Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist and Transformation Leader at ServiceNow, explained why businesses should strive to treat employees the same way that they treat their customers in her presentation to Argyle's CHRO membership at the 2018 Human Capital Forum: Employee Experience in the Digital Era in San Francisco on March 21. In her presentation, "Transforming the Employee Experience Through Service Delivery," Stroud discussed approaches to reimagine the employee service experience.
Today's consumers require fast, efficient support, and failure to meet consumer expectations may cause a company to fall behind its rivals. Meanwhile, employees demand the same level of support as consumers, and businesses that cannot satisfy employee requests risk missing out on opportunities to attract and retain top talent.
"Our consumer experiences … are the experiences that are driving the expectations in our workplaces. Yet our workplaces are not keeping up with consumer experiences," Stroud indicated.
Although companies frequently allocate time and resources to drive employee engagement, many businesses struggle to provide workers with "frictionless" experiences. In these instances, companies often use complex processes and systems that hinder employee engagement.
"Regardless of industry or size, [most] companies rate their business as highly complex or complex for employees," Stroud pointed out. "In many companies, there are complex systems that employees have to navigate to get the support that they need."
Investing in all aspects of the employee experience is key. If a company understands why employees may select one business over another, this organization can tailor its employee processes and systems accordingly. This company then can provide its employees with the support they need, precisely when they need it.
"We need to be able to provide service to employees in the way that they expect it."
In addition, employee experience investments may help a company further enhance its customer partnerships.
If employees are satisfied with a business, they may be more inclined than ever before to work hard to achieve the best-possible results for this company. As such, a company and its customers could reap the benefits of a highly engaged and motivated workforce.
"Investing in the employee experience pays off," Stroud said. "Great employee experiences lead to better engagement and better outcomes for customers."
Conversely, if a company fails to allocate time and resources to improve the employee experience, the ramifications could be severe.
A business that struggles to connect with its employees is unlikely to attract and retain top talent over time. In fact, employee churn typically is higher in companies that fail to partner with employees in comparison to businesses that do everything possible to bolster the employee experience.
"Most employees are going to leave very quickly if they feel like their experience is not meeting their expectations and if they do not feel like they can be at their very best [at a company]," Stroud noted.
The employee experience involves many elements, including culture, workspace and technology. A multi-tier approach to improve all aspects of the employee experience is crucial, as it allows a company to discover the best ways to connect with all workers, at all times.
"Employee experience is all encompassing … and it is not just about culture, workspace or technology. It is about the vibe that you get when you walk into a company," Stroud stated.
Technology should empower employees to achieve the optimal results. If a company finds out what types of technology that workers require to become productive and efficient, it can make the right technology investments for its workforce.
"We [need to] make it easy for employees to be employees … We need to provide [technology to help] employees," Stroud indicated.
Also, how a business builds its workspace can have far-flung effects on employee satisfaction and retention.
"Great employee experiences lead to better engagement and better outcomes for customers."
If a company creates a workspace that is conducive to employee engagement, it can make it simple for workers to connect with one another. That way, this business can drive employee engagement by providing workers with a workspace that matches or surpasses their expectations.
"The employee experience involves everything from how a workspace is laid out to standing desks or sitting desks, the types of chairs and amenities," Stroud said.
How a company supports its employees is vital. If a business understands its workforce, it can collaborate with its employees and find the best ways to support them. Then, this company can improve employee engagement and provide workers with memorable experiences. Perhaps best of all, this company may be able to differentiate itself to top talent both now and in the future.
"We need to be able to provide service to employees in the way that they expect it," Stroud noted. "We have to realize that our employees have a very personal journey at our companies, and every journey is unique."
Jen Stroud is an HR Evangelist and Transformation Leader at ServiceNow. In her role, Jen communicates the HR service delivery value proposition to HR leaders and teams, is a trusted HR customer advisor and works with organizations to identify opportunities to elevate their employee service experience. Prior to joining ServiceNow in 2014, she spent 10 years in HR at TTEC, a customer experience and strategy company, and most recently was the Executive Director of Human Capital Services.