So much so that employee experience or “EX” has become a hot buzzword for 2020.
A concept that emerged from a marketing focus on customer experience, EX comprises all the elements of the day-to-day experience workers have, from the physical environment to their ability to maintain a work-life balance to whether they find their work meaningful or feel that their organization nurtures a sense of belonging. That includes opportunities for development, especially training and upskilling.
The 2020 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends report, which found that 96% of talent professionals are focusing on EX, defined it as “everything an employee observes, feels, and interacts with as a part of their company” and emphasized that EX is distinct from engagement.
A positive employee experience leads to greater worker retention and higher productivity. According to MIT research, it also leads to increased customer satisfaction, higher profits, and more innovative organizations.
Employee experience is about:
It might sound obvious: Good EX starts with the employees — not the organization. Yet for decades, employee-employer relationships have been defined by organizations, top-down.
LinkedIn points to the power shift that occurs in tight labor markets: “As competition for talent tightened and workers became more skilled, power shifted from institutions to individuals.”
EX is bottom-up. It’s about what each employee values and needs to succeed. It’s also about making work meaningful for each employee.
The 2019 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report hammers that point home: “In order to create an enduring relationship, be social in nature, and create meaning, experience must come from and be focused on the individual.” That requires attention to individual employees’ psychological needs as well as practical needs for doing “their best work in the way that works for them.” These needs include doing work that an employee is good at and meeting social needs at work through relationships.
The ultimate goal is for each employee to create meaning in their job role, no matter how mundane. This requires an understanding of how what they do contributes to something of value, such as a positive customer experience.
Opportunities to learn at work contribute to a positive employee experience. In fact, the LinkedIn report lists training as a “key EX component,” along with workplace flexibility, a purposeful mission, open and effective management, and highly rated compensation and benefits.
LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report found that “heavy” learners were more likely than employees who lacked training opportunities to find purpose in their work — and that 94% of workers whose companies invested in their learning and development would remain longer with that organization.
Build in training opportunities at your organization that improve learners’ skills and performance while also enhancing their EX. A focus on employee experience isn’t just a way to be trendy. It can help you hold on to your best workers and boost productivity and profits.
Simple games layered on top of content
Scenario-based games that use the content
Fan excessive competition among employees or teams by offering large prizes for top performers and/or shaming those with lower scores
Challenge employees to beat their own past performance, or design a leaderboard that shows each employee only the four scorers above and below them
Points, rewards, badges
Award points or levels for completing sections of training or playing for a set number of minutes
Award levels, badges or points for recalling or applying content correctly, demonstrating mastery
Performance support or workflow learning provides on-demand assistance and answers to employees, without taking them away from their work tasks.
A knowledge retention strategy ensures that learners not only complete their training, they learn and remember it, improving their skills in the process!