The world is changing, and so are the expectations of the 21st-century employee! There’s no singular reason for this change, rather, it’s a result of several factors: an increasingly globalized world, changes in people processing information and communicating spurred by the escalation of the internet, and the world-wide economic growth of the past three decades.
Employee experience is the culmination of all the interactions that employees have during their journey with an organization. In essence, it begins when a candidate applies for a role and extends through their entire lifecycle. Employee experience, and all of its components, encompass multiple areas and can be viewed from several perspectives—it’s the culture of an organization, the technology, and the work environment. It’s also the employee’s impressions and perception — gathered through their thoughts, observations, and feelings about their experience within the organization. Lastly, it includes a personalized journey between the employee and organization to shape the experience—making employees experience a comprehensive way for employers to leave a positive impact on their workers through a number of touchpoints.
Although employee experiences touch on factors like engagement and recognition, those factors, although critical, are just pieces of it. Employee experience requires a broader lens and the effort of the entire organization.
What does the employee experience of the future look like?
It’s easy to imagine the bar for experiential needs continuing to rise for the decades to come, but is that the realistic outcome? It’s hard to tell.
"Employee experience drives customer experience. Investing in employee experience can have a positive ripple effect over time that extends beyond the walls of an organization"
The future of work is powered by new technologies that are introducing increased automation and digital capabilities. All these advances impact the employee experience and challenge companies to think differently about it. Ways of working are changing, and organizations can capitalize on this by personalizing the employee experience and meeting the requirements of a diverse workforce. Leveraging AI can also uncover insights that will inform best practices and create best in class experiences for the future.
In addition, the evolution of employee experience is manifested in the desires of the modern employee, who wants a job that not only pays the bills, but one that fulfills deeper existential needs: giving them a sense of purpose, a connection to something larger than themselves, and the freedom to contribute to that entity in a way that doesn’t conflict with their own beliefs or sense of self.
For the first time in history, many workplaces now have employees that range in age from 18 to 80 working together under one roof. Different generations have different needs and career goals, and it’s important to create a compelling employee experience to foster collaboration and engagement across generations.
Unlocking the true potential of your employees is an art. You have to free yourself from all biases – and keep learning to get better at it. While it’s a challenge to predict exactly what the future of the employee experience is going to look like, one constant will undoubtedly remain a focal point for the years to come—today’s workforce craves purpose, freedom, and coworkers they’ll actually enjoy. Creating an inclusive environment where employees feel empowered to do their best work drives their experience will never go out of fashion even as workplace technology continues to innovate and evolve.
Employee experience is so individual; it’s important to allow for cognitive diversity, including diversity in thought, ideas, and problem-solving approaches.
Investing in employee experience is an organization’s commitment to getting it right. It’s intentional, and it ensures that employees’ needs and expectations are being addressed. Focusing on the root cause of irritants and continuing to put resources into what’s working will drive positive returns. Employee experience drives customer experience. Investing in employee experience can have a positive ripple effect over time that extends beyond the walls of an organization.