Sir Richard Branson, the management visionary, has said: “My philosophy has always been, if you can put staff first, your customers second, and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and your staff remains happy.” Branson has succeeded with this approach–and many other companies have realized the importance of this approach in today ’s war for talent. Enter employee experience or EX.
Why does Employee Experience make sense for you?
For years, management gurus have emphasized the need to focus on the customer experience. But contemporary studies show that focusing on the employee experience actually benefits everyone—and brings in great results for the company.
Jacob Morgan, the author of The Employee Experience Advantage, found that companies that invested in EX, had the following results. These companies were:
- included 11.5 times as often in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work
- listed 4.4 times as often in LinkedIn’s list of North America’s Most In-Demand Employers
- listed 28 times more often among Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies
- listed 2.1 times as often on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies
Perhaps the biggest surprise is companies that focus on the employee experience were found twice as often in the American Customer Satisfaction Index!
A recent study found that companies that focus on the employee experience have four times higher average profits and two times higher average revenues. Also, hiring managers will be happy to note that they have 40% less turnover than other companies. In sum, focusing on EX is good for business, good for customer satisfaction, and good for your bottom line.
What the Employee Experience Looks Like
Seeing the world through the eyes of your employees
The first step in implementing the employee experience is for senior leaders to start seeing the workplace through the lens of the employees. Just as you would look at your customer brand through forums and surveys, the same approach would be just as appropriate for your employees. EX emphasizes open communications and explanation on where the employee fits into the big picture, leading to employee satisfaction. The key to success for a holistic EX is having all levels of management embracing this approach, rather than letting it all fall solely on HR.
Why do some people hate their jobs and some people love their jobs? This is a matter of their perception–which is at the root of EX. To boost this perception, organizations must ensure that every touchpoint along the employees’ journey is part of this holistic experience. EX should be prioritized right along with the customer experience. The same type of strategic planning and mitigation of pain points that goes into the customer experience are applied when developing the employee experience.
All of us are in it together
EX requires a paradigm shift where employee satisfaction is not relegated only to HR. So much so, there may be a need for a head of EX to ensure implementation throughout the whole company. CEOs can be thought of as Chief Experience Officers in this model.
As we’ve seen, EX creates an environment where everyone can thrive — through support and openness as well as ensuring employees understand their roles in the company and how it contributes to the big picture. This management model has proved itself to be successful in today’s workplace. It’s interesting to note that many of the unique features of EX were not designed exclusively for Millennials and appear to contribute to employees satisfaction and retention among employees of all ages–while many of its features address issues that we have seen are important to recruiting, retaining, and managing Millennials.