For many years, I have declared that the practices used for understanding customers and their experience should be also applied to another group of stakeholders: the employees. The expression that I have used in several congresses is mirrored practices.
While I research on the internet, I listen to references on the subject, or exchange emails with Human Resources professionals, I find that to “talk” about the employee experience is now the rule. And I say “talk” in quotation marks because from using the term to really giving it the place it should have, there is a long way to go.
It is not just about achieving collaboration between the customer and the employee, but about accomplishing a true integration between their experiences. The experience inside an organization must be exactly the same as the one taking place outside.
I would like to discuss three factors that show this lack of integration.
Little participation of the Human Capital areas
In most large companies and SMEs, you can speak – in the best of cases – of collaboration. It is true that there is an attempt to understand the internal client through satisfaction surveys, that training courses are designed to develop skills and competencies, and that performance evaluations are carried out – but these are only focused on objectives that have an impact on the client.
The employee experience, instead, should have the same broad and comprehensive vision that is applied to the customer – throughout the entire “journey”.
Unfortunately, the contribution of the competencies of the Human Resources area is relatively small and this area is not given the strategic importance it should have.
Some ideas to promote the participation of the Talent Management areas:
- Measurement and learning: Analyze the customer experience and the employee experience with the same tools and with the same rigor that is used for CX, evaluate the gap between these experiences, and define actions to improve both.
- Training:: Train talent in competencies rather than in practices, and provide continuous training that not only aims to improve the customer experience but also that of the employee.
- Client-employee contact: Promote the exposure of employees – from all areas – to the client. It is a not very used and valued practice, but yet well-known, that everyone has to listen, attend, sell, repair and contain the customer at some point. It’s also helpful that – instead of relying solely on presentations from outside consultants – owners, directors, managers, and bosses use (at least for a while) the same lockers, bathrooms, and resources, and are subject to the same requirements as operators so that they can better understand their experience.
Low learning from data
In the age of digitization, everyone agrees that gathering data is crucial, but not everyone knows what to do with it. Having data without analysis is not the same as having information.
For example, from the analysis of the customer’s experience, his archetype, his journey, and his pains and joys, we can obtain very valuable data about his experience.
But this data alone is simply numbers or expressions (technically, discrete or continuous data). It only shows utility if we analyze the information, understand it, and learn from it. And, ultimately, if we visualize, define, and implement changes with impact.
Data can have an impact on varied dimensions of the organization, such as the relationship with the customers, the service processes, or the messages we send through different channels.
In a similar way, it is vital that the Employee Experience measurement and engagement systems are fully incorporated into the development.
Luckily, today there are systems that allow a deeper analysis of the skills and potential of people for certain types of tasks and situations. And not only do they analyze their own opinions and responses, but also the behavior shown in real situations.
Search for universal solutions
I find it inconsistent to talk about Employee Experience and define universal solutions. And much more incoherent when those “universal solutions” result from copying what other companies like Google, MercadoLibre or Amazon do.
If the first two mistakes I mentioned are about operational integration, the third mistake is more of a conceptual issue.
We need to identify what experiences, pains and joys, and emotions we need to develop for this archetype of this unit of this company.
A digitization process does not build the same experience or generate the same emotions in the administrative staff of a metallurgical company as a start-up, or a telecommunications company does.
Customer experience and employee experience are two sides of the same coin. Although there are many efforts to achieve collaboration between client and employee, in general, these are more client-oriented than employee-oriented.
The absence of integration between both experiences is visible in three factors:
- Little participation of the Human Resources areas: The Talent Management areas have strategic importance in the construction of an employee experience that understands their entire employee journey.
- Low learning from data: We need to establish practices that help make changes by learning from data – instead of manipulating the data to justify our decisions.
- Search for universal solutions: We need to identify what experiences, pains and joys, and emotions we must develop for each archetype of each unit of a certain company.
It is about building an integral and unique experience for our organization – both inside and outside of it.
Author: Raúl Molteni