Why Employee Experience?

How did I become an advocate for employee experience, ways of working and workplace technology? I started trying to improve customer experiences. Again and again in the work of making better customer experiences it became obvious that a major barrier was lack of attention to the experience of employees involved in delivering for customers. Poor employee experiences limit an organisations ability to align, learn, adapt and keep employees engaged in the right work at the right standard for customers.

Why Worry About Employee Experience?

For many service organisations, the cost of labour is the largest part of cost. For too long the focus has been reducing the cost of that labour or eliminating it rather than improving productivity. Often costly investments in innovation to eliminate labour mean swapping low cost labour for technology engineers and other specialists who manage and adapt the labour saving technology. The benefits of a focus on employee experience can actually become more obvious to organisations after automation.

We can’t hire perfect employees. Knowledge, talents, skills and experience is unevenly distributed and hiring processes can’t achieve perfect selection. Even if we could hire perfect employees they need to organise, learn and adapt. Even if your perfect employee could learn and grow as required they still need to work with others. Employee experience tools become the basis of an ongoing improvement in connecting employees, sharing information, solving problems and scaling learning and innovation.

Making Everyday Work More Valuable

Organisations often overlook the value of investment in the experiences of employees in everyday work. Big exciting projects like innovation management or product delivery get more focus on process and systems than the resources required to answer a customer call. The real benefits of employee experience focus is in the scale and impact of small changes in the latter work. Better aligned, better engaged, better informed and supported teams are happier, more productive and better performing. Focus on the everyday work and you will discover exponential step changes in business performance given the scale of these interactions and the direct connection to customer outcomes.

I have been advocating for over a dozen years that tools like Yammer can help employees connect, share, solve and learn more effectively in their work. Connecting individual employees into communities at enterprise scale makes this a performance superpower and an engine of customer success. Microsoft clearly agrees as they have announced on 14 February that Yammer will be fully renamed as Viva Engage become the enterprise communication and engagement layer of Microaoft’s Viva suite of employee experience solutions.

Yammer/Viva Engage is now plumbed deeply into Microsoft’s vision for the future of everyday work, adding value to hourly use tools like Microsoft Teams, Outlook and more. Excitingly this vision promises more investment into the roadmap of how to support better everyday work experiences for all employees.

Employee experience is not just a communication challenge. Great employee experiences focus on aligning and connecting employees, improving the flow of information through transparency, sharing of expertise and enhanced findability, improving systems and solving problems in process and systems across the enterprise that impact employees and their ability to deliver for customers. All of those capabilities are enabled today in Viva Engage in Microsoft Teams or on web. Backing that capability with the right community support & leadership will take you to the next level of performance.

If you want to better deliver for customers, more effectively deploy your employees and deliver better engagement, you need to be investing in your employee experience. If that is something new to your organisation, the best day to start is today. There are plenty of solutions and so many resources at hand to help.

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