Employee Experience —The Next Competitive Frontier

August 16, 2018 | O.C. Tanner | HCI
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In recent years, much focus has been given to Customer Experience (CX). But with the dust settling on CX as increasing numbers of businesses now understand the importance of adopting it as a strategic and even imperative initiative, it’s little wonder why Employee Experience (EX) is the next competitive frontier.

What Is Employee Experience?

Employee Experience is the sum of everything an individual encounters during his or her tenure with the organization.

Susan Peters, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at General Electric, put it nicely: “We define employee experience simply as seeing the world through the eyes of our employees, staying connected, and being aware of their major milestones… we are developing a strategy to create an employee experience which takes into account the physical environment our employees work in, the tools and technologies that enable their productivity, and learning to achieve their best at work.”

What Employee Experience Is Not

CX. Though CX does provide a good framework for understanding EX, the relationship that exists between employer and employee is very different from the relationship that exists between brand and customer. EX ultimately is about the day-to-day experiences an organization provides to employees—not an attempt to treat employees like customers.

Perks. While foosball tables and other “feel good” tactics are fun, they are simply that. While EX strategy may include elements of enjoyment, EX as a whole is a strategic initiative that stretches beyond entertainment, and should be designed to deliver experiences that are aligned with the organization’s desired culture.

Engagement. Despite the fact that employee engagement is the end goal, many organizations fail to recognize that EX is the means to that end, and only pay attention to results from engagement surveys (rather than proactively designing and managing EX).

Experience Up, Profit Up

In the war for top talent, a superior EX gives employers a competitive advantage in both attracting recruits and engaging them in ways that encourage them to stay. Additionally, today’s employees change jobs more frequently, requiring that employers provide things like faster development and continuous promotion cycles to align efforts with employee needs and expectations.

But EX does more than simply make an organization appear more attractive—it actually makes them more profitable. According to Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage, “experiential organizations had more than four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue.” Additionally, organizations that invested most heavily in EX were included 11.5 times as often in Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work,” and 28 times as often among Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.”

An Intentional Approach

Building an engaged workforce means taking an intentional approach to how your organization designs its employee experience. Start by redesigning your practices around your employees with an integrated focus on the entire employee, rather than taking a narrow approach to culture.

Discover how you can take a more intentional approach to your employee experience initiatives by contacting global recognition and engagement company O.C. Tanner today.