Today, a company’s success is linked to the degree that its employees are satisfied. This is the quality of the Employee Experience: an element that companies are increasingly paying attention to.
“User experience is arguably even more strategically important inside the enterprise than out,” said Elizabeth Rosezweig, a User Experience consultant at Bentley University in Massachusetts.
Investing in the Employee Experience first and foremost increases corporate retention, which has become an absolute priority and a challenge to be addressed in the current environment. Investing in experience is also the best way to turn employees into ambassadors for your brand and, consequently, to make your company attractive to new talent. In short, it’s part of a virtuous circle that can deliver enormous advantages.
On the contrary, not dedicating the right attention to this area can result in excessive workforce turnover and damage to one’s reputation. Brutally translated: significant losses in turnover and market share. Neglecting the employee experience is a risk to be avoided.
The Employee Experience is the area within a B2E (Business to Employee) approach that focuses on employees rather than consumers (which B2C, “Business to Consumer,” deals with) or other businesses (as in the case of B2B, “Business to Business”).
We have dedicated this entire article to defining B2E.
The importance of the Employee
Before moving on to five examples of companies who are successfully applying B2E, let’s look at some data regarding the central importance of the Employee Experience.
- According to Glassdoor, about 70% of the U.S. workforce considers itself “disengaged,” and therefore not involved in the spirit and choices of the company. Among this group, 84% would consider changing jobs if they were offered a position in a company that was more attentive to their needs. The cost of this huge mass of disengaged employees, for the US alone is estimated at between $450 – $550 billion.
- 89% of employees think that their colleagues have changed jobs for financial reasons, but only 12% of these colleagues think that this motivation is the decisive one (Gallup’s data).
- Highly engaged employees tend to change jobs 87% less than disengaged employees (Corporate Leadesrhip Council data).
- 60% of U.S. workers say they have ways to provide feedback on their work experience, but only 30% of them say that this feedback has had a real influence on their employers’ choices (source: Qualtrics).
- Only 40% of the workforce say they know the objectives and strategies of the company they work for (source: Bain).
- 53% of HR professionals say that corporate engagement increases significantly when more attention is paid to on-boarding (source: SilkRoad).
- According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends Survey (which involved more than 10,000 business leaders and HR managers from over 100 countries worldwide) about 80% of respondents identified the employee experience (at all levels) in the workplace as “important” or “very important.” On the other hand, only 22% rated their company as “excellent” in this area.
- Companies with a high rate of employee engagement produce, on average, revenues 2.5 times higher than competitors with low levels of employee engagement (data: Korn Ferry).
How to improve the Employee Experience
The above data clearly demonstrates how fundamental it is for companies to invest in improving the Employee Experience of their workforce. The question remains: just how do you do it?
There is no valid recipe for every company but there are some general themes that are effective and valid at any level and in any industry.
First of all, it helps to combine the best practices and the most consolidated methods of marketing, customer care, and HR departments. Then embrace a data-driven approach, made possible by digital transformation: in this way, you can collect as much data as possible on employees, then divide it into coherent segments, just like you do with your customers. On the basis of this segmentation, you can communicate and share information in a way that is as tailor-made as possible, clear and simple, user-friendly, interactive, and multi-channel.
The real frontier in this sense, however, is that of personalization, at all levels: from communication and sharing portals (with personalized home pages), to benefits, to training opportunities (including online). This is the best way to put the employee at the center, which is, after all, the ultimate goal, the best way to increase loyalty and productivity.
Elizabeth Dukes, co-founder of iOffice, wrote: “You don’t make assumptions about what your customers want in your product or service, right? Then don’t make assumptions about what your workforce wants or needs. Ask them what types of resources, technologies and spaces they believe are critical for success and then make sure they have them. No one knows how to upgrade the employee experience better than your employees themselves.”
Now, let’s look at five examples of brands who have invested in employee experience, with benefits across the board. It will not surprise you to realize that, in all of these cases, the companies have focused on personalization.
1. Sephora – Cosmetics and technology
93% of millennials consider the availability of up-to-date technology to be one of the most important aspects in the workplace (source).
Sephora has realized this, and it provides retail employees with the most advanced technologies that can be personalized as much as possible (for more information see here).
The focus on technology is associated with training, with the Sephora University program, which is aimed at both frontline and corporate employees.
2. Southwest Airlines – The importance of the in-flight experience
Southwest Airlines is famous for its attention to customer experience. The secret to its success? Focus on your employees before you focus on your customers.
In 2017, Southwest announced it would be sharing $586 million in profits with its employees. As this article mentions, “The real secret to Southwest’s success is having one of the most highly motivated and productive workforces in the world. They are motivated by a sense of fairness that says, ‘We want your well-being to be tied to the company’s well-being because, after all, you are the company.’”
For example, in 2016, the company’s top management asked 48 of its crew members to help them design the new flight uniforms.
3. Starbucks – Employees who become partners
A clear example of how Customer Experience is linked to Employee Experience and how this influences brand reputation can be seen with Starbucks. The company is consistently at the top of customer care ratings and 87% of customers believe that this is directly influenced by the way the company treats its employees.
Starbucks has gone so far as to share some of its shares with its employees through the Bean Stock program.
4. Golf town – App to increase employee engagement
Golf Town is the top retail chain dedicated to the world of golf in Canada.
In 2017, it developed an app for employees to facilitate (increasingly tailor-made) communication between managers and frontline workers.
In this way, employee engagement has increased thanks to better interaction and the organization of events, promotions, and special offers. Five days after its launch, the application had already been downloaded by 78% of the workforce.
5. Doxee and personalized videos for Poste Italian
Doxee is a company that puts the customer-oriented and interactive approach at the center of its business where it serves companies in a variety of sectors.
For Poste Italiane Doxee created a campaign based on personalized videos. Each employee received a tailor-made video that presented the company’s benefit options. With this tool, individual employees were able to make decisions on the available benefits in just a few clicks, saving time and avoiding delays.
The campaign benefits the company, who is able to provide a personalized experience, and the employees, who are able to have immediate access to the information they need.
You can see how the benefits are reflected both on the front of the company and on that of employees, in a virtuous circle really effective.
Download the free infographic to learn more about employee experience and how to improve it with B2E marketing!