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Along with the notion of Experience Economy, Employee experience is defined as what an employee
received during their interaction with careers’ elements (e.g. firms, supervisors, coworkers, customer,
environment, etc.) that affect their cognition and affection and leads to their particular behaviors.
Employee Experience Management (EEM) is conceptualized by Abhari as an approach to deliver
excellent experience to employees, which leads to the positive customer experienceby emphasizing on
their experiential needs - like Experiential Marketing for external customers.
Harris (2007) hinted, “It [customer experience] begins at the heart of an organization. It begins with
employees who are being the strategy and living the brand”. EEM, same as Internal marketing, is an
internal approach by focusing on employees (internal customer) prior to external customers. The notion
of EEM comes from the question of how firms make sure that employees create the desirable customer
experience, whenever they interact with customers or provide the information and services to them
(Schmitt, 2003, p. 219). Alternatively, utilizing employees in delivering brand value promise is
remarkable concern in EEM. EEM also goes beyond standard Human Resource Management by
rewarding more employee-experience in form of both professional and personal development (Schmitt,
2003, p. 207).
Internal communications, a core principle of delivering EEM and employee engagement is a common
characteristic amongst top employers but surprising scarce generally; “feedback is the key to giving
employees a sense of where they’re going, but many organizations are remarkably bad at giving
it." There are various ways that businesses can engender a culture of regular, open communication.
These range from regular (weekly or monthly) departmental team meetings to monthly or quarterly
meetings of the entire business. Where having actual meetings is not always possible, due to the nature
of the business, shift work or having multiple locations an intranet can allow companywide dialogue.
doing.We at Zappos are proud to have you as a customer and as a part of our family.Thank you for being a
So what was it that motivated that agentto take that action? From our research we would suggestthere are a number
of key factors…
‘Purpose beyond profit’
This may come as a shock butmostemployees do notleap out of bed in the morning excited by the prospectof
making more profitfor their organisation thatday. This may serve to motivate the senior executives but it rarely does
so for the front-line unless they also happen to be shareholders too as in the case of the John Lewis Partnership.
What motivates employees is feeling connected to a cause.That cause can be ‘Delivering Happiness’ as in the case
of Zappos or ‘saving the planet’ as in the case of the World Wildlife Fund. If you ask employees ofUmpqua,the
communitybank based in Oregon,what their purpose is,they will tell you “making customers feel dealing with
Umpqua was the bestthing that happened today”. Quite a tall order for a bank! The financial services sector is one
that generallyhas low levels of emotional engagementwith its customers.
‘Hire for DNA not MBA’
We wrote aboutthis in our firstbook, ‘Uncommon Practice’, but we found that it is still true for these brands.The
fact is that there are many bright, well-qualified people outthere that you can hire, but only a few of them will be the
right fit for your brand. We tell our clients “hire for DNA not MBA”. In other words,find the people who share your
values and teach them the skills they need.Umpqua advertises for employees in retail trade magazines,notthe
financial services press because itwants people who understand customer service rather than banking.Tony Hseah
offers recruits $2,000 at the end of their first week of training to leave the company. Why? Because he only wants
people who are passionate aboutthe brand and committed to whatit stands for.
‘Rites and rituals’
Sustaining a culture is very hard, particularlyif you are growing.One of the things these brands do is to reinforce their
uniqueness through the use ofwhat we describe as ‘rites and rituals’.Umpqua has a daily‘motivational moments’
session where everyone gathers to hear someone sing a song,tell a joke or conducta shortexercise in some way
related to their purpose.Zappos encourages their employees to be ‘weird’ which means they organise parties and
theme events where people dress up and have fun. They engage in ‘Zuddles’ which are short,motivational work-
group meetings.Innocent,the UK smoothie maker holds its AGM (A Grown-up Meeting) where all the employees
gather to hear the latestnews and then have a barbeque.The Geek Squad, the computer supportfirm,uses
language and titles to reinforce the zany culture whose sole purpose is to ‘save your ass’ ifyour computer should
crash.Their employees are called ‘agents’ or ‘double-agents’ and encouraged to share their stories ofdaring-do in
helping customers through the intranetsite butalso social media.
