EX needs to play catch-up with CX

  • Posted on June 3, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
CX vs. EX

This article was originally written by Avanade alumn Camille Baumann.

They are two faces of the one coin. “Employee experience” or “workplace experience” have yet to gain the notoriety, maturity of ownership, investment backing or commitment for continuous improvement as seen with “customer experience” (CX).

You can have great CX without great EX. But, most often when CX is poor, it is employee experience that has let us down. In other words, EX is a leading indicator of CX, so you might be throwing good investments after bad to continually support CX when a strategy to improve EX would have a cataclysmic effect.

As a marketer who is all too familiar with the KPIs associated with great CX, I wonder in the context of EX being the new CX, what should success look like.

What measurements and controls should be in place? I would like us to explore a governance framework on EX as a good starting point with the following 8 “C’s as dimensions”:

  1. Change is the constant. How resilient are employees to manage through change? Everyone has good and bad days and moods that fluctuate especially around life events: how people adjust to a restructure, a family death, a denied promotion. These major events impact on a macro and micro level. Competitive forces. Could Glassdoor and LinkedIn Reviews by talent be a consideration? EAP reports on employee mental health and need for counselling services – admittedly some employees need this support due to personal reasons. Are people excited about change? And what is to come? How people cope with uncertainty comes down to how the process of change is managed. Do people feel supported?

  2. Careers – Do employees have a clear career pathway or just a job beyond measuring lagging indicators of attrition, recruitment intake, employee satisfaction, appealing compensation models, promotion pathways if they don’t want to be people leader but are fantastic at their skills? How about Boomerangs – number of employees who come back after departure as well as number of people who have taken on different roles, i.e., job rotation.

  3. Culture - There is unclear charter as to who owns this and who should invest in this. Should it be the People and & Culture lead if there is such as role? Should it be HR? Or COO? Should there be a created role on employee experience? And can this be effective? My view is it is the board and C-suite/leadership. Culture is driven from the top. Led from the top. Underpinned by technology that facilitates great cultures with every employee. Measured by Unique Employee Referral by person as a percentage of employee population – the willingness of employees to advocate in context of head count growth could be one indicator. A great corporate culture could be the DNA to innovate or empowered to fail fast and learn in our volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA) world.

  4. Customer Impact Yes, CX is a KPI of EX however you measure that! Be it Net Promotor Scores (NPS), or customer satisfaction and retention or client advocacy. No body enjoys being part of a brand that has let customers down. According to MIT CISR, companies that score in the top 25% of employee experience achieve: Double the customer satisfaction and 2x the innovation in terms of percent of revenues from new products and services, ultimately, 25% greater profitability.

  5. Communications with aligned sense of purpose and transparency that builds trust. Is the organisation’s vision understood and aligned to a person’s reason for being? Is communication open and encouraged up and down as well as across organisational silos? Much like web traffic on .com, content engagement with the likes of attendees on townhall webcasts and intranet content via the latest Microsoft SharePoint allows for content engagement tracking much like external websites now. Content shared and engaged with. Much harder to track once something goes viral. But certainly, followers on the corporate page.

  6. Collaboration for innovation. Number of virtual teams a person contributes to internally. Teams allows you to see how many virtual teams a person contributes to. Could this be the way forward or too invasive especially if a lot of your work is done in person i.e. relationship selling. Maybe a future consideration coupled with security is the collaboration between clients and employees. Knowledge sharing. New ideas that are implemented.

  7. Community engagement, Or representation of a brand with any external volunteer program of work. This really is about work life balance and company purpose aligning with self. Do people have the choice, time and headspace to be involved in more than work. This is more than Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It can be personal brought into the professional

  8. Compensation. Lastly, the obvious one! But the hardest one to raise because of top and bottom-line impacts. But are you paying ahead of the market? Rewarding contributors fairly and equitably. Incentivising the most productive behaviours. All of this benchmarked cross industry not just in your industry given the world is seeing the lowest unemployment rates since the last crisis in 2008 (Source).

The employee or customer experience journey needs to be by design. Yet, neither are lineal or rigid by any stretch of the imagination. So how do organisations prepare for the ever-changing landscape?

Should the focus be on improving the end to end journey or focus be on creating star burst memorable moments?

Let’s face it, we are all balancing investments against time and then change. It should be memorable moments aligned with the customer/employee experience journey.

I have a lot of questions myself and not a lot of answers. Especially considering the future workforce being more remote, from anywhere, including robots. Keen to get your thoughts?

Avanade is unveiling a unique piece of research done with clients specific to how leading brands are measuring and improving workplace experience ……watch this space for more.

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