Imagine a workplace where employees are treated like guests are being treated in Ritz Carlton Hotel. Embedding the exceptional experience in the organization culture is a plus. With markets being over competitive and abundance is prevailing everywhere, it is hard to choose which one to buy and which one not to buy. The only differentiating factor left is experience focusing brand, customers and employees. Combining all the three is a world class combination. For any business having a purpose driven strategy embedded in their products/services which customers experience surely impacts profitability positively.
We all have experienced some service or product in our life time. The interaction with a company is termed as experience and we being customers so experts name is ‘customer experience’ – CX. The same term is applied internally in an organizational setup and that is ‘employee experience’ – EX.
As defined by Maylett & Matthew Wride in their book; Employee Experience How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results; "The employee experience (eX) is the sum of perceptions employees have about their interactions with the organization in which they work."
They explain it further; the employee experience is the operating environment for your people. If this environment is properly structured, it will attract, retain, and engage your employees. The employee experience is governed by three categories or “contracts” that impact the way an individual thinks, feels, and performs; Brand, Transactional, Psychological.
Jacob Morgan author of book; ‘The Employee Experience Advantage’ explain it as;
"Employee experience is the combination of three distinct things that exist within any organization regardless of industry, size, and location. The other parts of employee experience are the technological environment and the physical environment.
To engage employees and make their journey with the organization meaningful an organization need to take care of employees’ wellbeing, provide support in terms of technology, tools, workspace and culture to utilize all the resources to produce great work supported by leadership and management teams.
There is a transformation going on across the industries around the world that we should see employees as customers and treat them as we treat our customers. This change in thought is not only affecting how we treat our employees but also how we take care of their environments, workplace culture, and leadership behavior and also developing the organization around the inspirations and passions of employees.
This is the reason that notion of having a purposeful organizational strategy is gaining attention. This purpose becomes more meaningful when it is linked to environment, social responsibility or contributing to a society at large. People connect to bigger causes with intrinsic motivation and are willing to participate and add value in their humble capacities automatically.
I would like to quote an example of a store sells fashion related accessories named TOMS. There is a link in their menu-bar titled “How We Give” and states; “TOMS Eyewear purchases provide a person in need with a full eye exam by trained medical professionals. Each patient then receives the treatment he or she needs.”
TOMS works with a network of 14 Giving Partners in 13 countries to help provide communities in need with access to eye care. With restored vision, patients are able to reclaim their independence and return to their daily lives.
This is an interesting example of engaging workforce in a meaningful business activity.
This is the same notion about which Sir Richard Branson says: “Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
Why on earth is he saying this? If you analyze his business philosophy he is pretty much a living example of employee experience management revolution which is reshaping customer experience management too. It is the key strategic advantage for companies having an inbuilt capacity to attract, engage and retain the future workforce.
Employee experience is not about perks, benefits, pay raise or employee value proposition, it is bigger than all these elements. It has the power to touch the hearts of employees and dealing them with empathy, compassion and going beyond the policy frameworks.
Employee experience is the new paradigm that HR must incorporate in their people strategy and in their daily dealings with employees. This has the potential to impact the business in a meaningful and tangible way. The whole hire to retire process has to incorporate employee experience element in it by redesigning it around employees overall wellbeing, happiness, passions and personal motivation drivers.
How you can design the right employee experience which can help business and people to grow equally? The journey starts by accepting it as an experience first and rest of the matter is connecting it with the business. The leadership has to understand and make it the central point of every business decision and establish framework across the organization to build and maintain the right employee experience. The important thing to remember is that we are dealing with the perceptions of employees anything superficial and impractical can damage the employee experience and can affect the trust levels negatively.
Thanks for reading!
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