“We can no longer do without the app. It’s become the main hub for all internal communications, far surpassing our intranet use.”
—Carsten Lucaßen, Head of Digital Communications Projects, Viessmann
In June of 2017, Siemens, the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe, won the German Prize for Online Communication in the Best Internal Online Communication category. The internal comms award—one of the country’s most prestigious—was given for the SiemensWorld project, which aims to digitally connect and engage the company’s more than 350,000 employees in 109 countries.
Are You Experienced?
Anyone who’s ever held a job has had an “employee experience.” But were you to ask ten different people to tell you exactly what an employee experience is, chances are you’d get ten different answers, none of which would necessarily bring you any closer to a full understanding of the overarching concept that has become something of a buzzword in recent years. While studies show that a well-designed employee experience (or EX) leads to greater levels of engagement, enthusiasm, involvement, and employer brand commitment, the truth is that it's hard to build something that you can't even define. So just what is the employee experience? Allow us to explain.
Employee Experience Defined: It's More Than a Buzzword
In 2015, when Airbnb announced that they were appointing a Global Head of Employee Experience, many people asked themselves, “What is that? Is it like Chief of Casual Fridays?” Since then, numerous articles, books, and blogs have appeared that refer to employee experience as a “buzzword,” a “trend,” or a “fad,” none of which suggest permanence or imply the kind of game-changing transformation that the concept’s true believers—ourselves among them—are certain it demonstrates. The disturbing result is that many business leaders remain likely to dismiss employee experience as just one more corporate flavor of the month.
The workplace is changing: In the industrial era, the focus was on laborers and what they were able to produce with their hands. In the information age, knowledge became the new product and had a prime influence on the economy. But now we are entering the cognitive era and another change is taking place. The lines between employees and technology are blurring, and instead of focusing solely on numbers, the employee experience (EX) is shifting into focus.
With the US unemployment rate down to 4.6% the war for talent is on. Companies today need to create a different kind of work experience for their top brand ambassador: their employees.
Putting your employees first and customers second, as well as focusing on the employer brand to improve the customer brand, is no longer uncommon and will soon be best practice in all industries.