Making it work…
You may be reading this and saying to yourself“well,you mightbe able to do that kind of thing in the States but not
here.” You would be wrong.We have seen examples ofbrands thatfocus on purpose beyond profit, hiring for DNA
and encouraging rites and rituals in the UK, US, Brazil and Asia. Of course,if these practices are false or forced, they
become trite and will not deliver value for your brand;but when they are driven by a common purpose and sh ared
values,when they are sincere,when they create a great employee experience and when they resultin a ‘wow’
experience for customers – they work.
It's our mantra, one which many companies need to adopt: 'To deliver the desired customer
experience, companies must develop, nurture and engage their employees.'
At McDaniel Partners, we understand the importance of engaging employees. It's the first step
to engaging customers.
So how does a company become nurturing and fully engaging internally?
The short answer is through understanding and building. You make sincere efforts to
understand your employees, their struggles, their frustrations and their needs. Then, you build
an environment that every employee will be proud to call their own.
The employee experience is a set of beliefs that your employees have about your company -
and make no mistake, it's those beliefs that make employees show up in the morning.
We have developed a program to help companies create engaged and committed employees.
What are the components of the program?
Examine the current experience. What does your current experience look like? What makes
your company different, interesting or valuable? What behaviors are most characteristic of your
company? Where are the employee "moments of truth" where the company is at its best?
Worst? We will help you to understand what your current employee experience looks like.
Assess current levels of employee engagement. What percentage of your employees are
engaged? Does it vary by region? By team? Which teams are fully engaged? We will identify
how many of your employees are fully engaged and which are just simply 'showing up'.
Understand the drivers of employee engagement. What are your employees looking for in
terms of psychological, emotional as well as economic benefits? What creates meaning for your
employees? We help you to better understand what your employees really want from
management and your company.
Define the future employee experience. What are the components of the experience? What
differentiates the experience from other companies? We will help you to define something that
engages your employees. That creates pride and enthusiasm about working with you.
Something that everyone will be proud to call their own.
Build programs that build an emotional connection.Creating engaged and committed
employees starts with winning the hearts of your employees. To get there, employees need to
move through three primary stages, from merely being aware of the employee experience and
what it stands for ("Hearing It"), to understanding their role in delivering against the brand
promise ("Believing It"), to finally becoming passionate advocates for the company ("Living It").
Build a program to help your Managers increase employee engagement. Do your
Managers know how to engage their employees? Do they have the tools and coaching to create
employees who are proud to say they belong at your company? We will ensure that your
Managers have both the tools and the skills to build engaged and committed employees.
Continually measure the impact. Are the levels of employee engagement increasing? What
are the key areas for improvement? We will help you identify how to continually increase levels
Aligning employee experiences with customer experiences
Posted by Olivier Blanchard
John Moore recently wrote a piece on his Brand Autopsy blog in which he answered this question from a
Judy: “Can you tell me what it means to create an employee experience? How do the best companies ensure
that the employee experience is aligned to the customer experience?"
The question is as unusual as it is insightful - and considering the amount of posts recently that address the
issue of employee morale and its impact on brands, it couldn't have come at a better time.
John answers "creating meaningful employee experiences revolves around making the company something
employees can believe in (tribal truth #32). It’s also about a company realizing that its products do not
make great brands but rather, its people make brands great (tribal truth #37)."
"The best companies, namely those listed as one of Fortune Magazine’s "100 Best Companies to Work for in
America," spend just as much time marketing to its employees as it does to its customers. In other words,
these companies realize that happy, knowledgeable employees will usually translate into happy,
Sound familiar? (I swear - and mea culpa, John - I had completely missed that post until now. Good to know
we're all on the same page though. I feel all validated and stuff.) Here's more:
"For example … The Container Store is a Dallas-based privately held company specializing in selling boxes,
bins, and everything in-between to help consumers organize all their stuff. They have been highly successful
with sales in 2005 topping $425 million with just 37 locations in 12 states.
New Container Store employees are given more than 240 hours of training in their first year compared with
the industry standard of 7 hours of training per new employee. Employees are paid two -to-three times more
than the industry average. And employees are given a generous 40% discount for anything purchased at the
Container Store. The company is renowned by retailers and customers as delivering great customer
experiences which helps to explain why the company is so successful.
With its focus on making the employee experience matter (tribal truth #33), The Container Store astonishes
its employees who in turn, astonish its customers with great customer service.
Given this Container Store example, one sure-fire way to ensure the employee experience is aligned with
the customer experience is to treat employees like you would want employees to treat customers. Sounds
simple. But if it was so simple, more companies would be doing it ... right?"
