Extending the Customer Experience to the Employee Experience
“The days of begging for a job are gone. It’s a candidate’s market. We send them ‘thank you’ notes after interviews now.” This quote exemplifies one reason why companies should take a good look at their employee experience.
That quote is from Ana Recio, the head of global recruiting at Salesforce. To put her take on things into perspective, Salesforce is hiring about 6,000 people a year to keep up with their 30% annual growth.
Employee engagement is more important now than ever before, but not just because of attrition and competitive talent acquisition. Engaged employees help to foster a better customer experience, and as you will see, a positive employee experience can have a measurable impact on a company’s bottom line.
How can companies create an employee experience that will have a positive effect on the customer journey?
Create an Employee Experience That is Equal to the Customer Experience
Jeanne Meister, who writes about human resources for Forbes, stated that “the next journey for HR leaders will be to apply a consumer and a digital lens to the HR function creating an employee experience that mirrors their best customer experience.”
HR behemoths like IBM (helmed by Diane Gherson) and General Electric (Susan Peters) are realizing that in order to deliver a human-centered customer experience, they must incorporate digital technologies that are more personalized, memorable, and compelling.
The seamless and effortless journey that is available to customers should be mirrored within an employee’s workday landscape. This is especially true with customer service representatives and other front-facing agents.
Recognize the Difference Between Employee Engagement and Employee Experience
Employee engagement has been a buzz phrase that has fueled sales for management consulting agencies for several years now. While engagement is essential, it’s only part of the big picture when it comes to a company’s overall employee experience.
Companies invest a lot of time, money, and other resources into things like engagement surveys, free food, and other incentives. The problem with this approach is that it tends to yield temporary results that do not necessarily provide an accurate snapshot of the employee experience.
The overall experience for employees is driven by 3 key factors:
Cutting Edge Technology
No employee wants to feel like they are dragging their feet behind their competitors because they do not have the most up to date suite of interaction channels at their disposal. This leads to agents feeling like their best is not good enough because the implementation of their skill sets get lost in translation.
People spend a good part of their day at work. Simple environmental factors can have a huge impact on an employee’s experience. This ranges from offering ergonomic chairs and keyboards to providing a peaceful atmosphere that can aid in comforting an agent during escalated interactions.
As old as the concept is, a simple “suggestion box” feature can go a long way to determine what employees need in order to make their workspace more habitable and effective.
A Proper Culture
Workplace culture begins and ends with communication.
Paul Alofs, the author of the book Passion Capital, wrote in a piece for Fast Company that “the art of communication tends to put the stress on talking, but listening is equally important. Great cultures grow around people who listen, not just to each other or to their clients and stakeholders.”
What is the ROI on Creating the Perfect Employee Experience?
To implement the above practices will take various resources and a healthy amount of effort.
How does a company know that it’s worth the time and money that needs to be spent?
Every company and every business has a different message and goal set. However, we can look at the results from companies in almost any industry to find measurable results.
- According to management consulting firm Deloitte, nearly 80 percent of executives rated employee experience very important (42 percent) or important (38 percent), but only 22 percent reported that their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.
- The Corporate Leadership Council conducted a study of 50,000 employees around the world and found that “Highly engaged employees are 87 percent less likely to leave the organization.”
- A Gallup poll found that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
- For his book The Employee Experience Advantage, author Jacob Morgan analyzed over 250 organizations worldwide. His research showed that companies that invest in employee experience are four times more profitable than those that don’t.
Numbers don’t lie, and stats based on recent studies have shown that there is a direct connection between the customer experience and the employee experience. There is a fuse point between the two that can electrify an overall culture that encompasses both the customer and the employee. That fuse point relies heavily on a seamless journey that is empowered by agile channels that are effective and resolvent from both ends of each interaction.