HUMANS ARE AWESOME
Written by: Hanadi El Sayyed
Like Customer Experience (CX), Employee Experience (EX) is the sum of all interactions that the workforce has with the organization and what defines their relationship with the business. It encompasses every interaction employees have, from their first contact as a potential recruit, and continues throughout their tenure, and does not finish when they exit.
While companies are investing billions in improving the customer experience (CX) and for all the right business reasons, the leading ones are discovering a secret ingredient that almost doubles the impact, the Employee Experience (EX). And if this is not enough a good reason to start investing in EX now, I don’t know what is.
Source: Accenture, Forrester, Gallup
These leading global organizations have realized that doing EX right provides them and their business with a competitive advantage and hence are making EX a strategic priority and a core constituent of their HR digital transformation strategy and allocating it the necessary budgets. What’s interesting is that they didn’t have to reinvent the wheel when adding the EX dimension. Because of the striking similarities between CX and EX, what they are actually doing is they are using their CX playbooks and adapting them to achieve EX excellence (they are applying a human-centered approach to design the employee experience and the relevant journey maps and employee personas; implementing digital platforms that manage the employee journey and its stakeholders; using NPS or CSAT to measure employee satisfaction and loyalty, and finally applying people analytics to generate insights and continue improving and innovating).
The convergence of EX to CX has finally arrived, and it is proving to improve value tremendously for the company, the employees, and the customers.
“Convergence of EX to CX has finally arrived, and it is proving to improve value tremendously for the company, the employees, and the customers.”
How far or close are business leaders in the Middle East from recognizing the significance of this convergence? As the MENA region embraces the Experience Economy, organizations can no longer deliver only products and solutions – they need to provide enhanced experiences. And it is the UAE’s transport and logistics and retail sectors that are leading MENA’s customer experience solutions market to reach a record high of $800 million, according to a recent report by Micro Market Monitor. It is very exciting to see that some companies in these sectors are ahead of the curve: they understand the value that can be delivered by making Customer Experience (CX) and its improvement a key component of their corporate strategy and are committing themselves to a broad customer experience transformation to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction and therefore profitability. Digital is the key descriptor of these transformation efforts across the board, with the customer at the core. As a result, they are leading the way in their thinking and will be the first ones to reap the benefits of CX programs.
Despite these promising advances, these organizations are still missing on the oversized impact of the EX side of the formula on business performance. Even when they commit to talent as a critical pillar to enable their overall business strategy and deliver on their vision, what their business and HR leaders yet have to crystallize how their broader HR strategy will enable their customer strategy and the resultant impact on business performance.
The above, in my view, is the missing piece.
Taking cue from companies who have been successful in decoding this, the answer becomes simple: start by making EX the linchpin of the HR digital transformation, with the people at the core just as the customer is the heart of the CX digital transformation effort. Simple, yes, but not easy, especially for members of the HR tribe who will be required to rapidly upskill on new capabilities like design thinking, business acumen and stakeholder management, technology and people analytics, marketing, communications, etc. HR digital transformation is not a mere technology solution implementation exercise. It is an overhauling program that touches the core of how HR thinks and operates in business and customer context. It’s a steep climb but certainly a rewarding one.
On the bright side, the above present an incredible opportunity for CHROs in the region, and perhaps one of a lifetime, to finally become the value creators for their businesses (not because they have always wanted to be, but because they now are demanded to be by their businesses). And therefore, it is time that they give attention to EX and its improvement, and make it part of their HR strategy, and just like money pouring into CX, they too need to exercise their influence to ensure the necessary financial budgets are committed.
Everything starts with both business and HR leaders understanding the importance of the two disciplines – EX and CX – and their convergence so together they create compounded impact on performance. Making the connection between EX and CX is a recipe for competitive advantage. After all, it is proven that happier employees do make happier customers, which leads to better brand loyalty, increased sales, and more profit.
I’d love to hear how you are focusing on converging EX to CX to build the loyalty and satisfaction of your employees and customers if you have already started doing that. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about how you can leverage EX in your organization, please get in touch with us at &humans.
Hanadi El Sayyed
Hanadi El Sayyed has 18 years of experience as a Leader in Human Resources. Her career includes key HR leadership roles and professional consulting with large regional organizations. Her experience ranges from partnering with business to drive business strategies to ensuring the realization of organizational people visions through the development and implementation of future driven, fit for purpose HR practices.