According to an article published by Forbes, 2018 is the year of the employee experience. However, what does that really mean for us?
Below we have compiled the top five things to know about employee experience design and why it is such a significant movement.
1. Employee engagement and employee experience are not the same thing
One way to think about it is that employee engagement activities are an attempt at a short-term improvement of employee experience. Employee experience is the totality of an employee’s perceptions of their employer – from initial brand perceptions and the candidate journey through to the exit interview and becoming an alum. It goes beyond company happy hours and free lunches – its intent is to capture the emotional relationships workers have with their employers.
2. Employee experience design is made up of three elements: physical environment, cultural environment and technological environment
The physical environment is the office space in which you work, including the art on the walls and the desks you sit at. The company culture is the “feeling” you get from working at the company, in other words, the attitudes and practices apparent in the organization. Furthermore, the technological environment includes every tool employees use to do their jobs and interact with their company – from the intranet and learning management system (LMS) to company-provided laptops and cellphones.
3. Employee experience design is a worthwhile initiative
According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) “3 Things to Know About Employee Experience,” organizations considered “experiential” have average profits four times higher than companies considered “nonexperiential.” They also report double the average revenue and stock prices that outperform the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. The unfortunate part about the study is that only 6 percent of the organizations analyzed could be considered “experiential.”
4. Employee experience design is a process; there’s no quick fix
You have decided you want to improve employee experience. Now, where do you start? The idea of employee experience design is that it is “design thinking” applied to the experience employees have at work. The stages in design thinking are empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. For the best results, you want to take your time going through each step and be thorough about it before moving on. After all, the goal is to genuinely improve employee experience, not just see a temporary uptick in employee engagement.
5. Employee experience is important enough that there is a job dedicated to it
That is right, employee experience specialists or employee experience managers are positions you can expect to be part of your human resources (HR) team in the near future (if they are not already). A search on LinkedIn pulls up more than 150,000 jobs with the keywords “employee experience,” so it is undoubtedly a role companies are trying to fill. Companies like PayScale, Amazon and Liberty Mutual Insurance all had open employee experience positions advertised.
Overall, a wisely-considered strategy to engage your employees and enhance employee experience will certainly lead to greater levels of engagement, satisfaction, retention, and commitment to the company. Start applying design thinking into your organization today!