The Rise of The Employee Experience

Victor Riparbelli

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You can also check out some examples of agendas at the end of this post.

We at Duuoo believe that the era of HR is over. Why? Because humans are not resources — they are humans.

Years ago a similar shift took place.

Businesses started taking the customers point of view. They focused on delivering the best experience possible. On giving. A fundamental shift from viewing the customers as someone from which the company has to extract as much value as possible. The roles have been reversed, and for good reason.

CX, or customer experience, is defined as the sum of all touch points the customer has with a company. Rational, emotional, sensory. From the first story they hear about the product, to buying it, interacting with support and their experience on a daily basis is all part of that experience.

A good customer experience delivers a great ROI. Nurturing and developing current customers is cheaper than acquiring new users. They’ll return, tell their friends and spend more. CRM tools to optimize customer relationships has taken off and today most successful companies use it in one form or another.

A lot of companies today claim that their employees are #1 on their list of priorities, then customers and lastly revenue which will come as a result of the other two points. So why are most companies not actively managing that experience the same way that they actively manage their customer relationships?

We believe that just as you need to manage your customer relationships you need to manage your employee’s experience working in your organization. A new field is emerging — we call it EXM — focused on optimizing the employee experience to attract, retain and develop talent.

The Employee Experience (EX) is the product of the interactions between an employee and the organization/manager over the duration of their relationship. These interactions include an employee’s productivity, happiness, personal development, education and company advocacy. It is measured by the individual’s experience at all points of contact against the individual’s expectations.

‍‍‍AirBnB San Francisco office. One of the first companies to hire a dedicated Head of Employee Experience.

A key rule of EX is that every interaction shapes the next. The employee experience is a whole, not just the individual parts. Consistency and adherence to company values is crucial.

EX is not just HR with a fancy word. Traditional HR is part of the employee experience — transactional touch points such as benefits, salary and vacation policy have a great impact on the EX. But HR has a problem — it only covers a small part of what we call the employee experience. The rest is, in most companies, not taken ownership of.

We think a new generation of tools will emerge, covering much broader than traditional HR.

Compliance and benefits are important. But creating a good employee experience is much more than that. It’s everything the employee experiences from their first day at the company to the last. From office decor and choice of snacks to co-worker relationships and company values.

Transactional and emotional experiences

The employee experience is made up of two types of experiences: transactional and emotional.

The transactional experiences are the practical stuff: do you get paid on time, have easy access to your contracts, benefits, gym membership and so on? All these things are important because they remove barriers for the employee to be as productive and developmental as possible.

Transactional ‘perks’ mainly serve to remove obstacles so that the employee is in the best possible position to develop himself intellectually and emotionally.

The emotional experiences are rooted in feelings: how does the employee feel at work? Does he feel that he is developing himself, that his boss cares about him and that he is getting the recognition he feels he deserves? Does she align with company values, brand, culture and so on?

Feelings are often difficult to quantify and understand properly, which has meant a general reluctance to focus on it. We think that a software-driven movement will arise, helping managers and businesses improving the emotional experiences. And not just by surveying everyone all the time.

Companies like AirBnB, Facebook and their peers invest heavily in creating a people-first workplace. They do so because the return of investment is huge.

happy employee -> happy customer -> profit

They have realized that in the end, it’s a war on talent. And the competition for talent has gone global. The companies with the best employee experiences will end up on top.

3 things we believe will happen:

  • We foresee that a suite of software tools to augment managers become better will emerge combining a ‘people-are-numbers’ approach with a more real, human connection.
  • The HR department will move towards being responsible for the employee experience. Spend on HR/EX-software will massively increase in the next 5 years.
  • The ROI of EX will become common knowledge with time and seen as an investment rather than unnecessary spending.

If you would like to start focusing more on EX, sign up your team for Duuoo and learn more about the emotional experiences of your team members.

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