The Importance of Employee Experience

Companies have become aware that their employees are more involved at work when they are “pampered”. But not just in any old way, explains head of employee experience Bertrand Duperrin.

According to the report The Experience Revolution from IBM, 62% of companies in China, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States have decided to increase their employee experience budgets “to make it a priority”.  In addition, they were the first, 3 to 5 years ago, to appoint a head of employee experience to their board.

Today they are reaping the fruits: 74% of managers feel that their employees are committed to make customers happy and 74% find that employee morale decreases when customers are dissatisfied… These are signs of engagement that would make any employer dream!

But does this mean that we now have to build on employee experience to the detriment of customer experience?

Not so fast, responds Bertrand Duperrin, head of customer experience at Emakina, in the Journal of HR. He notes the natural tendency of organizations to first establish their foundations for IT, marketing and customer experience (“because it’s the customer that drives the business”), and then tackle employee experience.

Forget the foosball table

The French expert is nonetheless a strong advocate of employee experience. “There will be no customer experience without employee experience,” he likes to point out. He notes, however, that HR departments are are doing very poorly to consolidate it.

Too many HR departments are incorrectly interested in employee “well being” and with all sorts of things that are not about work. “What I often summarize as ‘installing a foosball and sauna next to the torture room’,” he quips.

“The main idea behind [the IBM study] is that a company working on [employee] experience must agree to review its internal gaming rules and the profile of its teams [must] change.”

The attention of HR staff should therefore focus on employee job description, the evaluation process, the management structure, how to interact with customers, etc. “Rethinking all this also lets the company take advantage of opening other projects, such as work flexibility, more collaboration and [redefining] workspaces,” explains Bertrand Duperrin.

In conclusion, let’s restate an item from the IBM report that illustrates the path that remains to be travelled for many companies in this subject: 41% of them still do not have a head of employee experience on their board!

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