THE TIMES ARE CHANGING – INTRODUCING EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
Some time ago, when companies thought about their employees, they did that in terms of needs and outcome: what do they need to have in order to produce the desired results? And it usually meant some sort of adaptation of Maslow’s pyramid: a roof, walls, desk and a computer.
But employers soon realized that there was more work that could be done, and all that was needed was a little productivity boost. So they started improving conditions and optimizing processes in order for employees to work better.
These days, it’s all about employee engagement: when people are involved, when they feel they are growing and that there work matters, then magic happens at the office. And it usually does, but there is another concept that is beginning to gain momentum these days.
It is called employer experience and it is a more holistic approach, merging together the physical, technological and cultural environments. What it stands for is the idea of creating an organization where people want to show up. This will in turn be reflected in the quality of their work, which, eventually will lead to the company’s success.
In fact, it’s all about getting to integrate all the changes that the times bring: communication without boundaries, constant motion, working between opposing time zones, having the whole world in our pocket, and two generations – millennials and Gen Z – who approach work in a totally different way than the traditional companies are used to.
For companies, employer experience means improving the work space, giving access to technology, investing in growth strategies, being transparent and showing that they have a reason for being, beyond making profit. But, ultimately, it means starting to see and treat your employees more like you would your consumers, rather than just people working for you.
Employer experience is starting to gain a life of its own, but for someone who is trying to gain a bird’s-eye view of what changes would need to happen, here are a few tips, in no specific order:
- Cultural environment: waking up and come to a 9to5 workplace stopped being an adequate culture a long time ago. Instead, the company needs to formulate a reason for being, a mission, work principles and define its attitude towards the people that move it forward. And after that, act upon what has been stated.
- Technological environment: this defines the tools that people need in order to do their work fast and well. This doesn’t include only telephones and computers, but also the whole software, apps, the intranet and learning means.
- Physical environment: although at times hard to understand by conservatives, employees, especially younger ones, will work better in a lounge area with bookshelves, fresh donuts and a green corner to rest one’s eyes. And the older employees might surprisingly really enjoy it too.