In a series of blogs, we have shared our thoughts on aspects such as enhancing recruitment through gamification, correlating employee and customer feedback, and focusing on employee advocacy over retention. In this final blog, we want to highlight what should be at the core of Employee Experience – good design.
To create great Employee Experience, it must be designed for the ‘user’. Good design drives the desired emotional responses and behaviours of the users. From an organisational perspective, we want our employees to have enjoyable, engaging, and memorable experiences which are unique to our brand, culture, purpose, and values. This doesn’t just happen; it must be designed if it is to have the desired effect. Design is more than just ‘having a plan’; as Robert L. Peters says: “Design creates culture, culture shapes values, and values determine the future.”
There are various phases to go through when designing experiences and here we highlight the key stages:
Mapping out the Employee Experience is an important first step to acknowledge all the key touchpoints throughout their journey. This starts from before someone even applies for a job until long after an employee has left an organisation. Understanding how people feel at these touchpoints will highlight the pain points and issues that may arise, as well as the positive interactions that strengthen the relationship.
No one department should be responsible alone for designing experiences. Taking a systems thinking approach will allow a broad view of how the Employee Experience impacts the Customer Experience and other stakeholders. If it is only viewed from one perspective, then it will be limited in its effectiveness. People from around the business should get involved in the whole design process.
Diverse thinking is crucial when it comes to idea creation. Having people from across your organisation at all different levels and stages within their journey, contribute to this creative stage will allow for true innovation to come through. Hackathons are a great way at this point to build an environment that inspires people to think outside of their normal everyday context.
Before anything is actually implemented, ideas should be tested out on sample groups or individuals to measure how people feel through the redesigned experiences. Do they meet the desired responses you’d hoped for or do they perhaps create a whole new experience you hadn’t anticipated? Testing gives you an opportunity to make any adjustments to the design so that it meets requirements.
Deciding how to implement changes to experiences is as important as making the actual changes. Should a phased approach be taken? How will it be communicated? Will there be training required if new tools are being introduced? How easily can you measure the value for both the user and the organisation?
This is really a continual process, not just at one point in time. To be able to collate effective data and feedback, you need to have a strategy to gaining useful information so it can guide how to design for the future. User needs will be ever-changing and will be different for each individual or group. It can be helpful to develop personas and try to personalise experiences so the responses achieved are desirable for all.
The whole design process is cyclical. Once you have evaluated your implementation, then you can go back and tweak the touchpoints as and when required so you are continually honing the emotions and behaviours that reflect the company’s values and culture. As you implement new iterations, you will start to gain a greater knowledge of your people and how you can connect with them in the most effective way.
The UK Employee Experience Awards are a great opportunity to hear other’s stories and learn from them. They celebrate the best in class for a whole range of areas within Employee Experience. Perhaps it will generate some ideas that could be applied to your own context to exemplify who you are as a brand and how it makes your people feel.