This article probably isn’t the first place you’ve seen the terms “Great Resignation”, “Great Reshuffle” or “Big Quit” on the internet, and from the looks of things, the battle to retail talent won’t settle anytime soon. The causes and effects of employee churn are complicated, but the bottom line for brands and organizations the world over is simple: employee expectations have changed, and workplace cultures’ view of the employee experience must change as well.
You’ve probably seen that writing on the wall ever since The Great Resignation kicked off in early 2021, but if you’re not sure where to start, we have you covered! Today’s conversation briefly touches on how employee experience (EX) programs can help you navigate employee challenges big and small, how EX initiatives interconnect with customer experience (CX) and how all of this can lead to meaningful Experience Improvement!
How We Got Here
The biggest assumption that a lot of the biggest brands have had going for many years is that customers are the most important part of an experience ecosystem. Customers are certainly vital, but we’re going to challenge that long-running assumption by saying that employees are actually an organization’s most valuable asset. Sure, happy customers help a strong bottom line, but passionate, bold, and invested employees are what encourage those customers to keep doing so. Employees are invaluable for creating the human connections that reinforce brand loyalty, which helps your organization stay at or reach the top of your vertical!
One of the reasons we’re seeing the Great Resignation play out so hard for so many companies is that, unfortunately, they didn’t view their employees through this prism. They didn’t adequately invest in employee support resources over a period of years, and when that lack of support came into focus during COVID-19, it was the last straw for many workers. A few other factors have contributed here too, but it all boils down to the fact that employees’ idea of a supportive workplace culture has rapidly changed.
The Rundown on Employee Experience
So, if employees are now expecting deeper and more consistent support from their workplaces, what’s the best way for brands to respond? The phrase “deeper and more consistent support” reads pretty simply on paper, but we all know that’s going to vary wildly from brand to brand, industry to industry. The truth is that there’s no one benefit, idea, or other silver bullet that will guarantee employee retention. Rather, organizations need to go deeper by carving meaningful intelligence out of their employee feedback, then acting upon it.
That advice sounds obvious enough, right? Well, you might be surprised (or not) to learn that a lot of brands and experience platform vendors consider gathering feedback the high water mark of program success, not acting on it. However, numbers and metrics alone aren’t going to get you the employee retention you need to create meaningful experiences—taking meaningful action is the only step that’s going to get you there.
So, with that in mind, shift your paradigm if you haven’t already to designing your experience program with the end in mind. Identify your retention challenges, build your feedback-gathering tools around those challenges, and analyze what your employees are telling you for insights to take action on. This approach differs significantly from what many brands have considered the norm for many years, where they simply inhale mountains of data and then try to scour all of it for any intelligence of value.
We’ve talked about how employee experience got here, what employees are expecting from their workplaces, and a top-level methodology for organizations to use as they work to close that gap. But as brands begin gathering data or take a moment to reassess how they’ve been doing it, what type of roadmap might be most helpful for them to stick to as they grow their EX maturity?
Well, we have the answer to that as well! Click here to read a full-length point of view article from expert Michael Lowenstein on the various levels of EX maturity brands can use these ideas to achieve, as well as what each stage of that journey means for your employees, your workplace, and even your customers. Best of luck on the road ahead!