organizations may have accepted it in principle. It is time for organizations to move from principle to practice.
Today, as we are reimagining, “reimaging” and reinventing our organizations – What are your plans for EX?
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO DEVELOP EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
Developing EX requires a holistic approach that focuses on three broad areas – relationships, workplace, and technology. Organizations can achieve their targeted EX development goals via two pathways:
The Strategic Pathway
This pathway will work best for organizations that want to fundamentally transform their EX culture and implement a new EX operational model. Some critical stepping stones along this pathway will include:
- Corporate Sponsorship: Establish EX development as a strategic goal
- Systematic Change: Appoint a team to design, develop, and execute transformation
- EX Identity: Develop key features of your EX identity – employee persona, experience vision, core values, employer promise, etc.
- Data Leveraging: Collate and analyze pre-existing and newly acquired organizational data to feed the creation of a comprehensive EX development plan
- Plan Execution: Implement, monitor, evaluate, and continuously improve the EX development plan
This pathway is also ideally suited for organizations that want to attract and retain the best talent, deliver a winning customer experience and compete in today’s business environment.
The Ad Hoc Pathway
For organizations that want to deliver immediate results, the ad hoc pathway can work, but only as a short-term measure. This approach will allow them to undertake action aimed at delivering immediate solutions like small-scale technology improvements and process reengineering. These will be able to score some “quick wins” by addressing “low hanging fruit”. Key actions will include:
- Communicating the organization’s EX intentions to the employee population
- Analyzing existing data on employee pain points and implementing appropriate solutions
- Creating a pipeline for employees to voice their concerns and have them addressed within a stipulated time period
The ad hoc pathway can deliver some “quick wins” but it cannot address the kind of fundamental change that employees want.