EX and CX

In today’s digital world, perhaps paradoxically, it is still human interactions that drive loyalty to brands.

Customers are faithful to brands like Zappos, Marriott and Virgin Airlines because of their people, and the kind of interactions they provide.

It’s a long-held truism that people join companies, but they leave bosses. An exceptional employee experience (EX) improves the employee’s loyalty to the company by, among other things, improving interactions with leaders, coaches, teammates and other employees.

Strengthening the human experience requires a culture of collaboration. The traditional HR department can still play an important role here.

If improving human performance is HR’s role, and everybody benefits from an improvement in individual performance, then it follows that HR is everybody’s role.

And in fact, leaders agree. More than four out of five — 83% of leaders — say that HR can improve performance by enabling and coaching employees to take on HR capabilities.

This means that HR is off the hook when it comes to creating a culture as well. In the new paradigm, everybody in the business creates a culture because everybody in the business is putting a human face on the employer brand.

This is all very well, but how can companies operationalise their employee experience?

There are three steps.

1. Identify pockets of value.

In other words, where will an enhanced EX make the most difference? The sales force brings in the revenue, so perhaps an enhanced EX will pay the biggest dividends there. Or perhaps it’s better to apply EX principles to a part of the business that is experiencing high attrition. Sometimes a logical place to start is where a big systems change is under way. A new ERP or sales automation implementation can provide a catalyst for redesigning the EX for a particular unit or employee segment.

2. Define moments that matter.

It’s tempting to use assumptions when designing the employee experience. It’s far better to use analytics, internal and external survey data, and social listening to understand what professional and personal moments matter to each segment. Only then can you start building the hyper-personalised experiences at the heart of the EX — an experience that will drive improved motivation, productivity and loyalty.

3. Co-create and design the experience.

Finally, you can apply customer-centricity techniques such as design thinking to reinvent your EX. Engage with employees to ask questions like: when and how do they like to learn? What kind of reward programs will drive the right behaviours?

Remember to take into account the physical, technological and human dimensions of the employee experience, and pilot the program before rolling it out.

If you would like to read more about the impact of a great EX on your organizational performance, and how to go about creating one, download our new report: The Employee Experience as a Competitive Advantage.