Over the past year or so, the phrase “employee experience” has barged its way into conversations about human resources and employee engagement. The more you see the phrase, the easier it is to dismiss as simply a new buzzword; repackaging the same old HR stuff under a new label. Don’t make that mistake.
The employee’s experience of work drives their engagement and that engagement level drives their performance. If we really want to find ways to sustain higher levels of employee engagement and performance, we need to design the work experience to be more engaging.
The importance of employee experience design
So much of our work with employee engagement is reactive. We field a survey to find out how employees are feeling, then we engage in a game of corporate whack-a-mole as we try to fix the issues.
But in far too many cases, we aren’t addressing the root causes. Designing the employee experience is where we as leaders and HR professionals can have the most influence and impact.
At its most basic, design is about bringing intention to the act of creation. It increases the likelihood that whatever you create (process, interaction, technology, product, etc) will have the desired effect on those who you create it for.
Employee Engagement asks the question: “How do my employees feel about the experience they are having of work?”
Employee Experience Design asks: “How do I want my employees to feel about the experience they are having of work?”
It’s a shift from playing defense to playing offense. For instance, if you want your employees to feel accepted and included at work, you’ll design the new employee on-boarding experience to ensure that they feel that way from the day they accept your offer.
Ask the right questions
Shifting our efforts in the direction of employee experience design represents a huge opportunity for those interested in improving engagement.
One of the first steps to take is to get educated about design. Design is a proven process that’s used in many disciplines including marketing and technology. It’s past time that we bring it to our work as well.
To start having an impact immediately, use these questions to evaluate the experience you are creating for employees:
- How do we want employees to feel about this?
- What can we do to make that happen?
These two questions will force you to clarify your intentions and then use those intentions to inform your actions.
When we learn to clarify and articulate the kind of experience we are committed to creating for employees, we will be a big step closer to making it happen.
Originally published at jasonlauritsen.com