EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE –a forward looking approach

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Employee Experience is the upgraded and enhance version of employee engagement which is taking over the corporate world.  If we look back to the history of employee engagement, it started with Job Satisfaction then employee motivation and then engagement.

As with time we have evolved from Personnel Officer to HRM and then to Strategic Human Resources Management likewise we have also progressed from Job satisfaction to Employee Experience.

EVOLUTION OF EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE (EX)-

American psychologist Frederick Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory proposes that people are influenced by two factors: Basic Hygiene Factor and the elevated Motivation Factor.

Job SatisfactionHygiene factors (which consist of pay and benefits, supervision, working conditions, and job security) determine the Job satisfaction level of individuals which strongly influence Employee Retention. If they are not met it will cause employees to look for better opportunity.

 Employee Motivation Motivation factors include challenging work, recognition, and responsibility. It influences employees for the better performance and productivity. If the employee is motivated they put extra efforts to do better and better in the Job.

An employee can be highly motivated but not satisfied with the job if the Hygiene factors would be lacking anywhere At the same time they might be satisfied with the Job in presence of Hygiene factors but might not be motivated if they do not have interesting & challenging in work and recognition at the workplace.

Employee Engagement An employee can be satisfied with a job without being engaged in the job. Both the above factors together determine the employee engagement level. Basic Hygiene factors must be there to ensure employee satisfaction and the Motivation factors must be there to encourage employees for better performance.

With focus on mass production back in the early 2000s, employers were most interested in “employee satisfaction” in order to increase retention and avoid attritions.  Then around 2010, the focus shifted to “employee engagement” in order to encourage employees for better performance with the objective to drive better productivity and profitability. But now, progressive employers are beginning to see that the engagement is the smaller component or perhaps not enough to bring the result what they are trying to bring since last 10-15 years.

Over the past few decades, Employee engagement has been quite flat in terms of the output on productivity and profitability. Organizations have made considerable investments in employee engagement programs, yet scores remain at their lowest levels. Part of the reason of why we have not seen improvement in engagement could be because engagement is very poorly understood at the workplace yet. According to a survey done on this, it was found that only 25% of the organisation has the defined employee engagement definition at workplace and 75% of them somewhat understand or not understand or not having the clear indication what they are trying to measure in terms of engagement and improvement at workplace. Another reason could be that it is done in the form of perks such as free food, a new floor plan design and perhaps a work-from-home program. While these things are great, but don’t achieve the intended results for either employees or the organizations.

Hence, the smart organizations are thinking forward towards a shift from employee engagement to a more holistic employee experience approach and this is going to be the next priority for them in the year 2018.

EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE (EX) – A forward looking approach

Employee Experience is the sum of everything what an employee experience, observe or feel throughout his or her connection to the organization— every employee interaction, from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment, in the good or bad time, even beyond to when they join the organization’s alumni counts at Employee Experience.

Robert Grover, an Editor and writer mentions that Employee Experience is made up of three basic elements: 

  • An overall set of employee perceptions across time and touch points.
  • A collection of environmental factors: cultural, physical, and technological.
  • A broadening of traditional HR functions that recognize the correlation between employee engagement and customer experience.

When we are talking about experience, we are not talking about the perks & benefits or rewards and recognition or fun activities but we are talking about the experiences created in totality over a period of time starting from Pre-boarding interaction to joining the Alumni group. It’s not only about the happy moments but also the difficult time such as days when recession came or the profitability went down or during the difficult performance reviews, or how well did a manager support when an employee had troubles at personal front Or whether the company really did anything to address its employees’ concerns.

Leading organizations in the EX movement are now aiming to provide their people with positive touch points at all stages of the employee life cycle :

Employee Experience = Customer Success

Today, we are all obsessed with experience of the customer but focusing on the employee experience is even more critical than evaluating the customer experience as Employees are those deliver to the customer and create Customer Experience.

Six Employee Experience Trends for 2018

According to Qualtrics, Based on feedback from our 8,500+ customers and our recent global employee experience research, here are six trends for high-impact enhancements we expect to see in employee experience in 2018.

  1. A shift away from “more frequent feedback” to an increase in the right feedback at the right time
  2. Employee experience will become everyone’s business
  3. Diversity and inclusion will require org-specific strategies that drive results
  4. Employee data will become implicit and not just explicit
  5. Employer branding will be critical
  6. Organizations will try to understand how to connect employee experience to customer experience
According to the Deloitte report on Employee Experience, A productive, positive employee experience has emerged as the new contract between employer and employee.
  • Organizational culture, engagement, and employee brand proposition remain top priorities in 2017; employee experience ranks as a major trend again this year.
  • Nearly 80 percent of executives rated employee experience very important (42 percent) or important (38 percent), but only 22 percent reported that their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.
  • Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents reported they were not ready or only somewhat ready to address the employee experience challenge.

Employee Experience Best Practices From 5 Inspiring Companies

According to a report available on Emplo.com, following are the top 5 companies who are doing best in creating incredible Employee Experience:

  • Airbnb
  • Adobe
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Bain and Company

And the common features they all have that they are trying to create a better and happy work atmosphere during the entire Employee Life Cycle by focusing on the followings areas : 

  • ”They care about what their people think”
  • “ Work culture”
  • “Incredibly inclusive work environment”
  • “Good work-life balance
  • “Great Management and Support
  • “A great strategy with great people”
  • “Professional development & making a learning platform”
  • “Some great benefits, free food, travel coupons etc”
  • “Flexibility in working”
  • ”Some great EE initiatives to create fun at workplace or outside”

Investing in employees will pay far greater dividends than casual Fridays and birthday celebration. Smart companies understand that providing a comprehensive employee experience that follows the employee’s entire journey and offering opportunities for development at every step will benefit them in long way to achieve organisation’s success.

We look for employee experience to take a much more prominent role for companies in 2018.

Reference: https://www.qualtrics.com, https://insights.staffbase.com, https://www.decision-wise.com, https://www2.deloitte.com


Author- Ruby Kumar is an incisive HR professional having diversified experience of 14 years in FMCG, retail, financial services, PMC and manufacturing Industry. She is certified in Advanced HRM from IIM Ahmadabad. In the year 2017, she was awarded as “Leading
Women in HR” by IIGlobal. Currently, she is HR Head with Macawber Beekay Pvt. Ltd.

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