Acorio’s 12 Days of Giving: Day Nine, a Video Conversation with Acorio’s Employee Experience (EX) Expert

It’s officially Day 9 of Acorio’s 12 Days of Giving! In case you missed any of the last nine days, allow me to catch you up to speed. So far, this year’s giveaways have included:

Today, we pivot to a new topic: Employee Experience. EX has been a critical priority for businesses this year as many companies scrambled to maintain their customer support and keep teams running efficiently while employees adjusted to working from home. This jump to remote work also challenged organizations to maintain employee engagement and extend full-stack support to their team, both in and out of the office.

For today’s giveaway, we sat down with our VP of Innovative Solutions, Adam Mason, to pick his brain on the basics of EX. Whether you’re an EX newbie or already have detailed experience-focused processes embedded in your organization, this 5-minute video is a great source of insight and inspiration heading into the new year.

**If videos aren’t your style, you can find a recap of Adam’s answers written below.

What is EX?

Employee experience (EX) is part and parcel of digital transformation, focusing exclusively on an organization’s internal employees. It’s really the pursuit of taking something that is tedious or complex for your team, and turning it into something that’s simple, automated, and also has intuitive, meaningful content. That can also mean incorporating omnichannel communication like phone, text, portal, email, or social, to better reach employees wherever they prefer to engage.

Why does EX matter so much right now?

Employee Experience matters a lot right now for all companies, primarily for attracting talent and retaining employees. There’s a really competitive job market, so retaining your top talent is critically important for most organizations today. A focus on EX also puts a focus on employee satisfaction, an internal measure of detractors and promoters within your company. (Externally, this can be measured on recruiting sites like GlassDoor.)

To sum it up, we’ve had a lot of fluid working conditions over the last 10 months, so the ability to deliver a better employee experience is critical to retaining your talent.

What has 2020 changed for EX?

There are three major things that have changed for EX this year. The biggest one: remote work. I don’t think we ever intended to go to remote work in the way that we have today. In the past, employers had experimented with the idea of working from home, but it wasn’t a concept they necessarily trusted. Now, though, their hands have been forced and we’ve found that people are still productive when working full time from home. This shift has changed how we think of EX.

Secondly, the overall transformation acceleration this year has changed EX. How employees are engaging is a critical component.

The last thing is that the focus on EX now extends much further than just in HR. With so many people bringing work into their homes this year, EX has had to become much more comprehensive. People are recognizing that EX also touches facilities, legal, and safe workplace practices – it’s all of these things together that comprise the full employee experience.

Where should clients start with EX?

The short answer is there’s no one place for an organization to start improving their EX. That’s because experience relies on a company’s culture, which differs wildly between, say, a manufacturing organization and a legal organization.

The EX that employees expect will be different depending on the supporting organization, but here are two fundamental practices that should be incorporated into every EX initiative:

  1. Talk to your employees. It sounds basic, but interviewing employees ensures that you have representative personas to actually capture the frustrations and needs of your team. Always listen to your people because that information will inform your decision on where you go with your Employee Experience transformation.
  2. Focus on the moments that matter. This can include parental leave, Covid-19 related leave, conducting benefit enrollment, onboarding new hires, or promoting existing employees. No matter your industry, focusing on providing seamless transitions for team members and making these key moments as easy as possible, is a sure-fire way to improve your EX.