Employee Experience- What Comes to Mind?
When You Think About EX– What Comes to Mind?
Perhaps an engagement survey? or a 360 feedback review? Bring your dog to work?
Oftentimes in competitive environments such as the techspace, we hear about desirable employee incentives including bring-your-dog-to-work, or standing work stations, free food, or working from home.
At my previous two companies, I was one of those employees who enjoyed this balance– and yes… it makes a difference, no complaints! Yet, not every organization can afford all the perks and flexibility. It might not be feasible or even relevant to employees. To illustrate, think about healthcare, retail or logistics companies.
Overall, I believe we all agree that Employee Experience EX, involves some form of “balance.” But I am not here to discuss work-life balance. Now, let’s assume that humanity and equality are a given. What I want to share is a different, yet very important angle on Employee Experience.
It’s about Easiness! Over the years, I have observed, listened and experienced that companies are losing money as a result of employee experience. No matter what position an employee holds, there is one thing that they have in common… they want an easier experience!
Here are 4 things that might get in the way and that are likely hitting your bottom line– and, 4 simple tips to improve the employee experience:
The “S” Word:
Not that “S” word – I meant Siloes.
There is not a meeting I go into where people aren’t talking about the silo-effect. Some siloes of expertise are to be expected. The challenge is when you have talents hidden in different siloes therefore limiting the potential of collaboration. Many times, the siloes exist because departments don’t understand how they might be connected.
I recently led a project focused on improving the online customer experience at a software organization. We identified 36 key people working on different teams, each of them had an area of expertise with a stake on improving the online experience– and each one had a different idea about what the problem was.
As you can imagine, this was causing a lot of difficulties in getting the job done and therefore the end-user experience was also difficult and detracting customers. By bringing data to these teams, they were able to collaborate, gain a full view of the problems they needed to solve and execute on the solutions. It made it a lot easier for them and for the end-user.
Breaking the siloes is not easy but with some tactics you can improve collaboration. Think about those connections in your organization and the potential of breaking those siloes through a customer-centric focus.
When employees find it too hard to support an end-customer, the easiest way is to give them an exit.
Most recently I heard of an employee at a telecommunications company advising a client to switch to a competitor’s brand – why? Because it was too hard for the employee to do his job to help the customer.
One could argue this was a disengaged employee or that this individual shouldn’t be there in the first place. However, when looking into the story, the employee was just so frustrated at not understanding how to help, that the easiest thing was to give the customer an out.
How can you avoid this barrier? Just as we map the customer journey, mapping the employee experience is important to uncover where their pain-points are. Doing a root-cause analysis can help make it easier for employees to do their jobs.
Yes, I’ve said it. When you have talented and motivated employees who are change-makers but are not stepping up due to politics – that’s hurting your business. It’s sad to hear engaged employees say, “I can’t do the right thing because of politics.”
Unfortunately, not everyone is prepared to voice their opinion as some are afraid to suffer the consequences, so they just run under the radar.
Checking in on employee sentiment and having honest conversations to enable your thinkers and your doers merits your time. Work with your human resources experts to uncover ways to enable these conversations. Culture-assessment surveys can help support those conversations.
Too many meetings:
Have you had those days or weeks when you are running from meeting to meeting and can’t even stop for lunch? If your talent is stuck in irrelevant meetings most of the time, how much are those meetings costing you? One-on-one meetings or team meetings have their purpose, however, employees usually complain about not having enough time to get their job done.
My advice… keep it fresh! Consider changing the cadence, duration of the meeting or take it outdoors is the weather allows for it. Ask your staff for feedback on productivity and relevance of these meetings and be open to their feedback. This will save you time and money in the long-run.
Hopefully, these 4 points will help you in your next EX endeavour. As always, your comments are welcome.
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CEO 4Xperience, Market Research and Experience Design Expert
Cory is one of only 100 Gold Qualtrics Certified researchers and a certified customer experience (CX) expert. With more than two decades of experience as a consultant, entrepreneur and in corporate leadership roles, Cory is a guru in connecting the dots and bringing data into action. Her expertise has been invaluable to companies in several industries.