The subject of the employee experience is not…the employee

Very often I hear that the purpose of the employee experience is to take care of…employees. Well if that’s partly true it’s also largely untrue.

What I mean by this is that we think of the employee experience as a series of initiatives that start from the company and whose target is, in a direct way, the employee.

Improve work spaces, set up places to relax and socialize, distribute “goodies”, set up various benefits.

Targeting the employee does not improve their work experience.

It’s good and it’s part of the scope, it has to be done. But believing that it is enough is a big mistake.

This type of initiative, as valuable as they are, do not solve anything about what the employee is experiencing in a work situation. If one’s experience in interactions with others, in the application of rules and processes, in the use of tools, in one’s career path and professional development in the company is bad, everything that can be done around it can compensate but does not solve anything at the root of the problem.

The employee will not be more efficient, more effective, will not better exploit his or her potential. He will still be in pain, but just a little balm will be put on the wounds. Or, rather, he will still receive as many blows, will still be in pain, but we will give him a few sweets at snack time to make him think about something else.

Always targeting the employee gives the impression that he is sick and needs to be treated, which is not at all the case. It is the company that suffers from an illness, if not a mental illness, then at least an organizational and managerial one, an illness that translates into the fact that it takes a malicious pleasure in beating its employees and making their life unnecessarily complicated in work situations Causes and consequences, illness and symptoms are confused.

Employee experience initiatives, even if the ultimate beneficiary is the employee (but also the customer, though), must target the company first and then have a ripple effect on the employee.

Treating the business before treating employees

Heaviness, complication, management, organization, process…are the only causes of a disastrous employee experience and as long as no one tackles it, nothing will be solved. And it’s not just a matter of making the employee happy.

The end result, at the company level, of a bad experience at the individual level is heaviness, slowness, difficulty to innovate, to transform, to question oneself, a lack of engagement…and I could go on and on.

A problem of fluidity at the level of the employee becomes a problem of speed at the company level. Speed of decision, speed of execution. Go to market. Ability to better serve the customer. The difference between awareness, knowledge and action. Everything that makes a difference today and tomorrow even more between successful companies and others.

Then one could continue to care for employees instead of organizations, but this only postpones the inevitable, will end up being very expensive and will never solve the real problem. In any case, not before the business no longer has the means to fight the competition.

Photo : Targettig employees by Andrey_Popov 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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