“The way management treats associates is exactly how the associates will treat the customers”
Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart
Consider the most note-worthy brands in the world. Google, Facebook, Apple, Cisco, and more. You can guarantee that these organizations have an Employee Experience strategy in place. Google, for instance, ensures a transparent culture where employees are at a liberty to pursue their creative ideas. This brings a sense of ownership and improves employee participation. Beauty brand L’Oréal is another great example. They are credited to have started the world’s first onboarding app – the Fit Culture App, that helps employees decode and understand the company culture. That’s not all. Denise Lee Yohan, a brand expert, speaker, and author, has called 2018 the year of Employee Experience in her recent article published at Forbes. So, why is Employee Experience all that important? Before we go any further, it will be wise to address what Employee Experience is.
So Much Ado About Employee Experience
It’s common to see people use the words Employee Engagement & Employee Experience interchangeably. But that shouldn’t be the case. Employee Engagement is only a fraction of the net Employee Experience that individuals go through.
Once upon a time, companies experienced stiff-neck competition and a rising demand for dedicated and talented human resource. This led to organizations to come with ideas that would benefit employees at the workplace, provide value, and gain their loyalty. Thus, began the concept of Employee Engagement.
Ideally, Employee Engagement is the practice of providing short-term perks or fixes at work. These could be giving the office a makeover, bringing in a foosball table, or improving the office pantry. But while organizations offer such benefits, another big question loomed large. Does it really address the core problems that employees face?
Enter Employee Experience
According to Jacob Morgan, futurist, author & speaker, Employee Experience is a combination of three functions – the work culture, the tools and technology used, and the physical space of work. It’s great for organizations to build an office gym for their employees, but do they ensure that employees find time to make use of it and address their physical health? And while an office pool table seems fun, it’s perhaps a lot more effective if managers consciously encourage their team to take breaks and offer them a game of billiards. Employee Experience, in simple words, is seeing the big picture. It’s making deliberate efforts to ensure that employees feel heard and cared for at work. It also means redefining the organizational process such that everyone is involved in meeting the end goals.
Social Media giant Facebook is known to have one of the best employee-friendly cultures. For starters, employees get unlimited sick leaves. Facebook also encourages the hiring of exceptional candidates without a college degree. German car rental company – Car2go learnt that their employees in the North American offices had trouble interacting, as they worked from 11 different locations. In response, the company initiated a peer-recognition platform to help them stay connected.
Simple steps such as these can go a long way in not just retaining employees, but also empowering them to collectively work towards organizational goals.
What methods have you taken to improve Employee Experiences in your organization? Let us know in the comments.