The Business of IT Blog

What is Employee Experience Management?

5 minute read
Stephen Watts

Similar to customer experience, employee experience is a vital part of improving your corporation’s overall operations as well as retention. However, unlike customer experience operations that focus externally, employee experience operations focus on employee’s views and beliefs internally.

Something many organizations overlook, the bottom line is that when an employee recognizes happiness in their work environment and daily tasks, they then turn around and convey company values and promises to customers and other potential employees. The return to your company is enormous.

For that reason, understanding what employee experience management is, why it is important, and how to deploy it is essential.

Employee Experience Management Overview

Essentially, to be highly effective at all levels, your company must focus on helping employees perform and think at their best. And, seeing as your employees are the backbone of the business, managing that experience plays a huge role in how your operation runs from day to day and grows. Ultimately, when done correctly, it will lead to better performance, higher rates of engagement (meaning fewer departures), greater overall income (because employees are invested), and overall improved customer happiness.

Most experts agree that “Employee experience management is the deliberate influence of each touchpoint an employee has with an organization from recruit to onboarding and exiting that organization. IT and HR have a critical role in adopting strategies that help their employees perform their best.” Yes. Interviewing, onboarding, the systems and tools available, payments, and opportunities, it all works together to determine your employee’s overall experiences and observations. The goal is to assist your employees to become more involved, engaged, and invested with the company because they feel satisfied with how they are treated. An end-to-end process, employee experience management should never stop. On top of that, it takes a lot more than a quarterly survey from your employees.

Unfortunately a daunting task exists for many IT and HR teams because of one thing: no employee is the same. Navigating employee experience can often feel like a huge undertaking, involving initiative and time.

Deploying Excellent Employee Experience Management

As overwhelming and large as management of each of your employee’s happiness may seem, it is actually not as daunting as you may first think. Of course, there is no specific formula for what works. However, finding an approach that fits your company values and culture can be made easier by understanding the following key contributors to defining employee experience.

  1. Employee personas and work types – The ability to group and match employees in your framework gives you more opportunity. First, define 3-5 types of employees you have and then work with each type to reach goals.
  2. Department or role – A manager with senior duties will not experience employment the same as an employee with high daily pressures and deadlines and so forth. Just like personas, it is advisable to segment your employees, targeting differences.
  3. Manager skills and styles – Just like every employee is not the same, managers are not the same either. Take note of different ways each manager handles their teams. Take regular feedback from employees on managers and try to group managers with employee types that work well together.
  4. Compensation and benefits packages – To help create excitement within your company, give the opportunity to your employees to grow and feel useful. Keep in mind that salespeople generally have different benefits than assistant teams and so forth. This also applies to time off and the timeliness of payments. Appealing to the wants and needs of your employees will create higher loyalty and happiness.
  5. Diversity within your workforce – One of the hot topics in business today is equality. Understanding that women and men, as well as employees of different generations, work experience, and ethnic backgrounds, will all experience working in your organization differently. How you handle that is very important. Think about specific holidays, pay rates, incentives, and training when considering diversity.
  6. Personal connection – Know your employees and help them feel like they are family. Creating a place where your employees feel part of something, can communicate, and ultimately feel connected becomes your greatest tool.

Taking a closer look at Personal Connection from the above list, according to the EX Leaders Network, creating a positive culture is one of the most valuable yet difficult aspects of successful employee happiness. “One of the most consistent findings in our research the past 3 years is that successful EX Pioneers have developed both muscle and capability around Organizational Empathy.” But, how are they doing it?

Organizational Empathy and Personal Connection – Real Life Employee Experience Management Example

Some of the most famous companies that have exceptional employee experience management are the big three tech giants: Google, Facebook, and Apple. Known for their “campus” style workplaces, each of these companies takes employee experience management beyond the typical HR survey and providing interesting benefits like food while at work, gyms, daycare, and stock options, just to name a few. These tech giants actually use the data they collect with those HR surveys to create unique work cultures, addressing the gaps in employee experience.

Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. With things like employee unboxing, courses, and more, no matter your level within the company you have room to be involved and grow. In an interview with Fast Company, a high-level executive at Apple states, “And then you start in your own mind to think where you can add value—you’re uniting people, you’re getting them to collaborate. You’re building trust. That alone is empowering. We just ended the year with the highest retention rates we’ve ever had: 81%. And the feedback [from Apple Store employees is that it’s] because they feel connected. They feel like one Apple. They don’t feel like they’re just somebody over here working with customers. I don’t see them as retail employees. I see them as executives in the company who are touching the customers with the products that Jony [Ive] and the team took years to build. Somebody has to deliver it to the customer in a wonderful way.” The engagement of employees is so important to Apple that they actually built their own work communication kits designed to help companies and themselves better manage employees in exploring and growing.

Just like Apple, Facebook actually values employee experience and engagement so much that they also created a tool to help themselves and other organizations create a similar value. Giving employees a place to provide highly valued feedback is the driving concept behind the company. Beyond that, this focus is also placed on new hires. Experts are repeatedly impressed by the company’s ability to “utilizes feedback data—with an added emphasis on new hires. Every candidate is treated as a customer so that the experience is positive from recruitment to a potential hire. After meeting the teams, candidates are asked for feedback on the interview process. Data collected is then compared against feedback from other tenured employees. It’s a calculated move—and one that ensures that even before being hired, a candidate understands the value of their opinion and forms a positive impression of what it’s like to work for the company.”

The Keys That Bring It All Together

As we take a look at what some of the great pioneers in employee experience management have done, it must be said that we are not all tech giants. However, if you keep in mind the key contributors and how technology can be deployed in the form of HR software, communication software, and data collection, you are sure to develop a framework and strategy that works for your organization. Just remember, your employees are as valuable to you as your customers, if not more.

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About the author

Stephen Watts

Stephen Watts (Birmingham, AL) contributes to a variety of publications including, Search Engine Journal, ITSM.Tools, IT Chronicles, DZone, and CompTIA.