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Establish the foundation: This is how your company gets to be the best at employee experience

Author - Søren Smit. Director

Where on the agenda does employee experience (EX) rank in your company? Before you start working specifically with EX, it is necessary to know your point of departure. Take the test and discover the EX maturity of your company. Is there room for improvement or are you already the best?

Building an employee-centered organization is complex and time-consuming. The foundation is to ensure that focus and prioritization of the area are a continuous part of the organization’s DNA, culture and strategic focus.

Before you start working with EX as a strategic focus, it is important to make a conscious acknowledgment of where on the agenda employee experience currently ranks. This will tell you the EX maturity of the company. It will also make it easier for you to see where to start your efforts, where to find the low-hanging fruit, and which more long-term initiatives would be necessary.

We assess an organization’s EX maturity based on four general cornerstones, which are aimed at different operational aspects of the employee experiences.

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THE 4 CORNERSTONES OF EX

All four EX cornerstones are critical to the employee experience because they interact and are dependent on each other. However, this does not mean that the organization needs to focus on all of them simultaneously. You can certainly begin your EX transformation by focusing on the individual areas first – but in the end, all areas are important for being able to create a holistic employee experience.

It is our conviction that the areas should be anchored, owned and facilitated by the HR function; however, it is of course entirely critical that local anchoring and implementation efforts exist across the entire organization.

1. CREATE A STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK

The first cornerstone is about establishing certain strategic frameworks in the company. Success is only possible if the executive board and board of directors are prepared to work in a focused and committed way with EX. There must be a vision for the area and a program with initiatives that can ensure that the EX ambitions are realized.

Our analysis from 500+ organizations shows that mastering the strategic frameworks is of significant importance for whether the organization managed to make progress in this area over the last three years.

2. ESTABLISH A DATA-DRIVEN CULTURE

This cornerstone states that the foundation of any EX transformation should be data driven. During the course of the year, insights should therefore be collected about and from the employees in an intelligent rather then overly-frequent way. Insight from data, analyses and facts must be anchored in such a way that the whole organization wants to act and thus generate a real positive change.

Our EX survey shows that the organizations that perform ongoing measurements on the experiences across the entire employee journey and are able to act quickly and with agility to the insights were better able to improve the employee experience over the last three years.

3. IMPLEMENT A BRAND NEW WAY OF WORKING

In the efforts to take the employee experience to a new level, it is necessary to master some new techniques with respect to designing the best possible experiences. HR, managers, etc. must be trained in being able to perceive the organization through the eyes of the employees, so as to be able to assume a true outside-in focus.

Employee Journey Mapping, Design Thinking and hackathons are important methods in this regard. Another key focus is that the employee experience should be created together with the employees – and not for the employees from an ivory tower far from the real world.

Our surveys show that are still very few organizations that have uncovered the journeys and experiences of the employees in the organization and identified the critical moments, friction points, etc.

4. TRANSFORM THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

If you want to be best at employee experiences, it requires a massive transformational focus. The entire organization must be mobilized via ongoing EX education and training since the area can be considered a craft.

Therefore, it is not just HR but also other parts of the organization that must work with employee experience on an ongoing basis – c-level, middle managers, the team manager, the team and the individual employees play an important role in their own and their colleague’s wellbeing, engagement and experiences, as each owns different contact points across the employee journey.

According to our analyses from over 500 organizations, an organization's ability to continuously mobilize and support everyone in creating excellent employee experiences is the primary driving force for having managed actual significant improvement within employee experience over the last three years.

TEST YOUR COMPANY'S EX MATURITY

With a brief introduction to the four areas from which EX maturity can be assessed, you can now take the test and get a quick indication of the extent to which the employee experience is emphasized on your organization’s agenda. By assigning a score between 0 and 100 for each statement in relation to how much you agree, you will receive you overall EX score (EXCS) at the end, which shows your company’s EX maturity. EXCS is our overall score for an organization’s maturity in working with employee experience.

You can compare your EXCS with the benchmark from Ennova’s EX survey and gain insight into how you place relative to the average. In the survey, we asked over 500 HR managers about the degree to which their respective organizations work with different elements within the employee experience area. Among other things, the survey showed that the organizations that are in the top EXCS quartile have improved their employee experience over the last three years.

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Søren Smit. Director
Author

Søren Smit. Director

Søren Smit is passionate about employee and customer experience. He is head of Ennova’s EX and CX business development. He has worked for over 10 years with customer experience as a director and as the person responsible for establishing a data- and analysis-driven CX culture as well as a transformation of the customer experience at TDC Group.