Historically, organisations have focused on and invested in CX technology. While that is certainly critical, we often forget to consider the employee experience (EX). Not anymore as this is expected to see a big shift in focus to EX technology, especially as research shows happy employees are more productive (Gallino, 2020).
Work-from-home (WFH) environments have made it difficult for brands to manage, engage, equip, and evaluate remote customer service employees (Gallino, 2020). Supervisors who used to walk around the office to observe and engage with employees as they interact with customers are encountering significant hurdles in performance management. Interaction analytics is an AI-powered technology that listens to and assesses 100% of customer-brand interactions. This can be especially helpful in the WFH setting, as it can allow supervisors to evaluate employee performance, provide objective feedback, and offer real-time guidance without being nearby.
The use of people data has grown exponentially over the past few years and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. If companies leverage their people data appropriately, they have a unique opportunity to change their organisation for the better and impact key performance areas like revenue, productivity, and retention.
People Analytics as The Bridge Between Employee Experience and Business Outcomes
In order to provide extraordinary employee experiences, companies need to review a variety of business dimensions. EX is not an isolated set of actions, but rather correlates to a wide array of capabilities, tools, teams, and systems, which need to work together efficiently (Kotorchevikj, 2020):
- Culture, empowered by the transformative power of people analytics, is a crucial element in achieving a personalised employee experience that can improve engagement and retention.
- Organisations should also think about how to re-organise strategy and processes to have a role in employee experience.
- HR needs to adopt new technological and analytical skills that previously belonged to the IT department and make use of technology to deliver the right experiences at the right touchpoints.
- People data is instrumental in understanding employee journeys and creating personalised experiences. However, data is useless without the knowledge to manipulate and analyse it. Ensuring the right tools and capabilities is fundamental to make sense of it.
The employee experience is not a linear experience. Instead, it’s a contextual one. Therefore, EX has to be optimised and mapped out to fit the employee’s wants and needs while fostering collaboration, productivity and engagement.
Three basic conditions to understand, track and improve the employee experience (Stevens, 2017):
Given the critical nature of and the different environments that shape the employee experience, studies suggest that understanding, tracking, and effectively improving the employees’ experience requires (1) a continuous listening strategy, (2) cross-functional data-sharing and (3) investing in analytical skills or strategic partnerships. Without these being in place, efforts are likely to end up having clear costs and unclear results.
- Continuous listening
- A continuous listening strategy
In the same way that you would employ a customer listening approach in order to gain an understanding of what your customers are feeling and saying about your brand or business, understanding your employees is crucial to your ability to consistently provide an excellent employee experience and compete on talent attraction, performance and retention. Unfortunately, research suggests that most companies or HR leaders think they know what their employees’ want—and more often than not they are either partially correct or completely miss the mark. Either scenario results with a snowballing effect that degrades employee experience objectives and investments.
This is why continuous listening programs should be a priority for organisations; programs through which organisations collect and analyse employee feedback to identify insights that are used to improve the employee experience and eventually, business outcomes.
Thanks to advances in technology, collecting these sorts of feedback to understand what employees want and how they want it is much easier than before.
- Feedback sources
To gain a complete, unbiased view of what employees really find and value, it is critical to gather and analyse all forms of employee feedback, whether that feedback is direct (what people say when they are being asked), indirect (what people say without explicitly being asked) or inferred (how people behave). You may find that different types of conversations generate very different insight.
- Cross-functional data-sharing
Shaping the employee experience using these different sorts of feedback across the employee lifecycle represents a radical change in many HR organisations, where gathering employee feedback typically mirrors organisational structure: communication departments gather input on intranet usage or sentiment, HR service delivery examines transactional and user experience data, and the people analytics department (increasingly) is responsible for employee survey management. This leads to the inability to drive holistic change and will ultimately produce a disjointed experience for your employees.
For most organisations, managing the employee experience through a single view – that includes unified feedback data – is perceived as a difficult area requiring huge investment. It doesn’t have to be! Today, organisations can combine data collected from HR service delivery systems with survey and other employee data, conduct analyses of both individual and aggregate responses in real time, and then automatically route and track issues needing resolution.
- Expertise in or Partnerships with People and Human Capital Analytics
Having a continuous listening and cross-functional data-sharing program in place is only as good as your ability to translate different data into relevant insights and actions towards the employee experience.
- Employee segmentation: Apply clustering techniques to identify groups of employees with similar needs/preferences or with different drivers of satisfaction across touch points.
- Targeting and prioritising investments: Use analytics to determine the current and potential value of employees and determine who to target with which initiative, in which channel, and when. Similarly, proactively determine which employees are at risk of poor engagement or leaving the organisation and what tactics are most likely to keep them engaged or want to stay. All these insights can be used to understand where and how to allocate resources more intelligently and maximize ROI.
- Understanding and demonstrating value: Linking experience and satisfaction data with HR and business-critical metrics will show what works, for whom and why (which drivers contribute to success).
2021 will be a year driven by an analytics-led EX, and the benefits should go beyond positively affecting employee retention. Happier employees can deliver enterprise-wide value, including better CX, stronger customer brand loyalty, and reduced customer churn. Furthermore, by increasing visibility into employee-customer interactions, organisations can uncover new insights that highlight what’s working and what’s not and make it easier for leadership to make decisions that improve both EX and CX (Gallino, 2020).
Unless your company understands the personal and subjective employee experiences across different environments and the role every function plays in shaping them, employee experience is more a slogan than an attainable goal. Improving the employee experience is the end game, but getting there requires, continuous listening, feedback from multiple channels and functions, integrated to give a holistic picture of the employee lifecycle.
Contact a Genie today to find out how you can start establishing and of course, understanding these insights to better your employee’s experience