Why Employee Experience Matters Now More Than Ever
The world of work has changed drastically over the past two years and has shown that it’s never been more important for organizations to focus on employee experience. This was Linkedin’s top talent trend for 2020, and that was BEFORE the pandemic even started. How you treat your employees during difficult times matters much more than how you treat your employees when things are going great.
Employee experience is creating an organization where employees WANT, not NEED to show up to work. It happens by focusing on three environments: culture, technology, and physical space. Together these three things make up what I call The Employee Experience Equation.
We’ve all heard of corporate culture and the many ways to describe it. Some say it’s what happens when the manager leaves the room, others say culture stems from the values, attitudes, practices, and mission of the organization, and some say culture is controlled by the CEO and the executives. I like to think of culture as the side effects of working for your organization.
Just like taking a prescription drug can have side effects such as weight gain, nausea, skin discoloration, or bleeding from the eyes, working for your organization can have the same side effects! But in your organization, these side effects can also be positive, like growth and development or purpose and meaning. Culture is about the feeling employees get working for you as a leader and for your organization. It’s the “vibe” you get when you walk in the door and the mood and the tone the workplace sets. It’s the leadership style, the sense of purpose your employees feel, the organizational structure, and the people that make up your organization. It’s not written or stated, yet it is one of the most important elements of creating and designing the employee experience.
Corporate culture energizes or drains us, motivates or discourages us, empowers or suffocates us. We all experience the corporate culture of our organizations every single day, whether it be positive or negative. Culture is 40% of the overall employee experience.
The technological environment of the organization refers to the tools employees use to get their jobs done. This includes everything from the company’s internal social network to the mobile devices, computers, and video conferencing solutions employees use. It also includes any apps, software, and learning tools. Technology is the organization’s central nervous system; most concepts and themes related to the future of work are not possible without technology.
It’s not hard to see why technology is a big part of the employee experience. Using outdated and poorly designed technologies makes it harder for employees to communicate and collaborate, drastically increases the time it takes to get their jobs done, and creates an environment where people are frustrated, angry, and unproductive. Technology is 30% of the overall employee experience.
The physical workspace is what you can see, touch, taste, and smell. It’s the art on the walls, the office floor plan, the demographics of the people we work with, and any physical perks we might get, such as catered meals, an on-site gym, or an employee lounge. The physical space can drain or energize your people.
Physical space also matters for remote employees. Even if employees aren’t working together in a physical office, they are physically working somewhere. That environment impacts their employee experience. Physical space is 30% of the overall experience.
The future of work is all about the employee experience. This is something that organizations worldwide are realizing and investing in, but there’s a long way to go. Less than 10% of organizations are doing a fantastic job investing in these three environments. Most are either focusing on one or two out of the three, but that’s not good enough. A complete employee experience strategy has never been more important.
What kind of an experience are you creating for your employees and how are you doing it?
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