By now there is little argument that the experiences employees have shape their attitudes, beliefs, reactions, and behaviors. Yet, a singular definition of “Employee Experience” is lacking and no one-best way of building employee experience has been agreed upon. That’s likely for good reason! Employee experience is a dynamic interaction and, therefore, the approaches organizations take to address the employee experience at work should be iterative and dynamic. While there might not be “one best way” there are some key principles that should be considered; namely organizations should ensure that employee experience is purpose-driven, co-created, and technology-enabled.
Purpose-driven Employee Experience
If you haven’t had time to read up on the purpose-driven organization, now is a good time! Purpose or “why we do things” should drive the vision, mission, values, and principles of the organization. Purpose enables leaders to have clarity on where, when, and how to invest resources aimed at enhancing the employee experience. In addition, aligning efforts back to organizational purpose helps set appropriate expectations for employees that not all input can or should be addressed through large-scale organizational initiatives. Research has found that effective operational processes (e.g., performance management) or practices (e.g., performance evaluation) are the ones that enhance positive employee reactions. Purpose-driven employee experience enables organizations to build effective practices by solving operational challenges in human-centered ways.
Co-created Employee Experience
Often, solutions aimed at addressing employee grievances, have been built in isolation of employee input. This may have been a result of lack of access to employee insight, but that is simply no longer a valid excuse. There are many ways that organizations can gain insight from employees about the practices, processes, and systems they will experience. It is important that organizations and leaders make these insights a reality - illustrating that you’ve listened to employees and are building practices and processes, with them, in ways that cultivate the desired experience.
When you include employees in the process and illustrate a willingness to take action on their input, you can help foster trust, which is related to a number of important organizational outcomes. Therefore, organizations should not only leverage employee insight during the initial design of employee journeys, but they should also solicit on-going feedback to monitor and improve upon these experiences over time.
Certainly, co-creating a purposeful employee journey is important, but technology is often needed to enable the employee to have the intended experience. Unfortunately, many organizations only see employee experience technology as automated surveys sent at certain touchpoints. Yes, employee survey data is important, but surveys in themselves are not employee experience. HXM technology needs to help identify experience gaps and help organizations scale their efforts in efficient, seamless, and integrated processes. It is not enough to build a technologically efficient system, especially if it hinders or harms the human experience that drives your organization forward. Without aligning technology and the desired experience organizations may create negative experience with technology. In fact, research indicates organizations already use a large number of technologies and, unknowingly, contributing to poor productivity and negative employee experience. Mapping and aligning technology to a purposefully co-created employee journey will organization understand where, when, and how to best leverage HXM technology.