9 Steps to Successful Deployment of Employee Experience Programmes
Employees have a set of perceptions about the experience they expect at work. When those expectations aren’t met, the employee experience is a poor one. When they are exceeded, the employee experience is exceptional.
How well an organisation shapes and delivers the employee experience affects all parts of the organisation ─ motivation, productivity, employee retention, etc. It affects the ability to attract quality candidates to vacant roles, too.
With so much at stake, organisations and their leaders must understand how to design employee experiences that are exceptional.
What is employee experience design?
Employee experience design is a process of designing, developing, and delivering an employee’s experience. It includes everything from employee onboarding to the physical environment, to how employees are supported in their roles.
In short, employee experience design is a way to make the employee feel valued, appreciated, and happy at work ─ and how they feel about themselves.
The three elements of employee experience design
When designing an employee experience initiative, an organisation must focus on three specific elements:
- Employee perceptions
- Environmental factors
- Broadening HR functions
It’s crucial to measure employee engagement and discover how employees feel about their work and their employer. The latest research from Gallup has found that employee engagement in American firms stands at only 34%.
Employee engagement is inextricably linked to the employee experience. Indeed, it is becoming clear that employee experience is a driving force for employee engagement. If an organisation does not design exceptional employee experiences, they are unlikely to benefit from the benefits of exceptional employee engagement.
Employee perceptions are developed over time and across multiple touchpoints ─ how they are treated in all aspects of their work and attachment to their employer, and across the period they have been working for that employer (though most recent are strongest in the memory).
It’s not only about the work that people do, but also about where they work. The culture, the physical space, and the technology made available to them.
Culture encompasses a variety of factors, such as leadership, structure, pay and benefits, and how people feel about their work, their workplace, and the workplace social norms that guide interaction.
The physical space that an employee works in includes items such as desks and chairs, the green plants in the office, air quality, temperature, lighting, smells, and so on. Leaders should not underestimate the effects the environment can have on motivation and productivity.
Technology is a broad sphere, but we can narrow it down to the tools to do the job: the computers, servers, software, mobile devices, etc. ─ and including the tools used to enable effective remote working.
It’s also crucial that organisations recognise the correlation between employee engagement and a positive customer experience.
Highly engaged employees are more likely to deliver better customer experiences that drive loyalty and profitability. Deliver an exceptional employee experience that motivates employee engagement, and it follows that the customer experience should move from better to exceptional.
There are a lot of crossovers between identifying and qualifying the customer experience and similarly conducting employee experience analysis. This is an area that HR should exploit in the design of employee experiences.
9 Steps to design an exceptional employee experience
The employee experience can be the deciding factor in whether an employee remains with an organisation. Therefore, it is important to create an exceptional employee experience for your employees. These nine steps will help you do so:
- Take a proactive approach
- Listen to your employees and start pulling the data
- Know your challenges around employee experience
- Align employee experience with company values
- Define key employee personas
- Don’t rely only on HR
- Create partnerships across your organisation
- Invest in digital employee experience
- Look at engagement metrics
Don’t wait for rocketing employee turnover to tell you that you must act. Measure employee engagement constantly, and take note of feedback.
When taking note of feedback from employees, analyse what the data really means, using both quantitative and qualitative information.
Take time to understand what your employees are experiencing currently, and the gap between this and their needs and wants ─ then define the challenges you have.
The experience of an employee should be aligned with the company’s values in such a way that it meets or exceeds expectations for them.
Perceptions and expectations of employee experience are unique to individuals, but they can be categorised. Defining employee personas will help you to design greater personalisation of employee experiences.
While HR plays a leading role, employee experience is actually a shared responsibility across departments: IT, recruitment, and operations, for instance.
Develop partnerships throughout the organisation, between distinct functions and workplace silos, managers, leaders, and departments. This will help you to stay focused and on track, and share lessons and best practices as you work toward common goals.
Digital employee experience is the new frontier for HR. Employees are now more connected and mobile than ever before, and they expect to be able to work anytime, anywhere.
Return to step 1. Constantly look at your engagement metrics. These should guide you as HR evolves employee experience initiatives to improve outcomes over the long term.
It’s time to fast-forward
Fast-forward five years. Where do you see yourself and your organisation? Will you be able to look back and see your current challenges as the greatest gift?
To get a comprehensive insight into your organisational culture – the insight that will help you make more effective decisions, aid in alignment with team members and colleagues, and help as you design the ultimate employee experience programme ─ complete the Personal Values Assessment.