Sunday, June 25, 2023

7 Ways To Improve Your Team Member Experience At Work

happy-team-experienceA common initiative I hear from business owners today is their effort to improve the customer experience. Some are doing this at the expense of employee experience, which I believe is one of the major causes of employee dissatisfaction and exit of good employees today. To achieve real growth, business leaders need to improve both employee as well as customer experiences.

For example, many companies are fighting the remote work trend by bringing team members back to the office where they can better focus together on improving customer experience. This intent is often negated, according to new studies, by remote workers, especially parents and team members with long commutes, who are more satisfied and productive than onsite employees.

I found the tradeoffs associated with improving both the customer experience and employee experience detailed well in a new book, “The Experience Mindset,” by Tiffani Bova. From her two decades of experience at Salesforce, Gartner, and consulting, she offers a unique perspective on what it takes to create a balanced focus on improving employee experiences to match customers.

I particularly like her key points on improving the employee mindset, and I will outline here the top focus keywords we both recommend on the employee side of the equation:

  1. Efficient – tools to minimize time and effort at work. Give team members a superior experience by putting tools and processes in place that reduce time spent on repetitive tasks and finding answers to questions. Make people feel more productive by providing continuous feedback on work accomplished, process improvements, and current training.

  2. Personalized – job is relevant to personal needs. Be willing to tailor jobs to individual skill levels and provide personalized communication and training on role requirements. Make assignments as responsive as possible to relevant individual wants and needs, and keep team members abreast of changes to systems and tools that they use regularly.

    The ultimate in this perspective is to adopt the “servant leadership” model, where your goal is to make sure that employees’ highest priority needs are being served. More and more business leaders, including Richard Branson, use this style to great advantage.

  3. Predictive – able to anticipate and provide resources. Minimize your reliance on employees in initiating assistance requests, recovery procedures, or personal needs, such as parental leave requests. Make their experiences at work positive and satisfying, rather than continually stressful, requiring defensive and redundant efforts to complete.

    It’s not that hard to solicit honest feedback from your team members to identify yours and their new and changing needs and challenges, just like you expect them to do with your customers. We all need feedback on our own performance, if we want to keep improving.

  4. Proactive – timely communication to build trust. Communicate both good and bad news to provide transparency to team members. Establish a schedule for your own accessibility, so that employees can find you easily, and see that you care about them and know their challenges early. Make sure they understand the changes coming ahead.

  5. Flexible – listen to allow flex hours and customization. Develop a strong feedback loop to allow responsiveness in improving team member’s day-to-day-experience. This allows you to see the value of a hybrid work environment, special process adjustments, or platform flexibilities to accommodate the changing requirements of your customer set.

  6. Responsive – empower employees to help peers. Relevant support employees, including those in HR, finance, recruiting, and benefits, need to be located as close to team members as possible, for availability of their assistance, and understanding of the current needs. As well, they need to be empowered to act quickly and appropriately.

  7. Value-based – provide personal value and purpose. In addition to having a mission statement and vision for the company known and visible, make the extra effort to show how it relates to a sense of purpose that every employee can relate to. You will see greater productivity, and employees will have a better experience and more satisfaction.

Many business leaders are now proclaiming their company support to a higher purpose to facilitate this initiative. For example, TOMS shoes founder Blake Mycoskie inspired everyone on his team by donating a pair of shoes to the needy for every pair sold.

In these most competitive times, I am discouraged to see that employee engagement at work, both remotely and in the office, is at an all-time low and dropping. Now is the time when every business leader needs to focus on improving their team-member-experience mindset. You can’t improve your customer experience with a team that is struggling and dissatisfied.

Marty Zwilling

*** First published on on 06/11/2023 ***



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