Companies know they need to be better in tune with what people at work want and need – whether triggered by the demands of COVID-19, hybrid working plans or from the ongoing reality of competing on talent in the experience-based economy. We can venture to say that empathy is on the rise at organizations, and that is a good thing.
A more empathetic stance, of course, comes with a higher expectations for action. Employees feel more heard and expect better experiences from it. In turn, Boards, CEOs, and shareholders expect the organization to deliver on employees’ most important needs as a matter of good business strategy.
This growing consensus from all stakeholders is encouraging. At the same time, it puts leaders that own Employee Experience in the spotlight. They are under high-performance expectations and tight timelines for making real impact. Without near-term results, attention and investments risk getting diverted. Worse still, valued talent might seek better experiences elsewhere.
This is a crucial moment where budding EX teams will either ascend into the short list of value-creating functions in their organization or be side-lined for a few years.
The Experience Intelligence Breakthrough
The volume of experiences happening and diversity of people having them at organizations are overwhelmingly large, so how can EX leaders quickly converge on where they are most likely to achieve measurable impact?
Organizations need to build better Experience Intelligence. They need better visibility into the actual experiences people are having with the organization. Better experience intelligence starts with shifting to a new experience-based paradigm to capture data that reflects the complexity of human experiences, allowing a rich and insightful analysis on the back end.
This data framework captures a high-fidelity picture of an individual’s experiences at the point of interaction. Notably, it differs from existing employee listening approaches such as engagement or pulse surveys in that it is specifically designed to capture experience data.
While engagement tools are useful to assess an individual’s degree of commitment to the company, they do not fit the purpose of telling the experience story. Surfacing the specific experience highs, lows, and gaps in the context of an individual’s interactions with the organization is a view that all organizations need but most lack.
The job matters
At TI People, we have applied our proprietary data framework to collect, organize and analyze over +1M experience data points. This unique dataset offers some noteworthy indicators towards more focused and prioritized EX efforts.
First, organizations should recognize that the majority of high impact moments happen throughout everyday work. Specifically, the “I Perform My Job” moment carries the greatest overall influence of all interactions a person has with the organization. The everyday beats infrequent moments, no matter how emotional or personal they may be. It also beats L&D, Performance Management and Mobility moments. Notably, these “Macro” HR moments often attract the most EX management attention despite their relatively lower influence.
Better EX Intelligence, Greater Impact
With that in mind, it is crucial that EX Leaders expand their perspective to encompass both realms of experience to deliver meaningful experience improvement for people and the business. Leaders should continue efforts to understand employees’ experiences of “Corporate Services” like HR, IT and Finance to ensure ease and efficiency throughout. Yet they also need perspective focused specifically on key job segments – as individuals do their everyday work. First-hand, job specific experience data reveals what matters most in day-to-day work and what stands in the way. EX and business leaders can then partner to identify and eliminate obstacles that inhibit performance.
Effective prioritization of EX efforts, and lasting commitment from senior executives to those efforts, demand an experience-centric dataset that reflects the gaps between people’s expectations and their experiences of work. By shifting perspective to a new paradigm, organizations will become increasingly more intelligent about the experiences that matter most to people at work. Better experience intelligence lays the groundwork for more impactful improvement efforts where they matter most.