Why You Need to Design Your EX Program Before Listening to Employees

The experience revolution has been in full swing for many years now, and many companies have taken that to mean they must set up listening posts wherever they can and gather whatever feedback comes through from customers and employees. While that proactivity and energy are great for achieving Experience Improvement (XI), there’s a step that comes before listening to employees. And the brands that follow that step get so much more out of their employee experience (EX) program. That step is design.

At first glance, some brands might take the term “design” to mean taking a few minutes to consider whether some listening posts are more important than others. That certainly factors into designing your program, but today’s conversation focuses on a few other ways in which hitting pause, gathering your teams, and concretely designing both your program and its desired outcomes will empower you to actually improve your employees’ experiences, not just manage them.

Mind The Gap

Before you activate any listening posts, gather both your EX team and stakeholders from beyond your department. You’ll need both groups to consider the first EX design element, and that’s where your company’s culture is versus where you want it to be. Having other stakeholders and teams in the room can alert you to employee culture breakages you might not have even known about. Plus, everyone should be allowed to say what they’d like to see in an ideal workplace. It’s everyone’s culture, after all.

One of the most important parts of this conversation (and a potential elephant in the room) is the state of employee trust within your organization. The amount of trust your employees put in your company and its leaders has a direct impact on how honest their feedback will be. It can be hard to accept when employees don’t trust a brand as much as you or leaders would like, but admit that factor if it exists and keep it in mind during subsequent steps. If employees broadly trust your organization, great! If you think there’s room for improvement, this design step can help you get there.

Consistently Listening to Employees

If this is your first EX program, or your first one in a while, it’s important to remember that employee experience is a continuous, long-term process. A lot of brands build their programs in one-and-done iterations instead of as a continuous cycle, which makes it much more difficult to stay consistent (and prove financial linkages between your actions and the company’s cultural successes).

So, with that in mind, design your program for the long haul. Carefully examine what successes you need your EX program to score for your employees, work with the wider organization to implement those goals in your program, and then get ready to press play. EX is a frame of mind, not a once-a-year event, and designing your program around that paradigm shift will get your company’s workplace culture to where it needs to be to both be fulfilling for them and to strengthen your bottom line.

Click here to learn more about our Success Framework. Our very own Stacy Bolger, an EX expert with decades of experience in the field, provides an in-depth look at designing and executing programs that can improve, not just reactively manage, your employees’ experience.

How Employee Experience Impacts Your Business

You’ve heard it time and time again: employees are your greatest asset for business success. 

We all know it’s true, but only a few experts can articulate (and prove) how the employee experience directly impacts the bottom line. And perhaps that’s why so many brands stick to the customer experience and fail to include employees in their efforts. The thing is, however, that the customer experience and the employee experience overlap in so many ways.

In the first episode InMoment’s “XI Expert Take” video series, VP of Global Employee Experience Stacy Bolger dives into that overlap and explains how businesses can leverage their employee experience for organization-wide success. Here are a couple of takeaways we want to highlight for you:

Lack of EX Investment Equals Significant Revenue Drainage

As a part of her role at InMoment, Stacy Bolger often visits brands to brainstorm solutions to their greatest EX challenges. Despite the fact that these brands span across industries and the globe, Bolger has found that she often sees the same phenomenon unfold: brands that don’t have a strategy in place to survey their employees lose money.

In her “XI Expert Take” episode, she uses the example of a call center to bring this point to life. In her story, call center agents regularly take the same call about a process inefficiency that causes customers frustration.

“Let’s say that [in that call center] 150 representatives take a call [for the same issue] twenty times per week. That comes out to three thousand times per week. At eight dollars per call, that now has translated to $24,000 a week on the same call. And when we annualize it? That comes to $1.2 million a year that we are spending on a single call type and a process that a frontline employee has the insight to fix, knows the solution to, and yet that brand simply does not have the process with which to gather that feedback.”

That’s right. If the brand in Stacy’s example simply surveyed its employees asking for insights about the customer experience, it could save over a million dollars! And though this situation is hypothetical, the same kind of revenue drain is all too real for brands that fail to invest in the employee experience and examine the voice of employee (VoE).

Failure to Listen to Employees Leads to Lower Engagement

Voice of employee initiatives definitely excel at removing customer-unfriendly processes, but they also are absolutely vital to keeping employee morale up and churn down. Why? Because employees who feel listened to feel valued, are more engaged, and are likely to stick around a lot longer.

Put yourself in your employees’ shoes. If you kept bringing up a recurring process or operations issue to your manager, but nothing was being done to fix that issue on a large scale, how would you feel? You’d feel small, you’d feel ignored, and you’d feel as if all the work you put in day after day amounts to nothing in the eyes of your employer. If you felt that way, would you stick around?

It’s safe to say that no one would enjoy that situation. And when unsatisfied employees leave, your organization loses tenured, passionate employees and a significant amount of money. In fact, turnover can cost a company about 33% of

an employee’s annual salary. How? Because when an employee leaves, the business has to take on multiple costs, including the cost to recruit and the cost to train! 

Putting a voice of employee program into place prevents this drainage. It creates a strategy with which brands can survey their employees about the customer experience. And when you combine strategic listening with advanced analytics that unearth trends in that data, you can alert the right teams within the company to take action and make change. 

When the employee sees a process they’ve flagged as an issue transformed into something more customer friendly, they feel like an imperative part of the organization (which, in truth, they are).

Tying Business Value Back to Employee Initiatives

In the rest of her episode, Stacy highlights other areas where employee initiatives excel, does some quick math to quantify the results, and tells you the steps you should take to get the ball rolling. 

But don’t take our word for it. You can watch the full twenty minute session for free here!

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