Employee experience is everything. It’s not about delivering employee engagement. It’s about delivering trust. An employer brand experience that delivers trust, also delivers customer results and great customer experience. Trust is the filling in the EX/CX sandwich.
In depressingly sneering tones, The Guardian reported this week how Amazon is paying employees to tweet cheerful messages that describe how wonderful the employee experience is inside their warehouses. Yep, Amazon have put an Ambassador programme in place and they’re using it for PR purposes.
But the bigger question is, what is life really like inside Amazon? If Glassdoor is to be believed – and that is always a questionable source of information – then, as Business Insider discovered, it is pretty much like every other employer: The experience is good and bad in places. But, every moment matters – it’s what my colleague Sally Tarbit refers to as the micro moments in branding.
One highlight here for Amazon is that it is in a minority in allowing employees to use their personal devices at work. Just 38% of companies in the U.K. and 29% in continental Europe allow employees to use their personal devices to access organisational communications, compared to 59% of North American organisations.
Why is that important? Because it demonstrates an understanding of the blurring of the lines between personal technology and organisational technology. An understanding that by offering to put tools onto one device for employees, the employer is offering a better experience.
Experience is everything, and good EX (Employee Experience) leads to good CX (Customer Experience). Create a great experience, get employees motivated and onside, and as Gallup has discovered, you’ll achieve earnings per share that is more than four times that of competitors who fail to invest in EX.
Building employee experiences that are designed to fit the lifestyles of the people that work for a given organisation is essential. A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer good enough. Deliveroo has recently received much praise for creating a learning programme that fits the lifestyles of its workers – an always-on, open access set of materials in multiple languages. That’s a great brand experience.
Call it experience, call it service design, but whichever way one looks at it, it’s great experiences that lock in customers, and they lock in employees too.
In my book, the fundamental rules behind EX are simple:
- Establish an employer brand position, value proposition and personality and make sure that all your employee experiences reflect that framework.
- Don’t blindly follow best practice. If every employer follows the same models, then who stands out? Follow brand practice.
- Invest in building a few hero offers that are built around the types of employee you need inside your organisation. If you need young bright things, then follow their needs. If you need older, wiser heads, the experience will be different.
- Invest in peer-to-peer-led internal communications. Create a function that is dedicated to sharing the very best practice between employees. The Edelman Trust barometer still suggests that we trust people like ourselves – we certainly are more likely to trust employees over the CEO – so why deny the reality?
- Keep reinventing and refreshing. Encourage everyone to stay fresh and one step ahead.
All this is about delivering trust. The employer that can deliver an experience that results in building trust amongst colleagues and between organisation and employee will be the one that wins. The USA has seen a collapse in trust in recent years. It’s no surprise that brands like Southwest Airlines are winning: a place where the experience and the relationship between colleagues is based upon trust. The trust to live out a common purpose.
So, for me EX = Trust = CX.