Reimagining the employee experience

The missing link of profitability

Customer experience, also known as CX, is your customers’ holistic perception of their experience with your business or brand and is the result of every interaction a customer has with you. From navigating the website or Apps, to talking to customer service and receiving the product/service they bought from you. Everything you do impacts your customers’ perception and their decision to keep coming back or not. CX is the battleground for client loyalty!

It is hugely important for any business. The better experience customers have, the more repeat custom and positive reviews you will receive, while simultaneously reducing the friction of customer complaints and returns. By its nature this will increase your sales and revenue numbers performance. Over the last decade, this has become increasingly more apparent and most organisations have committed substantial amounts of strategic investment to enhance CX.

However, when it comes to business profitability and growth, leaders need to have equal investment into their employee experience (EX). Why? Employee experience affects many things, including ways of working, employee retention, employee engagement, productivity, customer satisfaction, and cost structures. EX is the battleground for productivity! In the words of Phil Couchman CEO of DHL, “Linking employee experience to customer experience has been the key to DHL’s success. Revenue has increased by 18% in 3 years”.

In a recent study, Gallup found that a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged, but companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. Furthermore, a recent Forbes study revealed that companies who invest in creating both a superior CX and EX typically outperform competitors by 147%, are 4 times more profitable, and see on average 2.3%-3.8% higher stock returns on an annual basis.

This has never been truer than today as the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced organisations to solve new problems to protect their people, customers and business. Amplifying the need for deeper investments into the employee experience as an enabler for sustainable growth and resilience.

“In the new post-Covid world, customer experience and employee experience are now the two driving forces of business”

Denise Lee Yawn, Harvard Business Review

What a world-class employee experience looks like

Employee experience is not just about technology or HR, it is not about your company branding representing what a great place your company is to work, and it’s not just about how many employees engage socially and support the brand. Employee experience is not about perks and it is not about ping pong tables, free lunches, or the availability of nap pods in every corner.

Employee experience is how companies create, develop, and nurture a culture that’s employee centric. What sets them (employees) up for success? How are we giving them control of their careers, helping them set and achieve goals, learn, grow, and thrive in the workplace? In a competitive job market, talented employees are shopping around for the workplace culture and the employee experiences that are a fit for them. It’s a bit of a ‘what have you done for me lately’ ‘what can you do for me now, and in the future’ mindset, and that’s exactly why a culture that focuses on employee experience is so critical. Happy, satisfied, challenged, learning and growing employees stay around. They are happy in their jobs, and it shows. And that happiness translates to a company that provides great customer experience as well-it is inevitable.

It requires a holistic vision, especially in this hybrid world enabling an environment where your: 

  • Culture has shifted to be based on outcomes, rather than physical “time in the office”
  • Operating model has been redesigned through insights-driven decisions skills, being customer-focused and flexible – allowing for new cross-functional working styles and innovation
  • Lines of business can measure and increase efficiency within a new hybrid remote workforce, by simplifying processes and ways of working
  • Employees can engage effectively with each other and your customers. Improving both customer experience and overall health and wellbeing in a new remote environment. Replicating the old “watercooler” moments
  • Existing investments into digital workplace platforms are structured to support your new operating model demands and work modes in a highly personalised manner
  • Operations and business processes are resilient, simplified, structured at a lower cost, enabled by automation, and responsive

Employee Experience applies across your complete employee journey, from being a candidate to becoming an alumni:

  1. Pre-boarding, onboarding and off-boarding are elements of the employee journey that are becoming increasingly challenging for organisations as we shift to new skill requirements, hybrid remote working models and different ways of working. In addition, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is driving the need for large scale staff reductions. By creating a seamless and transparent experience, the potential exists to unlock core benefits such as reduced time to value, increased productivity and employee loyalty.
  2. Strategies and experiences needed to support effective learning, development and growth of your employees are rapidly shifting as organisations need to adjust operating models, cater for new skill requirements and enable people for a new era of doing business. New models around life-long learning are replacing training courses- unlocking greater employee efficiency, higher engagement levels, better customer experiences and greater resilience. Is your old L&D approach still valid?
  3. Being more productive in your day-to-day functions by having a simplified working environment that allows you the freedom to work on your terms. Unlocking a reduction in non-payroll costs and complexity, an increase in employee engagement and productivity through redefining how work is done and coupling concepts like analytical insights and automation.

Re-imagining your employee experience

With the HR landscape in the midst of disruption, employee experience is not a new HR buzzword or a passing phase, nor is it something that is limited to an HR concern. Employee experience impacts the organisation as a whole, and it is something that senior leadership, line of business, HR and IT must invest in, embrace, support, and drive as a joint effort. What principles should guide you on your journey?

  1. Consider all types of experience

When reimagining your employee experience, it is critical to take all three aspects of employee experience into account.

  • Physical experiences – Choices related to your workplace environment (whether at an office or home). This is especially important in a Covid-19 environment where hybrid work environments are becoming the norm
  • Human experiences – Choices related to how we engage with others in a new world where face to face social interaction is the exception i.e. how will sales activities and relationship building happen in the future?
  • Digital experience – Choices related to how we perform our jobs and engage with technology on a daily basis to do so. In a world of remote working these are at the core of our daily experiences
  1. Take a lighthouse approach to proving the value

Execute changes in an iterative manner where you can simplify and connect basic components of your employee journey as lighthouse projects to realise the significant untapped value that large-scale transformation often misses. This will also allow you to show value in quick intervals to both the business and employees. 

  1. Define clear KPI’s and have a robust measuring strategy

The key to success is quantifying what the impact is that you are looking to achieve in terms of KPIs upfront, and continually measuring the effectiveness in reaching those targets with a new employee experience.

  • Workforce personalisation – understanding the drivers and characteristics of the employees
  • Workforce choices and needs – using artificial intelligence and workforce analytics to provide persona and employee segmentation
  • Experience journey analytics – analysing workforce experience journeys to identify critical gaps and opportunities
  • Employee Net promotor score– insights about employee satisfaction based on their key interactions (ENPS)
  • Process maturity analysis – analysis of the maturity of workforce processes and interactions
  • Continuous evaluation pulse – continuous employee monitoring and evaluation to evolve the experiences and capabilities
  1. Apply the principles of CX

Organisations have become extremely adept at reimagining customer experiences; it is time to turn these strategies inwards to the employee experience.

  • Hyper-personalisation across the end-to-end employee journey – Delivering targeted experiences for employees requires a personalised approach to create relevance across all engagements. Creating a segment of one 
  • Applying technology as an enabler – Organisations need to establish a digital platform to bring the desired experiences to life (much of which is aligning existing technology investments). These enable simple, easy and intuitive processes and a host of new possibilities 
  • Employees shape their experience – To deliver superior EX, companies should aim to capitalize on employees’ “Moments that matter” throughout the journey 

How Future Worx can assist

Future Worx has been successfully delivering workplace transformations for the last nine years. Our unique approach, Excellerate, has been developed with the above guidance in mind and is underpinned by 4 key principles:

  • Lightweight – Flexible framework that can be applied to individual digital workplace challenges without being time and cost heavy
  • Human-centred – An employee experience developed with your people, not imposed on them. Enabling higher value realisation
  • Measured – KPIs and baseline performance measured, with regular quantification of improvements
  • Prove then scale – Value is proven through the execution of lighthouse projects aligned to a business case, and is scaled through your Centre of Excellence

Where to start?

Join us for an envisioning workshop, where we will use the latest design thinking techniques to assist you in exploring a revised long-term vision, aligned to market changes and new workplace trends, together with identifying some high-value use cases for your next steps. To book your workshop get in touch today.

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