And why aren't they doing it? Mostly, because they just don't know any better. Because nobody told
them.Because the concept of happy employees (and happy customers, for that matter) doesn't get much
play when it comes to grown-up things like internal politics and maximizing shareholder return.
That's changing, but not nearly fast enough. Yet.
David Taylor (of the brilliantly named Where's The Sausage blog) picks up where John left off with
his "brandwashing" concept:
The whole are of "brand engagement" is booming, with companies launching into big and expensive
initiatives to help employees "live the brand". However, in my experience many of these are a total and
utter waste of money, as they fail to address the basics of making a company a nice place to work. Many of
them are more like exercises in "brandwashing".
Yeah. Pep rallies. "Go team" chants. "Brand Spirit" weeks. If you're a joiner, great. If, like me, you're a little
more independent, good luck with that. The caffeine-induced exuberance, the forced propaganda and the
attendance-required motivational meetings don't work. Thanks for trying though. Most of us are moderately
intelligent, educated,well adjusted people. You aren't fooling anyone with your lame "let's talk about how
awesome it is to work here in dingy cubicles for a fraction of what we should be making" meetings.
Please spare us.
And spare your employees. They aren't stupid.
"One of the most successful companies at creating great and consistent customer service is sandwich shop
chain Pret a Manger, and I wrote a little case on them for the new book, Brand Vision (out in Jan 07). This
was inspired by the findings of an FT journalist who went to work at Pret to understand the secret of their
success. And as you will see below, engaging people with the brand did not figure:
1. Managers are not over-qualified and embittered:
- 75% of mangers are promoted from within
- Other 25% have at least 2 years relevant experience
- Join in and help instead of ‘barking orders’
2. Staff are not ‘routinely humiliated’:
- Smart uniform, not polyester nightmare
- No dressing up for kiddie parties
- Most stores have no toilets, so no cleaning of the loo
3. Staff are paid well:
- Team member: average £6.58 vs. £5.68 for competition
- Team leader: average £8.39 vs. £7.52 for competition
4. Staff have a say in who joins:
- Candidates work in store for a day and team votes whether to hire them.
5. Hire nice people:
- Large number of well-educated international students
The other really important thing is that the product people are selling is 10 times better than your average
fast-food of course. It reminds me of the story of a kid working at McDonald's who when asked where he
worked preferred to say he was unemployed!
So let's see: Hire great people, treat them well, pay them well, give them the opportunity to move up if they
so desire, make sure that they can be proud of the product they sell and the job they do, and let them have
a say in who gets hired (or doesn't get hired).
Is it really that hard? Really? Does it still make more sense to treat employees like a commodity and treat
them like children when it comes to motivating them? Is it really so hard or expensive to be genuine and
caring? Are those words really not part of the business lexicon? Cynicism is an ugly thing, and it has no
place in business. None.
One last question for you: If a company doesn't make the effort to treat its employees as well as it can, how
do you think it will treat its customers?
Good managers know that happy employees are loyal, productive employees. Below
are seven areas to improve employee satisfaction.
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Employee attitudes typically reflect the moral of the company. In areas of customer
service and sales, happy employees are extremely important because they represent the
company to the public. Satisfaction, however, is not linked solely to compensation. Sure, a
raise or benefits will probably improve employee contentment, at least temporarily, but
small, inexpensive changes can have a long-term impact.
Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh's book Delivering Happinesssuggests that employers should
follow the science of happiness. The book stresses the importance of happy employees.
Since the publication of this New York Times Best Seller, Hsieh has expanded his message
from to a bus tour to an entire movement.
On her happiness project blog, Gretchen Rubin, author ofThe Happiness Project, identifies
seven areas to improve happiness in the workplace. While employees can tweak their habits
to improve happiness, employers can also make small changes to the seven categories. A
little bit of effort can lead to happy, efficient, and loyal employees.
7 Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction: Give Employees More Control
"Happiness is affected by [employee's] sense of control over their lives," says Rubin.
Employers should look for ways to give employees more control over their schedules,
environment, and/or work habits. For instance, employers could offer alternative work
schedules such as flextime or telecommuting. Today's employees have demanding schedules
outside of work, and many workers appreciate a boss who considers work-life balance.
Because every person's obligations outside of work are different, customized schedules are a
great way to improve employee satisfaction.
