Why are we talking about Employee Experience?
In recent years, the term Employee experience (EX) has been used more and more. Beyond the fashionable term, it is a reality that exists in virtually all organizations. In the current context of workforce shortage, this notion becomes quite relevant. It is not a unique solution to the labor shortage, but an approach to be preferred in human resources management. Let’s see define the concept of employee experience, find out what are its main components, and it’s raison d’être for your business. When reading this article, feel free to add to the given examples with your own experiences.
First, let's define employee experience.
In a few words, we can explain EX as follows: the integration of all the activities that employees must perform within the framework of their work so that these activities are simple to execute, even pleasant. In order to fully understand the scope of this first definition, we can refer to articles on employee experience published by consulting firms such as McKinsey or papers from the Harvard Business Review. EX would be the set of ecosystems and activities of an organization, in which employees evolve, that brings passion and pride, as well as the pursuit of common objectives. What is important to remember is the sentiment created in employees by all the activities they have to perform in the course of their work.
Employee experience is similar to customer experience (CX) and is mostly related to the field of human resources management. Interestingly, some organizations are combining the roles of the EX and the CX by creating positions such as Chief Experience Officer. Think about your customers, the experience they have when dealing with your business, and the benefits that an extraordinary customer experience can bring. The same principle applies to employees. EX and CX are two areas that can influence the efficiency and profitability of an organization.
Then, what are the components of employee experience exactly?
As with customer experience, it is possible to identify categories that define employee experience. For EX, there are three components: organizational culture, tools and processes.
By organizational culture, we refer to people, management styles and leadership. Does the culture of your company puts people (employees and customers) at the center of its activities? It is important to understand the different ways employees interact with the company, and the feelings arising during these interactions. Consider how your managers and supervisors communicate goals and objectives to your employees, what behaviors are valued on a daily basis, and also the physical space where your employees work.
Tools, which can often be technological, are the various means available to employees to accomplish tasks during the course of their work. For example, an application allowing the management of timetables, a punching system, an internal communication platform, etc. Tools should facilitate the execution of different tasks, not make them more complex.
Processes, are made up of a sequence of steps to be performed in a certain sequence in order to complete an activity. These, when properly optimized, allow employees to perform their tasks efficiently, both for themselves and for the business. For example, as part of the employee expense claim process, using a technology tool that automates the claim form can save time, minimize errors, and improve employees' feelings about the task. Another example can be, the onboarding process for welcoming and integrating new employees, which consists of preparing in advance the necessary equipment for their first day (computer, machinery, equipment necessary for health and security, etc.) can reassure the new employee and avoid many delays and problems.
Why should we value employee experience?
The concept of EX encompasses many activities of the organization. Practically, think of everything that impacts employees within your company. Its benefits include improving employees' sense of well-being. Studies show that employees who feel good at work have better cognitive functions, which would lead toimproved performance.
You know the costs of a disengaged workforce. EX can help by providing a more engaging and satisfying work environment for employees, and thus have a positive impact on the company's profitability. In the context of workforce shortage mentioned at the beginning of this article, EX can become an interesting solution.
Not sure where to start? Rest assured. Each company already offers an experience to its employees. It's about being aware of it, understanding the benefits of improving your company's employee experience, identifying the aspects that influences it positively, and putting in place an action plan to coordinate the positive transformation of EX.