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Designing the Employee Experience — Why EX Pays Dividends

With a workforce dominated by Millenials, companies are finding themselves looking for new solutions to improve their profit margins and retain top talent. Additionally, the increasing need to streamline communication and boost productivity has pushed employee concerns to the top of the priority list for executives.

When it comes to running any kind of business, appealing to all parties can undoubtedly be a challenge. However, recent research shows that companies that invest more in employee experience (EX) design and management gain more tangible perks than just happier employees.

Millennials Need Meaning

It’s no secret that Millennials will soon make up the majority of our workforce. For most Millennials, getting a job is more than just putting in hours for a paycheck—it has to have purpose. According to a recent Forbes article, this sector of the workforce feels that, “business, not government, will have the greatest impact in solving society’s most pressing challenges,” meaning they consider how their daily work and challenges affect our broader society. Millennials value an employee-centric culture and seek out companies that appreciate the importance of employees’ time on the clock. For companies like GE and Siemens, highlighting the meaning of their work is their top strategy in attracting new millennial talent.

Performance soars

According to an IBM and Globoforce study, 96% of the top quartile of employee experience reported high levels of work performance compared to only 73% in the bottom quartile. This particular study asked respondents to report how many times in the past three months they had been very productive at work, worked hard to get the job done by a deadline, and completed work to a high standard when evaluating what constitutes high performance. We can tackle this productivity notion by putting greater emphasis on the quality of inputs rather than outputs. This can include things like making sure an employee has access to the industry’s newest tools or designating specific time for flow. Driving desired result boils down to more than just more productive employees: keeping self-efficacy high is imperative for keeping your team confident and motivated. Research shows that when people are learning, their self-efficacy increases and their propensity to procrastinate begins to decrease.

Automation saves lives (and time)

While most worry that increased automation will cause some people to lose their jobs, it can actually be a way to create jobs for others. According to a Forrester report (via Forbes), it’s estimated over 40% of enterprises next year will create digital workers by combining AI with robotic process automation. They further predict that over 20% of service desk jobs will be eliminated by machines. Automation directly correlates to how productive employees can be throughout their day. Teams will be able to focus less on mundane and procedural tasks and more on challenges that require advanced knowledge and expertise. Not only are employees tackling the core of the issue, they feel a greater sense of autonomy and purpose while doing so.Whether it is creating greater on-demand services or streamlining communication, automation can play a vital role in taking the pressure of routine tasks off of individual employees.

Establish a deeper employee connection

EX traditionally describes everything from the hiring stage through time of departure, but this doesn’t account for the day-to-day or even hour-by-hour experience of employees. It’s important to consider how employees interact with technology, procedures and their peers as well. Employees may experience interruptions or obstacles, such as meeting overload or lack of collaboration. Without careful consideration and oversight, we may neglect to see how some of these small challenges affect the bigger picture. Having greater involvement in your employee’s daily routine is actually more beneficial than simply ensuring productivity. It can serve as a powerful tool in shaping your company’s culture. Establishing deeper employee connections help employees feel more supported by their peers and ultimately make them more positive about their experience. According to an extensive study on workplace integration by Google, researchers did not find that work style or type of person attributed to successful teams. Instead, it was teams that had “unwritten rules” or a distinct team culture that set them apart. Identifying these successes and using them to foster a culture of coaching and collaborative innovation can help employees to feel comfortable and supported to create.

Your employee’s daily experience goes deeper than just knowing their responsibilities: it’s making sure they are equipped with tools, having established productive daily routines, and engaging with your peers inside and outside of the office. With careful consideration and thoughtful innovation, teams can transform average work days into daily opportunities to learn and grow.

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