Employers should also encourage employees to customize their workstations. This could
include décor and/or equipment. This not only gives employees control over their work
environments, but it can ease personal barriers such as back pain or eyestrain. In addition,
studies show that certain colors or décor can improve happiness. Employees will be able to
create a place they enjoy working in rather than being stuck in a bland office cubicle.
Another way to give employees a sense of control is to create employee-driven competitions
such as sales competitions. These activities put employees in control of their success. Each
employee can set personal goals, and they will feel a sense of accomplishment rather than
Dig Deeper: How To Implement a Four-Day Workweek
7 Ways to Improve Employee Satisfaction: Ease Commuting Stress
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 86.5% of workers over the age of 16 drive to work,
whether carpooling or driving alone.
"Bad commutes are a major source of unhappiness. People feel frustrated, powerless, and
stressed," states Rubin.
Employers should consider ways to decrease commuting stress. For instance, employers
could stagger work times to avoid heavy traffic. Review beginning and ending times and
determine if the specific times or the amount of people arriving at each time can be
adjusted. In addition, review late arrival policies. If employees are severely reprimanded for
arriving late, they will be much more stressed during a bad commute and will arrive at the
Another possibility is to offer telecommuting options. This eliminates the necessity of
commuting and allows employees to work where they are most comfortable. Telecommuting
also has a variety of benefits for the employer such as reduced costs
The EES Questionnaire Content:
The standard Questionnaire contains 70 standard statements and is designed to enable bi-variate
assessment. As such, each statement is assessed in terms of its:
(1) Importance to "me" as an employee; and
(2) Company's current performance
The 70 statements can be categorized into 14 dimensions.
- Company Mission and Leadership - Communication
- Corporate Culture - Compensation & Benefits
- Quality Principles & Practices - Recognition & Rewards
- Innovation & Change - Management Style
- Performance Management - Teamwork & Co-operation
- Climate - Training & Development
- Role Clarity - Working Conditions
(* Tailored questions can be added according to the company's need.)
The “All About Me Page”—see how easyit is for employees to navigate and view all of their personal
Workday′s powerful related actions icon.
The process ofrequesting time offand Workday's easy-to-use visual elements.
CompanyMission& Leadership:Mymanagersensure thatIhave a clearunderstandingof my
company’sgoalsanddirection;Seniormanagementpractice whattheypreachinrespectof the
Corporate Culture:Peopleinthiscompanyare usuallyinvolvedinplanningchangeswhichwill affect
theirjob.;Managersmake decisionsthatare consistentwithourcompanyvalues.
QualityPrinciples&Practices:The company’sproceduresmake iteasyforusto produce quality
customerservice.;We are regularlyinformedabouthow satisfiedourcustomersare with the qualityof
goodsand serviceswe provide.
Innovation&Change :Mymanagerconsultsusabout anynecessarychangestohow work isdone to
improve qualityorservice tocustomers;WhenIhave goodideasmycompanymakesuse of them.
Climate :Myjob makes gooduse of my skillsandabilities;Asaresultof the waythat I am treatedI
intendtoworkfor thiscompanyfor the foreseeable future.
Performance Management:The performance standardsformyjobare clearlydefined;Myperformance
isassessedagainst organizational strategiesandcorporate values.
Role Clarity:The rolesof people workingoncross-functional projectsare clearlydefined;My
Communication:Sufficienteffortismade togetthe opinionsandthoughtsof people atall levelswho
workhere;WhenI raise a complaintwithmymanager,I believe itwillbe handledeffectively.
Compensation&Benefits:Mypayis competitivewiththatof similarcompanies;Iamsatisfiedwiththe
Recognition&Rewards:Highperformingstaff are noticedandrewardedinthiscompany;If Idoa good
job,I knowI’ll be consideredwhenthe rightjobopportunitiesbecome available.
ManagementStyle :Myimmediate superiorprovidessufficientsupportandguidance.Myimmediate
Teamwork& Co-operation:There isgoodteamworkandco-operationwithinmyworkgroup.;There is
goodteamworkandco-operationbetweenmyworkgroupandothergroups inthe company.
Training&Development:Ifeel thatopportunitiesforgrowthanddevelopmentare available tome;The
trainingcoursesofferedbymycompanyare useful andeffective.
WorkingConditions:The currentamountof overtime workinmyjobisreasonable.;My physical
workingenvironment(e.g.temperature,ventilation,space towork,cleanlinessof workareas,etc.) is
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