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Designing the employee experience: Measure, design, implement and repeat

12 Mar 2018 by  Tony Tran

People have an incredible ability to improve and evolve ideas – they innovate. It’s this ability for people to innovate that allows organisations to outperform their competition. 

However, it’s this very innovation that calls for organisations to constantly change and adapt to new paradigms. With such a competitive business landscape, organisations need to prioritise designing an employee experience that not only ensures they attract, retain and develop those employees, but that they create an environment that makes it easy for employees to achieve their personal goals, as well as the goals of their organisation. 

Measuring the employee experience

Before you start diving into solution-mode, you need to truly understand the employee experience. An organisation will only know what problems need to be solved and where to invest their (limited) time and resources if they are first clear on the employee perspective.

Surveys

There are multiple benefits to measuring the employee experience through a survey. Surveys allow you to reach a much wider population than manager conversations or discussion groups, providing employers with a wealth of valuable and measurable data within a relatively short period of time. This quantitative approach gives a powerful insight into the employee experience and ensures you are acting on what is most relevant to employees. 

Focus groups

Focus groups allow you to dig deeper into what employees are specifically thinking and feeling. Checking-in with a good cross section of the business gives insight into the motivations and reasoning behind survey scores.

Asking your employees what they want is a necessary step in the process, but should not be the only information you use when redesigning your employee experience. To be effective, you must understand what your employees need. Be curious and ask your employees what they’re ultimately trying to achieve, and why. 

Designing the employee experience

Once you’ve measured the current employee experience, asked the right questions to understand your employees’ needs and ultimately defined the problem you’d like to solve, you can then start re-designing the employee experience. Your design should be specific. Map the employee journey and spell out exactly what the design needs to look like for it to be accomplished.

How do we do this?

First, you need to mobilise a design team. Your team should consist of a Project Leader, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and a Decision Maker. 

This mix of individuals will ensure that everyone stays focused on the ultimate goal, that they have enough knowledge of the business to develop appropriate solutions, and have the authority to sign-off on any projects the team develops.  

When designing the employee experience, you should focus on a small number of problems that:

a)    directly link to the overall organisational goals

b)    will have the biggest impact on your employees.

Implementing the employee experience

Implementation starts with first trialling your new design. You want to mitigate any potential risks, so choose a small number of teams that trial your new employee experience design. If it receives immense push-back or altogether misses the goal you had intended, you’ve saved yourself a lot of pain and will be far better prepared for implementation 2.0. Should your trial succeed, you will have the necessary confidence to rollout your design to the wider organisation. Whatever the situation, it’s vital that you use the feedback to refine your design.

By taking the time to effectively design the employee experience, you create an environment that not only supports employees to contribute to organisational goals, but makes it easy for them to contribute. As a result, the path of least resistance is also the path that allows your organisation to be competitive.

Start a conversation with us

Aon Hewitt works with organisations to help them define and refine their employee experience. Contact us  to start a conversation about how we might be able to assist your organisation do this.

Tony Tran

Tony has over 5 years’ experience as a consulting psychologist, specialising in Assessment and in Engagement. Tony focuses on using data to drive the design process and find ways to improve the employee experience through a greater understanding of the organisation and its people.

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