We’ve seen how a bad employee experience materializes. Rather than talking in a vacuum about concepts, it is better to start from the field and from facts that everyone can observe in order to propose solutions that will be given the name we want.
So now that we know where it hurts and how the pain manifested itself, it’s easier to formalize the expected benefits of the remedy.
The 5 benefits of employee experience
1°) Greater individual and collective efficiency, a term that I find more appropriate than productivity in this area by eliminating friction points and a more appropriate use of employees’ time.
2°) Greater organizational agility through redesigned and simplified processes and organizational structure.
3°) Better employee satisfaction, a more relevant term than the famous “happiness at work” with all the indirect consequences that one can imagine at the HR level (turnover, commitment…).
4°) An improved employer brand.
5°) Better customer satisfaction, a logical consequence of some of the above points.
All this will be detailed in a series of articles to come and does not call for too many comments, although I think it is important to mention and assume some biases.
Yes, I favour a very operational and “business first” approach to the subject. At the risk of shocking in these times when it is welcome to play the Care Bear, the vocation of a company is not to have its employees but to serve its customers, as Theodore Levitt said (“The raison d’être of a company is to create and keep a customer“) or Henri Ford (“It is not the employer who pays the wages, but the customer“), employees being both a means and a consequence of the fact that there are customers. Only one type of organisation is an exception to this principle: NGOs, associations and other structures aiming a priori at the common good, which would like to no longer have “clients” (causes to serve and people to help), have clients who do not “pay” but nevertheless need salaried employees and volunteers but are no less concerned by the same problems.
I will add that, in any case I hope, the employee spends 80 or 90% of his working time…doing his job. So not asking oneself the question of the context of this work, what it consists of, how it is organised, the tools used and the rules followed would be like having an ” off the ground ” approach.
Employee experience is “business and operations first.”
Precisely, as long as we are talking about “above ground”, happiness at work is otherwise an illusion, or at least an exaggerated promise. And it is by no means a subject that can be dealt with outside of “real” work situations. The logic here is not to administer painkillers without dealing with the real disease or to “build a spa next to the torture room” but to tackle the root causes. In one case the employee is made to forget his illnesses without removing them and the company’s illnesses are not treated, in the second case both are treated at the same time.
In the same vein, I do not distinguish between the interests of the company and those of the employee (and by extension those of the client). From this point of view, there is a community of interest between the two and denying it explains why we are in the current situation where, I remind you, productivity is increasing less and less, employees are working more and more and where, on the other hand, the company complains about its inefficiency and high costs in relation to what it produces. The problem is neither one nor the other, but everything that has been built and piled up at the interface between the two. The paradox is that the company and the employee suffer from the same ills but have never agreed to stand together. And to reconnect with employee satisfaction, it is as much the success of the organization that contributes to this satisfaction as the success of the employees that makes the success of the organization.
Finally, I assume that the Employee Experience function (or call it whatever you want) is not a support function like HR for example, but a business function in its own right. Today, and this is the reason for this subject, because otherwise we wouldn’t be asking ourselves the question, businesses have made a distinction between People (the People function as opposed to “old-style” HR) and Operations, with most often a watertight partition between the two (hence the lack of a common front). Separating the “who” from what they do and how they do it makes no sense, which brings us back to the notion of the “employee context” I was talking about here.