Challenging what EX means to companies – starting with how we measure it.
For customer experience to be next-level, one of the most important things a business must have in place is a happy and engaged workforce.
You know this already, right?
If your people are well cared for by leaders at all levels – if employee experience is the first priority of the business – then everything’s on the up and up.
Are you nodding? Good.
But… How quickly can you:
· define what employee experience is as it relates to your organisation;
· identify what your employees think it is; and
· list the metrics – again, those relevant to your organisation – for assessing it?
Do you know whether employee experience (EX) in your business is about engagement or enablement? Is it about making jobs more purposeful? Is it about reward? Is it about being kind to your people?
And if it’s a blend of these, how much of each? What’s the ratio?
Because, if you look back to Goldilocks & The Three Bears, you don’t want anything that’s too soft or too hard. You want juuuuust right.
This part is not so easy. Ask Goldie.
At Interact RDT, we see the extent to which our clients value EX, but also the widespread confusion about how to measure it and what to measure. Especially since EX is frequently undermined by the catch-all phrase the “soft stuff”.
In this context, measuring success can often prove challenging, because intangibles – like culture – can be notoriously hard to quantify. And not everything that’s important lends itself easily to measurement. So we work to create a specific set of rock-hard metrics each time we engage with our clients’ EX.
Not to give the game away too early, but we look at all of an employee’s interactions with their employer, team, and environment, spanning:
a) How employees experience the visible or physical elements of their work day: the organisation’s brand, vision and/or mission, values, products, services, websites, intranet, laptops, uniform, etc.;
b) How employees experience the work they need to do and the tools (digital and non-digital) used to do it: systems, processes and guidelines, technical training, HR policies and processes, etc.;
c) How employees experience behaviours and interactions, when it comes to being comfortable to share their opinions and concerns during meetings, relationships with leadership, and how their performance is measured; and
d) The actions and capabilities that enable employees to do their jobs; especially, the feelings, emotions, and perceptions employees have about those actions and capabilities.
If you consider each if these areas, both separately and together, you’ll get a sense of why it’s important to have an optimally designed and well-managed EX – and perhaps why it makes sense to have professional help.
There’s a lot going on. There are feelings in the mix. And you can only manage what you measure. Which means you can’t just throw your people a couple of certificates, a mention in the newsletter, or a pause area that offers lukewarm porridge – and hope for the best. Well, you can. But hope is not a strategy.
Let’s find something better.
In our minds, the actions and capabilities that either enable or hamper employees when doing their jobs fall into two categories: the “soft stuff” and the “hard stuff”. So yes, there is (and should be) “soft stuff” in the mix: it’s a part of EX. But not its sum.
The soft stuff
The soft stuff includes all the things we typically think about when we think about employees and managing or leading them:
· growth and development;
· feedback and coaching;
· recognition and appreciation;
· leadership and care;
· camaraderie and collaboration;
· contributions, impact, and meaningful work;
· trust and respect;
· empowerment; and
· career success.
The hard stuff
The hard stuff includes the tools, resources, training, processes, and environmental factors (workplace and workspace) employees need to do their jobs well.
We need both, obviously. But we also need metrics to measure both. And that’s where Interact RDT can help.
At Interact RDT, we know that focusing on the employee experience is good for employees. It’s good for customers. And it’s good for business.
Here’s how we do it:
1. We define EX, including research and potential benefits, and present our EX framework and process.
2. We consult with you to adjust the EX elements and metrics to suit your business, and identify key employee groups to inform our strategies.
3. We design and sign off assessment tools to measure your current EX.
4. We employ surveys, focus groups and other research methods, and collate and analyse the data for you.
5. We report on our conclusions and suggest improvements for low-scoring EX elements.
6. We measure ROI against the agreed metrics.
So, yes, these are humans. There’s art involved. But there’s also science.
And when you have both, you’ve succeeded in seeing EX for what it really is: a perfect blend of soft stuff and hard stuff, for employee engagement and performance that’s juuuuust right.