Heading into the launch of Metrigy’s second-annual research study on how companies manage employee experience and engagement, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about defining characteristics of a mature employee experience strategy. This would need to entail people, processes, and technology, of course, but what specifically?
Here are the five primary characteristics of highly mature employee experience strategies.
The employee experience directive must come from the top level of the organization. Ideally, the CEO has made employee experience optimization integral to the company’s mission—and they’ll want to measure success and see a return on their associated technology investments. Additionally, a company with a highly mature employee experience strategy will have an employee experience officer—by role and responsibility if not by exact title—to guide and innovate on employee experience.
Companies with mature employee experience strategies provide all employees, including frontline workers, with access to their employee experience apps so they stay current on company news and feel engaged with the company and colleagues. This can be challenging, given that many frontline workers don’t have desks or corporate email.
Leading companies don’t merely duplicate what they provide to knowledge workers. Rather, they assess the particular needs of the frontline workers and deliver to those requirements. If encouraging rewards and recognition is a priority to stave off attrition, for example, a leading company will understand that frontline workers need to have a mobile app for that, since they’re typically deskless and have no corporate email, either.
An employee experience platform brings together a variety of tools and applications for helping companies achieve employee experience goals and centrally manage employee experience. Internal communications and engagement are typical capabilities, but an employee experience platform can comprise any number of other functions, as well. These might include voice of the employee/employee listening, rewards and recognition, collaborative goal setting, learning, and more. A platform approach provides a wholistic view and the ability to measure across the modules, whereas using point products provides a siloed perspective.
Companies leading on employee experience have the ability to understand how employees interact throughout the day with the digital environment. They do this by gathering employee activity and behavior data from company-provided devices, communications and collaboration applications, and enterprise social networks. But they don’t stop there. They analyze the data, and use the intelligence learned to inform near-term decisions or predict changes in business metrics such as engagement, productivity, and well-being.
Having a mature employee experience strategy doesn’t mean there’s no more work to be done. On the contrary: Not only are leading companies data-oriented, as noted above, they have processes and structure in place for continuous improvement. In Metrigy’s global Employee Experience & Workplace Engagement 2022-23 study, more than half (52.3%) of the 250 participating companies had refined an existing employee experience strategy to better account for hybrid workplace dynamics.
Employee experience is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so there are many other characteristics of a good strategy. These five, however, are the mark of maturity.