How To Build An Effective Employee Experience, No Matter Your Business

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conference room of employees

Human resources and learning and development experts are up-skilling in design thinking to create effective people processes.

A significant aspect of this is by shifting to a designer's mindset and building practical employee experiences for their organizations.

What makes this so relevant now as opposed to five to 10 years ago?

Earlier, there was higher employee tenure. These days, the average worker stays with the organization for as low as two years.

Due to how conditions were in the past, the human resources teams focussed more on ensuring compliance, decreasing liability, and fine-tuning administrative processes.

However, now, with the war on talent being intensified, retaining talent and keeping it productive takes precedence. To this end, prioritizing employee experience journeys has become essential.

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What is employee experience?

This can be defined as the multitude of interactions that occur in the relationship between an organization and an employee over the employee's journey from candidacy to alumni.

It's the events and interactions that employees encounter and the feelings and emotions they experience along the way.

Another way to think about it is to consider your employees as your customers.

Ritz Carlton, Amazon, Netflix, and Disney are some of the companies that are featured amongst the most customer-obsessed companies by Forbes in 2018.

They listen to their customers and utilize technology and data to understand what their customer needs truly are. They offer exceptional personalized experiences, fantastic perks, and quality products.

They're obsessed with providing seamless expertise and strive to use technology to dazzle their customers all the time.

To build a fulfilling employee experience, companies must become employee-obsessed and work towards consistently wowing them.

What should you consider?

Look at the critical inflection points in an employee lifecycle and question how you can maximize value for the employee.

Re-examine the processes at hiring, pre-boarding onboarding, continuous development, coaching, and so on.

Incorporate design thinking for employee experiences at different stages in the cycle — parental leave, promotions, relocation, etc.

Try taking a walk in their shoes. Ask questions such as what does a dream employee experience look like?

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Whose responsibility is it to architect a compelling employee experience?

The answer is, everyone.

Right from the senior leadership that sets the vision and influences the culture, to recruiting and human resources who are involved in the measurement of the process at various touchpoints — from the managers who have a day-to-day impact in the individual's role to all the peers and team members that the individual interacts with regularly.

It's a shared responsibility.

Here are 3 common challenges of building a great employee experience.

1. Rapid team and company growth.

Mapping the employee experience will always be a work in progress due to rapid growth. It has to be looked at as a balancing act and allowed to evolve.

2. Focus.

It's tough to gauge what's essential and that may change, so a dynamic focus becomes necessary.

One can get caught up in things such as daily noise, company swag, snacks in the office, free meals, pet policy, benefits, and team-building exercises.

These are all important and have their place, but a sharpened focus is essential.

3. Cohesion.

Staying true to company values and vision is vital. A few things that matter to the company make it a consistent experience based on organizational values. Always align with them.

Employees are like your customers, so keep them happy. Employee experience is a shared responsibility.

An integrated approach to processes and priorities within the employee journey allows the organization to focus on what matters the most at that point.

So, deliver by reducing unnecessary friction, design thinking, and investing in people and tools that drive a positive employee experience.

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Bhavna Dalal is a master certified executive coach MCC ICF, speaker, and author of "Checkmate Office Politics" who helps people develop their leadership skills, such as executive presence, strategic thinking, influencing, and networking. To learn more about her work, visit her website or follow her on LinkedIn.

This article was originally published at Forbes India. Reprinted with permission from the author.