Four Ways to Manage Your Employee Experience Like Customers

Employee Experience2 min read

Employee experience is more than just a buzzword in HR industry circles. In today’s cut-throat hiring market, it can mean the difference between business success and failure.

With the pool of unemployed professionals at an all-time low, recruiters have no other choice but to set their sights on qualified candidates who are already employed – namely, inside your own organization.

Your high performers are likely solicited regularly on networking sites like LinkedIn to consider making a job change. If your best talent leaves, it creates a domino effect of problems.

The costs to replace an employee are high and the process can be tedious – just as it was for the recruiter who poached them from you. Internally, the loss of a respected employee affects morale, and may have other employees wondering if the green is greener elsewhere. Depending on the departed employee’s role, the effect on the business could be profound. If it’s your top salesperson, it could mean a significant loss in potential profit.

So, how do you get them to stay? It’s not money. A recent Gallup poll found that only 22% of employees leave for a higher salary. It’s also not about the office ping pong table or yoga room – Glassdoor’s research found that office perks come in seventh in a list of the most important perks and benefits.

In a poll of nearly 1,000 consumers, 92% say they would stop purchasing from a company after three or less poor customer service experiences… and 26% would stop after just one bad experience. – Gladly’s 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey

That’s right – happy customers are loyal customers. And HR leaders are adopting a customer experience (CX) mindset to ensure their top employees stay. In fact, earlier this year, one savvy Forbes contributor called 2018 “the year of the employee experience.”

HR professionals have a tremendous opportunity to create a great employee experience.

Here’s four tactics CX pros use to retain customers and create loyal advocates – and how HR can replicate these for employees.

1.) Create a path for success.

Think about how many account managers your company employs, responsible for servicing customers. Your employee success team is actually bigger than your customer success team – it includes every single manager who has a direct report. Great managers don’t just oversee department goals and objectives. Their bigger role is to ensure each person on their team is successful AND growing, by coaching them in real time, helping them identify learning opportunities and giving them the right feedback to move them forward.

Manage Your Employee Experience Like Customers

2.) Listen and learn from them.

You don’t know what you don’t know. It seems like an obvious statement, but it’s an important one. We all know that sometimes things aren’t as they seem – we’ve all been surprised by an employee giving their two weeks’ notice only to discover they’d been unhappy for months. How can you avoid this? By getting in front of problems. Frequent, short pulse surveys help keep, well, a good pulse on how employees feel. But surveys alone aren’t enough. Ensure employees also have a trusted mentor and a supportive manager to turn to when they are frustrated.

3.) Promote them and their expertise.

No, we don’t mean doling out unwarranted job promotions. Businesses spend thousands of dollars on marketing for their customers, whether it’s on developing case studies, hosting webinars, securing speaking engagements… the list goes on. These activities are mutually beneficial as it positions the customer as a thought leader while also promoting the use of your product. Why don’t we take the same approach with employees? Nurturing employee advocacy is an untapped way to create loyal employees AND get the word out about how great you are as an employer. Seek out local speaking opportunities for your rising stars and submit leaders throughout the company for awards.

4.) Recognize them. All the time.

Retailers and restaurants continuously reward customers with discount codes and special offers. Employees should feel valued every day. Outdated recognition and rewards programs do little to motivate employees or make them feel valued. A real-time, social recognition program can recognize employees for the big – AND little – wins along the way. Trust me, they’d rather be recognized in the moment for working through a tough problem or being a great teammate than get an auto email on their work anniversary.