Human contacts take precedence in the employee experience
The subject of employee experience is gaining ground and is starting to generate a number of publications. I recently came across this one, produced by Accenture.
I will focus here only on the salient points and comment on them in the light of my own experience in the matter, since while the study will not teach those who are already convinced by the subject and working on it, anything. however, it gives tangible measured arguments to those who have yet to convince their organization.
I still see too many people confusing employee experience with well-being. Not that the two are opposed, but in my opinion the employee experience is something much broader and linked to the operational one. Let’s be clear: if the employee experience does not affect the operational dimension of the company, it means that employees are only taken care of when they are not working and are on a break. I call it installing a spa next to the torture chamber.
Well-being is when people are at work, the employee experience is especially when they are working.
You cannot reduce the employee experience at times when employees are not working.
I said three years ago that the employee experience was a factor of engagement and productivity. If my point has been developed since, I remain convinced of it and Accenture proves it in figures: where the customer experience is a lever for customer loyalty (+ 17%) and income (+ 11%), the employee experience is a productivity lever.
Thus companies offering a good employee experience are 122% more efficient than the others and those with a good engagement rate are 21% more profitable than the others.
I won’t hide from you that the 122% are calling out to me. Both in terms of its scale and the fact that we are already able to measure the impact of a subject that is however new. Is.
The study then identifies the key elements of the employee experience. There again nothing new: we are, as I often point out, in a logic of consumerization of the company. Everything that happens on the client side will happen on the employee side. It’s as simple as that.
Towards the hyperpersonalization of the employee experience.
1st trend inherited from the “consumer” world, hyperpersonalization. Depending on age, profession or other elements, not everyone asks for or needs the same experience. This therefore requires a segmentation of the personnel which cannot be as simplistic as based solely on business or demographic aspects. We will then determine clusters of employees sharing the same characteristics… it remains to be seen how to determine them in a relevant way.
It comes as no surprise then that technology will play a big role in the employee experience. And according to Accenture not only are projects identified in almost all companies but some are already well advanced.
I will not comment on the list of sites which is quite obvious. However, the figures also leave me very skeptical. That 75% of companies plan to monitor the emotions of their employees to improve their productivity surprises me, but let’s accept it. That 35% do it seems amazing to me. Ditto for the 39% of companies that use predictive services that anticipate employee needs.
What are the moments that matter to your employees?
Another essential point: the moments that count, internal equivalent of the moments of truth dear to the customer experience. These moments can happen inside or outside the company, affect a career or the exercise of a specific task. They will therefore not be the same for everyone there too. Accenture distinguishes three types of experiences: physical, human and digital, which combine on a personal and professional level.
I find the reading grid interesting even if in my own repository also include organizational experiences. By this I mean all the points of interaction and often friction prescribed by the organization: company structure, hierarchy, decision-making process, processes and workflows of all kinds, validations, reporting etc. If digital brings speed and scale, digitizing a dysfunctional organization can do anything and generate inefficiency, disengagement and frustration faster and on a larger scale.
In general, the employee experience is in my opinion a question of organizational simplification above all and this point is sorely lacking here.
Human experiences above all
The study then emphasizes the importance of human experiences, a point on which I can only agree. The essential part of the daily experience of an employee is his interactions with others and good or bad management weighs heavily in my opinion.
I would even add that it is essential to work on this point before launching projects on collaboration and communication tools. Because, and we have seen it for example with corporate social networks, accelerating and increasing interactions between people when these interactions are of poor quality leads to disaster. And to give tools for interactions that have no reason to happen for cultural and managerial reasons is to throw money down the drain by sinking into the technological solutionism.
Finally, Accenture offers us a roadmap:
• Identify sources of productivity
• Identify the moments that matter
• Co-design the experience with employees
Employee experience should not be discriminatory
I will only dwell on the first point that knocked me off my chair. What Accenture tells us is nothing more than “focus on those who can bring in the money and let the others row”. A totally untenable bias that sends a message totally opposed to what should be the employee experience.
Yes, sometimes you have to prioritize. Yes we can not be doing everything simultaneously. But employee experience cannot and should not be discriminatory with regard to certain populations. My practice and my opinion on the matter are simple: a common base for all and then a business approach but everyone must be impacted. If you want to create disengagement, do as usual: put all the weight on the siege, forgetting stores and factories, put everything on those who sell, forgetting those who produce and run the machine.
So of course to convince a CFO this may be the right approach. But its execution would be suicidal and I find it hard to understand that such an aberration survived a peer review. Pity.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.