How do you recognize a good employee experience?

There are so many approaches to employee experience and related or even competing concepts that proposing an absolute and universal definition of the concept can be difficult, at least before having completed a certain amount of pedagogical work on the subject.

On the other hand, there’s no need to enter into the maze of a long conceptual thinking or to get lost in a philosophical reflection to determine what must be a “good employee experience”, starting from the principle, following the well-known adage, that “you recognize it when you see it”, or should I say “when you live it”.

Here is a summary of the main characteristics of a good employee experience.

Good employee experience makes things simple and easy

And if you had to remember only one thing, it would be this: the main characteristic of an employee experience is the simplification of work and this is the most difficult thing to implement knowing that, as Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the supreme sophistication”.

Simplifying organization, processes, user experience in the tools…a real salutary step in companies more characterized by their tendency to complication.

Again, this is an excellent example of symmetry of care and parallels with the customer experience. What company would think that it is beneficial to complicate the customer’s life, that buying their products must be an obstacle course, that any contact with them must require immeasurable effort, and that wasting people’s time is the best way to be appreciated?

A good employee experience starts by oversimplifying the organization.

Une bonne expérience employé crée de l’engagement

As Marylène Delbourg-Delphis says very well in “Everybody wants to love their job“, no employee gets up in the morning thinking that he’s going to hate his job and that if he does it will be enough to make him happy. There is no employee who a priori hates his company and what he does there, there are only companies that do not know how to make themselves likable or make work interesting and fulfilling.

Conversely, some of them manage to make work a factor of engagement. I really mean work: one can also create engagement by multiplying the peripheral programs in the hope that this will compensate but in the long term this is not sustainable.

This is achieved by creating satisfaction, by making the employee feel that everything has been designed to create a context favourable to his success, sometimes even (and yet I’m not a fan of gamification or anything close to it) by making tasks and procedures that used to be a burden less daunting or even more “fun”.

A good employee experience makes people effective.

One of the objectives of the employee experience is the efficiency of the employee and, contrary to what you may read elsewhere, not his happiness or pleasure! It is good to put the church back in the centre of the village! Not because we are not interested in people’s happiness and pleasure at work but because we assume that in a professional context it is performance that leads to satisfaction and satisfaction that will lead to happiness and/or pleasure.

A good employee experience is personalized

Personalized according to the person (his skills, tastes, expectations), his job, his mission, in short according to what he is and his professional context … Today, we keep repeating that the client is “A market of one” and wants to be recognized and treated according to who he is, his situation, his case and not according to his belonging to a group or a segment.

The same applies to the employee who is no more than a customer who walks through the company’s door. They can no longer bear to be subjected to constraints designed for others, tools that are not adapted to their needs, processes that do not take their context, their needs, their constraints into account, HR systems designed for the greatest number and in which they do not fit. Not only does he have the impression that he has to put on someone else’s suit, but also that nothing is being done to contribute to his success.

” One size fits all ” doesn’t work anymore in 2020, either for the customer or the employee and when you try to produce things that fit everyone you end up doing things that don’t fit anyone.

A good employee experience is omni-channel.

This was already true since the Internet and mobile phones have become essential to the work of many people, and it is even more so now that we are going to have to draw the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. Whatever the employee’s work experience is, they should not be constrained by the type of tool they use (computer, mobile, tablet) or where they use it.

During the period of forced remote work that occurred during the lockdown, there were people for whom remote work was complicated or even impossible, but not because the nature of their work was unsuitable for telework. Some of the tools they used did not work in all environments, or were not accessible outside the company walls, or tolerated only a limited number of simultaneous “remote” users.

Simplicity, efficiency, omnicanity, engagement… 4 things to which one recognizes a good employee experience. But four things are strongly intertwined: simplicity contributes to all, efficiency creates engagement, omnicanity creates efficiency etc.

But 4 very effective criteria when deciding whether or not to put something in place or evaluate employee experience.

Photo : components of employee experience by maradon 333 via Shutterstock

Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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