Every company should be looking at how to optimize the Employee Experience (EX) for its workforce. When companies prioritize delivering services and support to employees in well-designed, friction-free ways, employees become more productive and better positioned to provide an optimal Customer Experience (CX) to customers. A vast majority of employees—90 percent—say that when they feel satisfied with their workplace, their productivity improves by at least 25 percent, according to a 2021 study from Fellowes Brands. Creating a world-class Employee Experience (EX) in the workplace revolves around helping employees do their jobs faster and more confidently—you have to master Employee Experience (EX) to elevate Customer Experience (CX). With improved experiences, employees are able to reduce the chance of human error, and not become frustrated by avoidable pain points.
Most organizations focus tremendous resources on improving Customer Experience (CX). The same thought processes and deliberations that shape Customer Experience (CX), however, also can and should be used to shape Employee Experience (EX). Just like with Customer Experience (CX), Employee Experience (EX) should involve close collaborations between business and IT teams within an organization. While the business side conceptualizes the workflows for improving Employee Experience (EX), it is the IT side that’s responsible for figuring out how to build, test, and maintain these workflows—typically using an encompassing, integrative platform like Salesforce. Let’s explore the four key steps that IT and business teams within an organization should be taking to build an optimized Employee Experience (EX):
Identify EX pain points
Neither business nor IT teams can really understand how to improve EX until they understand the biggest sources of frustration and the most time-consuming aspects of employees’ jobs. Business and IT teams should be collaborating together to identify, study, and prioritize these issues. Because different types of employees encounter different pain points in the course of doing their jobs, it’s important to map out key workflows for multiple personas. For each persona, the goal is to identify the specific points in the persona’s workflows where EX could be improved. Once these EX journeys have been mapped out, the business and IT teams can analyze them and look for similarities and points of overlap; these areas should become priorities for where to improve EX. For example, if multiple personas typically turn to a self-service portal for help solving a specific issue, the organization should be focusing on where users tend to get stuck or confused or feel uncertain about how to proceed—and then conceptualize EX solutions for streamlining and automating these pain points.
Engage end users early and often
Developing ideas for improving EX should not be done in a vacuum. As business and IT teams conceptualize ideas, they should be going directly to end users for feedback early and repeatedly. One of the most strategically important things that business and IT teams can do is develop clarity first on what they’re trying to achieve; this will help end users understand the rationale and thinking behind the proposed changes. For example, if a key pain point is that sales reps are having difficulty generating and getting approvals for custom sales quotes for customers, the goal of rethinking this workflow would be that sales reps can consistently deliver same-day quotes to customers. By articulating this goal to end users, end users will be able to offer suggestions and critiques that will help the organization realize this goal, instead of going off on a tangent and asking for, for example, a cosmetic refresh to the CPQ (configure price quote) system that has nothing to do with sales reps’ difficulty using the system.
Simplify access to the data employees need
In every organization, data that should be widely accessible to departments across the organization tends to be siloed. By simplifying access to your data, you are making it findable, transparent, and available so that employees can spend their time DOING THEIR JOB instead of thanklessly trying to understand or access exhaustive or permission-restrictive data. The root of the problem is that most data sets—sales, finance, customer service, order fulfillment, and so forth—are stored in disconnected systems. Teams are so protective of their data and so fearful of security vulnerabilities that the data aren’t accessible to anyone. Indeed, in many cases, other teams don’t even know the data exists. Thus, it’s incumbent on business and IT teams to work together to inventory data sets and work proactively on behalf of the end user to make these data sets accessible. Significantly, care should be taken to demonstrate to the owners of the data that the data will not be at risk and, moreover, that other teams will benefit in tangible ways from access to the data. Meanwhile, business and IT teams should work together to figure out how to optimally unify and serve up data sets from multiple sources on a single, integrated platform like Salesforce.
Measure outcomes and adjust accordingly
An important side benefit of modernizing and automating EX is that the technology that enables these changes also enables outcomes to be measured. Workflow management platforms like Salesforce are designed from the ground up to continuously gather data on usage rates, user satisfaction rates, and productivity/time to complete specific tasks. Business and IT teams should be working together to review the data and decide how to tweak or expand the EX and, ultimately, CX over time. These insights also can help inform which aspects of EX or CX to prioritize working on next.
When business and IT teams come together to evaluate and redesign workflows for employees, the sky’s the limit for enhancing EX. This is a win-win not only for your employees but for your end customers who will reap the benefits that internal optimizations will bring to the services and products you provide to them. As we discussed above, business and IT teams should start down this path by identifying EX pain points that frustrate end users. Then, business and IT teams should be getting early and repeated feedback from end users on their ideas for improving EX, building infrastructure that enables data to be shared across teams, and carefully tracking outcomes and adjusting accordingly.
Simplus specializes in helping organizations bring together their business and IT teams to work toward optimally improving Employee Experience (EX) to drive a more ideal Customer Experience (CX) for their customers. To learn more about how we empower companies to create an Employee Experience (EX) that enhances workplace satisfaction, please reach out to Simplus today. We look forward to showing you how to build an Employee Experience (EX) that’s every bit as engaging and well-designed as the best Customer Experience (CX).