CX specialist Diane Magers is CEO of the Customer Experience Professionals Association, and is representing the United States as an Awards Ambassador for the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards, which are taking place in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, on November 15.
In an article for CXM World below, Diane discusses how quality Customer Experience should inspire organisations towards a better understanding of Employee Experience, and why the same rigour should be applied to both disciplines.
The entry deadline for the awards is August 23. For further information about entering, click here.
The practice of Customer Experience is all about customers – the people who purchase your products and services.
In the past several years, CX professionals have created a strong framework around how we understand customers’ needs, how we design better experiences, how we measure the impact of their engagement to the organisation, and how we innovate to improve their lives.
CX professionals help organisations think about the human experience and new ways of working to create customer and organisational value. Successful organisations have realised the importance of their people in their organisation, and that they are integral to that success. Their employees, their human capital, their internal resources, their greatest assets – whatever term is used, it is the humans in an organisation that make it work.
Many companies have seen the value of investing in CX. Paying attention to your customers, and optimising every channel, every touchpoint, and every interaction, is proven to increase engagement, likelihood to return, brand loyalty, referrals, and ultimately, revenue.
When we look at Employee Experience, we can see the same benefits. When we create better experiences and engage employees, it reduces hiring cost, increases tenure and productivity, decreases churn, and strengthens your brand.
The Employee Experience framework
We look to employees to deliver great experiences to our customers, yet many of us miss the opportunity to create great experiences for them. Customer Experience professionals are well poised to bring this transformation and can help organisations to create and design these experiences as well. This can drive positive change so employees can deliver experiences to your customers and create internal business value.
Think about the tenure and productivity that can be gained if new recruits are welcomed, presented with well-planned onboarding programs, and are clear on their expectations out of the gate. On the flip side, consider the productivity and morale that’s lost when it takes employees 20-30 minutes to do something such as scheduling a conference room or searching for information to do their job.
The effort, time, and resulting frustration have an impact on how they act, how long they stay, and what they say about us. This then has an impact on how they treat customers, retention, word-of-mouth, and other brand-impacting factors.
Through launching an employee engagement strategy, companies have the opportunity to show their employees that they care enough to pay attention to their needs, identify issues, and reap the benefits that an excellent Employee Experience can bring.
This approach is more than what I call ‘Beyond the Bagels’. While benefits and perks are important, what employees really want is to be involved, contribute to the success of the organisation, feel valued and respected, to have the opportunity to grow and develop, and access to proper leadership.
The first step towards employee-centricity is to build a business case with executives. This can take many forms, but to prove why Employee Experience is a worthwhile investment, be sure to clearly explain the current gaps and inefficiencies, and how this ties back to the company’s bottom line.
1. Create a cross-functional team
With support from the executives, charter a cross-functional team that has deep, lasting knowledge of the processes, programs, and frameworks that make your company tick. Focus on understanding the current Employee Experience.
What do you know about your employees today? How long are they staying? Why are they leaving? What pain points, challenges, and barriers do they face on a day-to-day basis? Conduct interviews, review previous employee surveys and gather as much information as you can about their experience.
2. Map the employee journey
After the data collection phase is complete, it’s time to do an employee journey map. This should be a comprehensive representation of what a typical employee goes through every day – their hurdles, frustrations, and wins. Next, identify potential opportunities to redesign the highest-friction experiences that many of your employees face.
To pinpoint which opportunity you should start with, perform a quick impact and value analysis. Which opportunity would, if solved, would make the most impact and be most valuable? Also, identify some quick wins to create momentum and demonstrate the focus on Employee Experience, and then create a roadmap to tackle the other opportunities.
You’ve determined what opportunities to start with. Discover the right issues to solve and design the new experience. Put plans in place to fix the problem, and then tell your story. Highlight the results that you received from that project (or several projects) to build momentum.
Finally, use this pilot experience to design an ongoing program that introduces systematic changes to make your Employee Experience even better. Build the value case and demonstrate how the Employee Experience creates strong engagement for them, creating a cascade effect to improve the Customer Experience.
4. Create ways to gather the ongoing voice of the employee
Ensure they can participate in innovating the experience and provide input into the solutions. Build an ongoing way to test and iterate on what’s working and what’s not.
As with Customer Experience, creating systematic and impactful ways to improve the Employee Experience will have positive results. It requires a commitment to identifying and improving on the Employee Experience with the same rigour you apply to CX.