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How does employee experience affect the company's success?

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Employee experience and the success of the company

What is employee experience? The term Employee Experience comes from marketing and describes the customer's experience in contact with the company: from the moment of entering the store, visiting the site (interview), and ending with purchase and service (leaving the company).

These are all the impressions that the customer (employee) receives daily in contact with the company.

Many HR professionals today believe that creating a positive employee experience is their top priority. From customer experience to employee experience.

The concept of "customer experience" is born from the understanding that a satisfied and happy customer becomes a brand ambassador and advocate. According to the same principle, it is argued that the opinion of an employee who is satisfied with his work experience in the company becomes a tool for promotion.

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, argued that a successful organization should look after its people first, then its customers, and lastly its shareholders. Why is this so important?

Symmetry of attention

In cases where the manager requires employees to be attentive and special to their customers, it is assumed that the employees themselves are treated in the same way. This is called "attentional symmetry."

It's not so much about fairness as it is about logic and efficiency. Recommendations for communication with customers often boil down to the fact that you need to respond quickly, carefully treat each request, and necessarily offer a solution. If an employee within his organization does not see and feel the same approach to himself, difficulties and problems arise in internal communication. This will inevitably lead to a decrease in work efficiency. The "Do as I say, not as I do" rule is known to not work.

A company with an empathetic, dynamic and proactive approach to management naturally and easily develops a caring attitude towards customers.

The employee is a client of the HR department

This idea is not new: every good manager knows that it is most effective to show by example. However, the fact is that HR personnel are beginning to monitor, measure, and discuss the "employee experience". And now this direction is separated as a separate area that needs to be worked on.

In today's increasingly service-oriented economy, relationships are becoming a key asset for companies that can build relationships.

Organizations can no longer ignore the emotions and impressions of customers and employees, it becomes part of marketing and promotion.

Thus, today your employee is not only a specialist providing a service, but also a brand advocate. Thus, today your employee is not only a specialist providing a service but also a defender of the brand.

The wide transparency that has appeared in our lives thanks to digital tools has led to the fact that every opinion and review can become visible to a large number of people.

Subordinate or partner

The role of the HR specialist in the company changes with the development of the market. He no longer manages a group of subordinates.

Today, he must care for project team members who are in partnerships rather than vertical relationships with their management. He should be interested in challenges, problems, and desires and support the team so that everyone shares the goals with the organization as a whole.

In addition, with the emergence of the opportunity to work with freelancers, outsourcing employees, and external consultants, the question arose of how to combine separate and independent work units into a team.

Improving the employee experience should be one of the top priorities for your company's HR department.

One of the tools is the implementation of an understandable and intuitive personnel management system, which will allow the employee to trace his path in the company, feel his participation in an organized and careful corporation, get quick answers to his wishes, learn new skills and to plan his professional development.

HR communications must become HR marketing

Bernard Duperin from Emakina France, a recognized specialist in digital transformation, spoke very interestingly about the approach to HR at the marketing level when it is not the marketer in the usual sense who deals with it, but the recruiter himself.

Where is the chief marketing officer in human resources?

HR marketing is not the same as HR communication. On the client-side, we can sometimes observe a specialist who combines both functions, but it is obvious that on the HR side, we usually only deal with communication.

Communication pays attention to the purpose of message delivery, marketing to the actions taken as a result of the message. One says "this is good", the second "subscribe". There are world-renowned businesses whose products are unknown, as well as the opportunity to become a customer. That is, the brand is famous, but are all the products famous?

Same thing with recruiting. Communications - "I know the company exists and they have values", and Marketing - "they have a project that I can see myself in, and they have a vacancy that I need to respond to".

Employer brand and employee experience

To date, from an HR perspective, companies have communicated using two wildcards – brand and proposition. A brand usually has a more or less stable list of values and pluses that make the business acceptable to the employee. The proposal represents an open path to a final deal. Sometimes with some counterproductive strategic actions.

Consumer marketing figured this out a long time ago. Too strong a generalization is not good: you need to segment and qualify the task as much as possible to effectively apply forces in the right place.

It has also recently become clear that behind the products and services provided to the consumer is a "buying" experience. That is, remaining at the level of consumption, HR communications do not reach the level of employee experience.

Focusing the HR function exclusively on the user

Monsieur Duperin often makes a connection between the digitalization of the organization and its reorientation to the needs of the end-user. In the sense that if the end-user is happy, then that's what we should work for, regardless of how the employees performing the service feel.

How can anyone assume that a candidate doesn't use the same logic when researching and making employment decisions that they use when choosing a consumer product? It can be assumed that the level of exactingness, skepticism, and detail will be even higher due to the importance of the subject of choice than most everyday consumption decisions.

In short, the candidate buys, of course, not the job, he "buys" work experience in the company, and all this becomes more and more obvious with each difficult-to-fill position or with new generations of employees who are no longer bought by words without evidence.

A marketing approach to the candidate is a must

In summary, it all boils down to the fact that a marketing approach is needed in HR. An approach that is expressed in the following:

  • Where communications segment audiences, marketing is actively targeted;
  • Position and company are products with a value proposition and transparent obligations, and contracts. The employer's value proposition is no longer effective at this time;
  • Taking into account the concept of the employment process from A to Z: unknown, target (targeting), a candidate who must be suitable for the company while working in it. We don't waste time talking, we make the event happen;
  • The concept of knowledge - first a candidate, then an employee;
  • The concept of personalization is based on personality knowledge. Personalization of approach, offer the position, and communication. Customization of the experience that should continue when an employee is accepted into the company;
  • The concept of a holistic approach is when the experience is adapted in all directions. For example, did you know that more and more candidates want to be able to send resumes via mobile devices, and manually downloading resumes and job descriptions are considered obsolete;
  • The point of contact concept: who to mobilize, how to ensure that all contacts are established with candidates with the necessary experience. What do we apply / meaning for each touch point;
  • The concept of programming/advertising strategies;
  • The need to convey the message in the tone and format that will be most effective for each direction and target audience.

Bernard doesn't mention much, but one thing is absolutely clear – HR departments must continue with the real marketing and candidate experience, and go beyond their usual HR communication. 

Will marketing break through HR? Why not! Bernard believes that part of the future of HR will have to transform into a marketing function if the passivity of HR functions is not to one day face an insurmountable obstacle.

About the author

Kaarina Nieminen, Writer at Business Value-Oriented Principles

Kaarina Nieminen has worked as an HR specialist in numerous Finnish organizations. Today, she is already a manager in a large corporation and does her best to create a favorable business culture.

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