Employee experience as a strategic priority

“Put the people first and see what happens.” Business will not grow without competent employees who aim to learn constantly. Employees who are committed to the strategy and corporate culture of their employer and who are enthusiastic about developing themselves
and the organizations they work in towards longlasting success.

According to studies, in employee-oriented high-trust organizations, employees are 70% more committed to the organization’s common strategy and goals. This commitment and the enhancing of the employee experience are, in fact, important factors when implementing ambitious growth objectives and putting strategies into practice.

At the same time, competition in the modern labour market is even more global, transparent, and challenging for the employer. In order to attract and, above all, to maintain competent employees, the enhancement of comprehensive employee experience has become an important part of the agenda of organizations worldwide. In addition, a strong employee experience has been found to directly affect the quality of customer experience and thus the organization’s turnover. According to our extensive customer experience survey, conducted in 2016, customer experience is a strategic priority for 75% of organizations. However, according to our recent employee experience 2018 survey, employee experience is a strategic priority in only 44% of organizations. The high-level objectives set for customer experience will not be realized unless employee experience is invested in equally.

Creating a comprehensive employee experience directly affects not only implementation of the strategy via committed personnel, but also the ability to attract and keep competent personnel and the ability to turn customer experience into a competitive advantage. In addition, according to our employee experience survey, the employees are much more aware of the strategy and common goals in organizations where the employee experience is considered a strategic priority. Due to these factors, it is time to make employee experience a strategic priority in every organization.

Being employee-oriented means relying on the structure

We define employee experience as seeing the world and the working environment through the eyes of the employees. This can be achieved by engaging in a constant dialogue with them, by recognizing what is important for their everyday work, and by offering them the opportunity to find motivation and inspiration. An employee-oriented organization and strong employee experience do, however, require strong structures and a clear governance model in order to be functional. An organizational culture that drifts along by itself is not employee-oriented; on the contrary, it strains the individual. In our recent employee experience survey, 95% of the respondents emphasized the importance of a clear goal in their work and 87% considered it important for there to be objectives that support work and development. It is, in fact, particularly important to recognize the differences between an employee-oriented organization and an organization that lays all responsibility on the employees.

Turning employee experience into a competitive advantage

According to our survey, 23% of organizations have a clear plan for the development of employee experience. The way we see it, employee experience is the key to realizing the strategy, attracting and maintaining the most competent professionals, and enhancing customer experience. In order to turn employee experience into a competitive advantage, the organization must devise a plan for it. A plan that can be used to make the organization employee-oriented – an organization that has a clear goal and strong structures but where the individual can create their own purpose within those structures. Here we have compiled five steps to develop employee experience in order to turn it into a competitive advantage for the organization.

Five steps to develop employee experience

  1. Determine the vision and goal for the development of employee experience
    What are you trying to achieve by being employee-oriented? How much do you want to invest in the development of employee experience?
  2. Recognize segment-specific individual needs
    The employee needs vary the same way as the customer needs do. Recognize what kind of requirement groups there are in your organization and meet the needs they have.
  3. Determine employee journeys and theoretical points along the path
    Every employee travels a certain path from recruitment to retirement or exit interview. What does this path look like, and what are the critical points along it?
  4. Construct a success management model that creates meaning, and implement it in everyday operations
    Provide your employees with the opportunity to succeed: promote success, not performance. Provide employees with the support and space to realize a work description that they find meaningful.
  5. Utilize analytics in continuous development of employee experience
    We have an enormous amount of information in our organizations. How do we or should we utilize this information to continuously develop the employee experience with the aid of analytics?