Exceptional customer experience is only a dream without the most important element: The right workforce. That’s why happy employees — and the concept of employee experience — is attracting increasing attention in the workplace.
As Arke CMTO Chris Spears explained, “To create the best brand experiences, you have to incorporate all of your stakeholders — customers, partners, distributors, vendors, and, perhaps most importantly, your employees. It’s important to consider your employees as at least equal to your most important external customers.”
Happy Employees = Happy Customers
It’s a simple concept. Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your clients and customers. One of my favorite stories involves Southwest Airlines, which notably hires “happy people.”
But it also works to keep happy employees. In order of importance, Southwest ranks employees first, customers second, and shareholders third.
“We believe that if we treat our employees right, they will treat our customers right, and in turn that results in increased business and profits that make everyone happy,” the airline explains in a blog post about its company culture.
From Customer Journey to Employee Journey
Journey maps build empathy and understanding. By mapping the ways your customers and other stakeholders interact with your brand, you gain clear and accurate insights into the quality of your brand experience. Journeys identify successes as well as pain points and provide insight on what you can do to better your brand experience
A customer journey map template is a matrix of customer acquisition and retention stages.
Since I regularly create customer journey maps, I was eager to create an employee journey map. I knew the employee journey would look similar to a customer journey.
However, I didn’t expect it to look exactly the same. But that’s what I discovered when I created my first Employee Journey Map.
Here are the Employee Journey stages I mapped:
A Look at the Employee Journey
Customer journey maps focus on activities such as marketing and sales. If you take a customer journey map and swap out marketing for human resources and sales for hiring manager, you’ve got yourself an employee journey.
To further illustrate the point, let’s pick a few highlights from the employee journey and see how it mirrors the customer journey.
It’s easy to draw parallels between the attracting and nurturing stages. So let’s jump ahead to conversion.
The conversion stage demonstrates the “ease of doing business” with your company. It comprises the physical effort, the emotional effort, and time involved in becoming a customer
That same score can also be used to measure the ease of bringing a new team member on board.
Then consider the retention stage, the most overlooked stage of the journey. You need to properly onboard new employees to set a positive tone for the relationship. Then you have to build trust and loyalty to retain them.
Toward More Human Workplaces
Employee experience is fast becoming a workplace imperative in the digital era.
A more human workplace creates happier employees and also helps resolve retention, recruitment, and culture management challenges, according to the 2018 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey
Now in its sixth year, the survey found “HR is embracing a new era focused on making the individual employee experience as human as possible — and forging the kind of employer brand that attracts and keeps the best people.”
Employee experience drives your customer experience. And it is a requisite for brand experience excellence.
How valuable is it to have your employees speak positively about you in recruiting new team members, treating your clients well, and contributing to a great culture? Would you like to talk through your employee journey with Arke? Email Margaret Wise.
Atlanta-based Arke develops strategies and implements digital technologies for better brand experience for your customers.