Why Employee Experience is Just as Important as Customer Experience

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In the dynamic and competitive landscape that is the modern workplace, organisations are recognising the pivotal role played by employee experience. While customer experience has traditionally taken centre stage, forward-thinking companies are now acknowledging that employee experience is equally critical.

The focus of CX has traditionally been to ensure a positive relationship between a customer and an organisation to foster loyalty, promote advocacy of your brand, and improve retention. Employers and businesses are now alert to the fact that good employee experience functions similarly: it makes people want to work for your organisation, champion your organisation, and ultimately, stay with your organisation. 

The shocks of the great resignation, of quiet quitting, and the growing calls for a four-day week have caused many businesses to rethink their approach to employee experience; to find a new solution to the problems of retention, engagement, and productivity.

Delivering a strong employee experience, as with CX, requires ensuring that from the very first touch point – and with employees this is typically during recruitment and onboarding – to the end of their interaction with you as an employer, they feel empowered and engaged as members of your workforce. Doing so requires strategy from HR and buy-in from every element of the company.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why investing in employee experience is not only beneficial but also essential for long-term business success. By prioritising the needs, satisfaction, and well-being of their workforce, companies can foster a positive organisational culture, boost employee engagement, and ultimately also enhance customer experience.

But first, let’s define what employee experience is.

What is Employee Experience?

Employee experience refers to the overall journey and interactions an employee has with an organisation throughout their employment, from recruitment to departure. It encompasses various aspects such as the physical work environment, company culture, management practices, career development opportunities, work-life balance, and the overall support provided by the organisation.

It is not simply the perks of working at an organisation, or what the day-to-day reality of the job looks like, but the sum-total of these various elements, and the way they intersect. It is way employees interact with HR, their feelings towards senior leadership, their engagements with their tasks and with their customers. It is every aspect of what it is to work at your company. And this is why it is so important: no single element can be promoted above others; no single element can be forgotten or discounted. To create a strong experience for your employs and for your workforce, every aspect of working for your company must be fine-tuned and improved. Every insight you can glean must go towards making that experience better. 

This is why it can be so valuable to think of employee experience in the same way that you consider CX: no business would consciously accept elements of their customer experience to be sub par or lacking; they would immediately understand how this could impact customer satisfaction and endanger that relationship. 

Employee experience must be viewed in that same lens: it is not a single sprint towards a finish line, a discrete task to be accomplished, but rather a continuous and ongoing journey of improvement, refinement, and new ideas. It is a process that requires thought and strategy and relationship building, not unlike customer service. 

If that sounds like hard work, that’s because it is. And for many businesses who have always operated with the implicit mantra that ‘the customer is always right’, it can be challenging to extend that level of thinking to your employees. But you should, and there are clear benefits for those who do.

Let’s look at what those are. 

The Benefits of Good Employee Experience

Enhancing Organisational Culture

A positive and engaging organisational culture is the cornerstone of a successful business. By prioritizing employee experience, organisations can foster an environment where employees feel valued, empowered, and motivated. When employees have a sense of belonging and purpose, they are more likely to be enthusiastic about their work, leading to increased productivity and innovation. Furthermore, a strong organisational culture promotes collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and teamwork, enabling employees to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

 Employee Engagement and Retention

Investing in employee experience is crucial for improving engagement and reducing turnover rates. Engaged employees are emotionally committed to their work, go the extra mile, and take ownership of their responsibilities. When employees are satisfied with their work environment, compensation, benefits, and opportunities for growth, they are more likely to remain loyal to the organisation. This, in turn, reduces recruitment costs, minimizes disruptions, and ensures business continuity.

Moreover, organisations that prioritise employee experience often enjoy a positive employer brand. Satisfied employees become brand ambassadors, attracting top talent and enhancing the organisation’s reputation. Companies that neglect employee experience risk damaging their employer brand, leading to difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled individuals.

 Impact on Customer Experience

Employee experience has a direct and significant impact on customer experience. Satisfied and engaged employees are more likely to provide exceptional service, going above and beyond to meet customer needs. They act as brand advocates and deliver positive interactions, leaving a lasting impression on customers. Conversely, employees who feel undervalued or unengaged are unlikely to provide the level of service that exceeds customer expectations.

 Employee experience is especially critical for customer-facing roles, where employees directly interact with customers. These employees are the face of the company and act as brand ambassadors. When they are happy and engaged, their positive energy is transmitted to customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. On the other hand, dissatisfied or disengaged employees may deliver subpar customer service, resulting in negative experiences that can damage the company’s reputation and impact customer retention.

 Driving Innovation and Business Growth

A strong employee experience can be a catalyst for innovation and business growth. When employees feel supported and encouraged to share their ideas, they are more likely to contribute to the organisation’s growth and success. Organisations that value employee experience create an environment where employees feel safe to take risks, think creatively, and propose innovative solutions. These organisations often foster a culture of continuous improvement, adaptability, and agility, enabling them to stay ahead of the competition.

 Building a Better Employee Experience

In the contemporary business landscape, the significance of employee experience cannot be overstated. Just as customer experience has long been a focus for organisations, employee experience is now recognised as a crucial driver for business success. By prioritising employee satisfaction, engagement, and well-being, organisations can create a positive organisational culture, reduce turnover, enhance customer experience, and drive innovation.

As companies increasingly realise the integral role of their workforce, investing in employee experience is not only a strategic move but also a moral imperative, ensuring the success and sustainability of the organisation in the long run.