Is it time to move beyond ‘Moments that Matter’ in Employee Experience?

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Like a lot of other important paradigms of employee experience, ‘Moments that Matter’ too is a concept that was handed down to us by the more established Customer Experience (CX) field. However, unlike most of the other plug-and-play concepts adopted from CX, when it comes to Moments that Matter in employee experience, we need to take a much wider and deeper approach. We’ll tell you why in this post.

In customer experience, Moments that Matter refers to specific interactions that a customer has with a brand that could trigger strong feelings towards it, while also leaving long-lasting impressions. A simple example would be, our experience interacting with the customer support of an airline.

When the same idea is adapted to employee experience, Moments that Matter is broadly defined as critical touchpoints in an employee’s journey that could have a significant impact on their decision to stay with the company. These often include but are not limited to employee onboarding, promotion, work anniversary, taking on a managerial role, among other things.

At a time when employee experience was still an emerging idea, Moments that Matter served as the best way to experiment with the concept; the prime focus of all efforts back then being - elevating the employee experience during those select few moments when they are most likely to consider quitting. 

If you go a little further into the specifics, there are several compelling reasons why the ‘Moments that Matter’ model has been serving us well, until now.

  1. People realized how vast and multimodal the field of employee experience was and needed an entry point to get started with delivering top-notch experiences to employees.
  1. Data and technology weren’t as advanced as they are today, which meant manually delivering a holistic employee experience throughout the employee journey was next to impossible.
  1. Moments that Matter let HRs lead and drive employee experience without much dependency on other stakeholders.
  1. Given that employee experience continues to be a field that is evolving as you read, Moments that Matter made the field more accessible and manageable. 

However, over time, researchers and academicians are uncovering more about EX;  data and technology are becoming accessible to people teams and as a result, HR professionals are starting to see the potential downside to only focusing on a select few touchpoints. Let’s understand what these downsides are in more detail.

Moments that Matter is a band-aid solution to Employee Experience

Moments that Matter served its purpose at a time when people leaders needed to start somewhere and didn’t have access to technology and data to drive a holistic employee experience.

Not anymore.

In 2022, given all the advancements we have been witnesses to in this space, there are several reasons to conclude that Moments that Matter may not be enough anymore.

1. Moments that Matter only focuses on select touch-points leading to inconsistency in employee experience

Imagine an employee who is receiving a beautiful gift hamper on completing a year with the organization but is struggling with a micromanaging boss and a lack of visibility into their growth opportunities within the company. What do you think their experience would be like?

Maybe a gift hamper does bring a moment of joy, but the inconsistency in the overall experience is going to leave that employee confused, disappointed or disengaged.

The problem with focusing on certain moments as ones that matter is that it fails to give a continuously great employee experience. 

2. Employee experience is very personal and cannot be extrapolated to all employees

Moments that Matter treats every moment as if they are experienced in the same way by all employees. But all experiences are personal and no two employees are the same. This lack of personalization in employee experience may fail to have any positive impact on the employees at all.

Here’s an example - Kiara and Josh work at the same firm. After two years of working from home, both of them are getting ready to return to a physical workplace. Both are hoping for more flexibility with their work timings but for different reasons. Kiara now has an ailing father to tend to as the sole caretaker while Josh has a newfound love - traveling. While what Kiara may require is a hybrid work model, Josh, most likely, would want a ‘work from anywhere’ option or more choices around paid vacations and sabbaticals.

3. Moments that Matter doesn’t make any significant contributions to Employee Lifetime Value (ELTV)

Employee Lifetime Value - what’s that?

Employee Lifetime Value (ELTV) is the net value an employee brings to the organization over time. 

Moments that matter doesn't contribute to ELTV

As you can see in the above graph, as a new joinee, the value an employee brings to the organization is usually negative because they are still learning the tricks of the trade. Eventually, they start contributing fully and until the time they choose to resign, their productivity can escalate.

As HR professionals, it is your responsibility to maximize ELTV. And this can be done by providing a great employee experience throughout the employee journey.

However, Moments that Matter boosts employee experience only at select points in time, it does not help compound a great employee experience throughout the employee journey and show real value in ELTV.

Inconsistent moments that matter experience leads to lower ELTV
Inconsistent Employee Experience results in lower Employee Lifetime Value.

4. Parallel experiences cannot be captured by Moments that Matter

Moments that Matter creates an illusion that your employees are only experiencing one important moment with your organization at a time, and that’s not true. Every employee, at any given point in time, could be having more than one experience with your organization. 

Employee journeys instead of moments that matter
What action do we want our employees to take to create the ‘aha’ moment?

For instance, an employee who is being promoted and has been handed the responsibility of setting up operations at your new office is navigating a promotion and movement to a new location at the same time. Here’s one more example. Robert from the Operations Team is making a lateral movement and taking up the challenge of being on the Talent Management Team. In this case, he needs training around the new skill sets, be familiarized with his new team, and all his current roles and mappings need to be realigned to a new team and manager.

If not Moments that Matter, what then?

Employee Journeys.

Journeys is the new way of delivering employee experience.

Here’s the simplest way to understand the difference between journeys and Moments that Matter.

Imagine you are taking off for a vacation in the mountains. 

You look at the map, choose the most optimal route to reach that destination and start the journey in your car. 

Along the way, you might make multiple pit stops that add value to your journey - like a restaurant when you are hungry or a petrol station when your car is low on fuel. These are critical moments in your journey that ensure you don’t give up on your trip mid-way and adds immense value to your entire experience. 

Also, alongside are a lot of other experiences that will be unique to you - maybe you see a bald eagle resting on a fallen branch by the roadside and stop to click a photograph; or an unexpected experience where a stranger asks for a lift and takes you to his farm for a glass of wine and fresh cheese; or, even a surprise experience where the weather plays spoilsport and you’re forced to halt at a motel for the night.

Your planned pit stops at the petrol station and restaurant are your Moments that Matter - very, very important for your journey. But they were only a small part of your overall experience.

Equally important to your entire travel experience were the bald eagle, the stranger who was kind to you and the bad weather - critical pieces that go missing when you build employee experiences only around specific, predictable moments. Alternatively, when you focus on employee experience through the lens of journeys, you take into consideration everything from the start to the destination and even beyond.

There’s more…

Journeys contribute to employee lifetime value - ensuring employees stay longer, are more productive and also recommend the company to others.

The other obvious benefits of taking the journeys approach are:

  • Journeys makes holistic employee experience possible
  • Lets you create multiple, parallel employee journeys 
  • Personalization is possible, at scale
  • Success of EX can be measured through ELTV
Employee Lifetime Value - What is and what can be

Journeys - a better approach to Employee Experience

They say, ‘if you’re focused only on the destination, you forget to enjoy the journey.’ 

And that’s true in the case of employee experience too.

To get employees to truly enjoy their time with your organization and to inspire them to deliver their best, give them experiential journeys all along the way. They don’t need to wait for their work anniversary, promotion, maternity leave to feel supported and valued by the organization. When their experience is consistent throughout their association with the organization, the likelihood of positive outcomes multiples - be it retention, productivity or employee advocacy.

Move beyond moments that matter in employee experience
In summary - there's more to EX than just Moments That Matter.

If you want to understand why we think Journeys is the future of Moments that Matter, you can watch the webinar here: Employee Journeys: Moving beyond moments that matter

And if you want to see how we can help you create a richer and more meaningful employee experience for your company, we'll be happy to put together a one-on-one customized demo for you. Just reach out to us at or book your demo here.

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