Why employee experience is more important than you think

    Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

    Most small and medium-sized businesses embrace an alchemy of traditional business measurement. These include – but are not limited to – profitability, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, adaptability, innovation and creativity. Above all, the customer experience (CX) is closely monitored.

    This fixation on CX is an element of modern business that has trickled down to growing companies from some of the biggest names across all industries. Earlier in my career, I led the digital experience business at Adobe, and for more than a decade I focused on CX as the key measure of success. Many others in my former position would repeat the same.

    But what if we’re all wrong?

    The more we understand the levers of success across a company, the more convinced I am that we need to look earlier in the process to ensure success. It’s time business leaders and HR leaders become as much or more obsessed with the employee experience (EX) than the customer experience.

    To better understand this, my company recently surveyed a representative group of over 300 SMB owners to understand how they approach and benefit from EX programs. While virtually every leader surveyed viewed CX as important to success, many still embraced the increasing importance of EX as they struggled to understand the role it plays in their overall business success.

    It is becoming increasingly clear that a meaningful focus on EX will improve business results at all levels of the company. Business leaders can embrace the benefits by developing a better understanding of their EX programs.

    Related: Employee experience is more important than ever. Here’s how to increase it.

    Understanding the mismatch between employee desires and leadership needs

    Our research also pointed to a simple fact: there is often a gap between employers and employees. This creates an “us versus them” mentality throughout the organization and widens the communication gaps, especially for growing companies.

    Employers generally need to focus on traditional customer-based measures of success: business performance, customer satisfaction, product innovation and the delivery of exceptional service. On the other hand, employees care about their experiences: flexibility, focus, open communication, recognition, growth opportunities and reward.

    Finding where these values ​​intersect is key to building strong EX programs. The first thing to eliminate is the us versus them mentality. Great customer experience and employee experience programs are driven by the same elements: performance management, performance reviews, compensation and career growth.

    These outcomes align well, as supporting employee career development can lead to new innovations that delight customers and help employee flexibility unlock and deliver exceptional customer service. Stressed employees are much less likely to provide good service, whether the company offers free lunches or an open playroom.

    Related: From great resignation to quitting quietly, here’s why good people really leave and how to keep them.

    Evaluate the benefits of employee engagement

    As any HR expert can tell you, understanding and building programs based on employee experiences is a complex process. Most companies start with traditional metrics such as Employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPS) or employee satisfaction surveys.

    While these are important steps, companies can’t just flip a switch and turn on their EX program. The measurements are a good start, but there are things leaders can only understand by looking beyond their survey results.

    Leadership needs to evaluate the feeling around the office. What is the virtual water cooler talking? Are people optimistic about the company and do they show resilience when challenges arise? Do employees ask for feedback? Are your company values ​​fully represented and activated?

    Employee experience is the foundation upon which successful companies can build and scale their businesses, especially in times of change and disruption. The era of the Covid-19 pandemic repeatedly pointed out that companies thrived because they emphasized EX programs and showed concern for their people.

    Ultimately, business considerations determine the results and companies investing in great EX outperforming the S&P 500 by 122%. Employees who get the best out of themselves at work provide inspiration that awakens us to new possibilities and that moves our company forward.

    Related: How to Create a Work Culture That Can Survive Anything

    Take the following steps

    The employee experience is more than free lunches, perks and outside parties. Our research indicated that empowering our people, aligning motivations and creating shared values ​​are the keys to employee happiness. Today’s smart employees understand the value of strong performance appraisals and growth, even over bonuses and office perks.

    As business and HR leaders look to build better EX programs, we recommend starting by asking three fundamental questions:

    • Does my organization have a clear mission and a set of values ​​that are regularly reinforced?
    • Have I set up systems that reduce friction and improve communication for my employees?
    • How much time do I spend on employee experience versus other work or priorities?

    We are at the beginning of the EX revolution, but companies need to start now or risk falling behind. Large companies such as LinkedIn and Meta invest significant resources in EX programs, and even smaller companies with fewer resources treat EX with the same consideration as product development.

    Related: Why small businesses need to create powerful, creative workplaces now more than ever

    Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, describes investing in employees this way: “Our #1 priority is company culture. Our belief is that if you get the culture right, most other things, like delivering great customer service or building a long-term sustainable brand, will happen naturally on its own.”

    Employees no longer want to be just a cog in a machine. Companies that want to understand employee needs and use that knowledge to invest in their people will ultimately mobilize their employees to contribute directly to business success.

    Recent Articles

    Related Stories

    Leave A Reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox