The one thing that we all get wrong in the employee-employer relationship is our obsessive focus on employee engagement. Like in any interpersonal relationship dynamics, trying to control what the other person feels about you is futile. What you can control though is your behavior and your actions that can, in turn, influence the other person to like you, respect you, and want to be around you.
Now, that’s also the key difference between Employee Experience and employee engagement.
Employee engagement focuses on that part of the employee-employer relationship that you have little to no control over, i.e. how the employees ultimately feel about the organization. Whereas, Employee Experience is focused on the controllable – the experiences you deliver to your employees which can impact whether or not they engage with you.
But EX is so vast and multi-modal that often success can seem elusive without a proper framework.
That’s why we took inspiration from the more established Customer Experience world and applied it to EX. What we got out of it is a foundational Employee Experience framework that you can put to work right away.
While we have an entire guide with templates coming your way (watch this space!), in this newsletter, we’ll give you a look at the framework.
“The fundamental thing when it comes to creating any experience is to have empathy for the people you are delivering value to, whether it be a shampoo, Gmail or services for an employee.”
Guneet Singh, Head of Marketing and Creative Services at Google APAC
We agree with Guneet.
In 2020, Customer Experience overtook price and product as the key brand differentiator. We all love the way Netflix customizes our viewing list, Amazon auto-recommends products, and food delivery apps welcome us back with discounts when we reorder from our favorite restaurants.
To bring similar personalization and individualized experiences to the employer world, you need to first start by empathizing with your employees i.e. by understanding their needs, motivations, and desires.
And that’s where we “Dive in”.
You have a mind-boggling amount of data from your employees. More than any Customer Experience team could ever dream of getting from their customers.
The only challenge is that this data lies in disparate systems and teams.
Your first task while building an employee experience strategy will be to bring all that data together. The types of data you can look at are personal, event, behavior, performance, and feedback data:
👫 Personal data includes the basic details of an employee including age, location, education, employment history, etc.
💻 Event-based data consists of all the events that are triggered for an employee in a system or process like tickets created, process initiated, etc.
✅ Behavioral data includes open rates of emails, survey completion rates, time spent on the intranet, etc.
💯 Performance data is directly related to productivity and includes time and attendance, manager feedback, customer NPS score, etc.
⭐ Feedback data is self-reported or contextual feedback collected directly through surveys and questionnaires
Once you have collated all the data, the next step is to study your data for patterns – for a correlation across the above data sets. These similarities will help you segment your employees into different groups. For instance, remote workers and employees working in-person may become different groups. Similarly, segmentation based on tenure, team, location, performance, activity levels, and more is possible.
Once you have the segmentation ready, get down to creating your employee persona for each segment you’ve created.
A persona is a semi-fictional character you develop that is a representation of the needs, motivation, and behaviors of your employees.
The employee personas you create should list three things: the motivations, frustrations, and expectations of these personas.
Once you have your personas ready, it is time to start building your employee experience strategy.
So where do you start?
By identifying key touchpoints.
You can do this in one of two ways.
Moment-based EX: Pick the top ten moments across the employee journey that will create the highest impact on your employee experience right now.
Program-specific EX: Pick a specific area of HR (such as onboarding, return-to-work, process adoption, learning & development) you want to reimagine. Then pick the top ten moments within these areas that you would like to prioritize right now.
Once you have finalized your touchpoints, align your persona's pain points and needs (frustrations, expectations, and motivations) to each touchpoint you’ve chosen and then identify ways to solve them.
The solutions that you come up with will form your employee experience plan.
Executing an EX strategy for different touchpoints and multiple personas can seem like a lot.
That’s why we recommend a more simplified approach to implementation.
1. Choose one touchpoint and one persona group to run your pilot
2. Create a project to deliver the EX strategy to the pilot group at this touchpoint
3. Launch the experience and evaluate
Set-and-forget doesn’t work in EX. One bad experience can ruin months of good work.
To create a sustainable and impactful EX strategy, measurement is key.
To accurately measure the impact, start by defining the success criteria for your EX strategy. Then identify metrics that indicate these success criteria. You can also introduce pulse surveys at different moments in the employee experience journey to gather contextual feedback. Track if there are any changes in the reviews that employees share on public sites such as Glassdoor and Ambition Box. Monitor analytics on various software that you may be using like task completion rate, time spent on the platform, etc.
And that is a quick introduction to the Employee Experience framework, inspired by Customer Experience. We have a whole guide with more detailed instructions and ready-to-use templates coming your way soon. You'll have it in your inbox next week.
See you next month!