Automation and robotics continue to take over the work that humans find boring and repetitive.

And as smart technologies enter traditionally white-collar fields, the role that humans play is moving towards analytics, creativity, judgment, relationships and problem solving.

Companies are adapting to this new reality by realizing that employees are increasingly mobile. Just as customer experience (CX) initiatives have helped them achieve their marketing objectives in the form of increased loyalty and sales, so their analogous employee experience (EX) initiatives are increasing loyalty, productivity and even profitability.

What drives the customer experience philosophy of the marketing departments is the customer’s “moments of truth.” Just as customers are demanding personalised, relevant and convenient interactions with the companies they buy goods and services from, so employees are demanding the same.

For the employee experience, the driving philosophy is “Moments that Matter.” Implementing the technological tools isn’t nearly enough. The thinking behind the EX has to be strategic, robust, and organised around a shared vision.

This is causing a shift in organisations. HR has traditionally been the conduit for recruiting, on-boarding, training, promotion and retirement. This “one-size-fits-all” model has served the talent management field for years. But far-sighted companies want to shape their employee experiences just as they shape their customer interactions.

Our research revealed the following EX insights:

  1. Moments that matter are not confined to specific career milestones.
  2. Moments that matter are spread across digital, human and physical dimensions. An example of a digital dimension is perhaps introducing the sales force to a mobile app that helps them generate leads on the go. A human moment that matters might be a feedback session with a supervisor. Standing desks are a good example of meeting a physical need — and creating a moment that matters.
  3. Moments that matter shouldn’t be seen in isolation. There is a multiplier effect when a company enhances the employee’s digital, human and physical environments, resulting in higher engagement and productivity.
  4. Moments that matter go beyond the organisation’s walls. Extending work-from-home options or providing on-site daycare can make it easier for employees to balance the demands of their personal and professional lives.

What drove the customer experience (CX) revolution was the increased transparency that the Internet provided, as well as the increasing commoditisation of goods and services. In a way, AI and robotics have commoditised much of the work that employees used to do.

The EX is a response to the commoditisation of the talent management pipeline.

As AI and robotics are causing work to morph into something humans uniquely can do, AI is enabling HR to morph into a vastly more capable, data-driven function that can provide an EX that is profoundly human and personal.

Studies show that even among digital natives, employees crave human interactions. Some 40% of people prefer face-to-face interactions with colleagues to any other form of interaction. And 60% would happily trade a warm, fun company culture for higher salaries.

Perhaps EX is pushing companies to re-insert the “human” in “human resources.”

In our next post, I will talk about the steps that companies need to take to implement an EX strategy of their own. Please contact me directly if you would like to chat about how EX can improve your bottom line. And you can read the research by clicking this link.