Getting Started with Worker Experience

September 18, 2014 John Gorup


There is a secret truth, universal to all corporations and organizations. That secret is: their intranet is crap, and their employees hate using it. For most companies, the intranet is a forgotten bit of software that employees use as they need it. But a bad intranet is just a symptom of a bigger problem in companies, that is, a lack of focus on the Worker Experience.

Lately, a major focus for many firms has been around the Customer Experience, especially as more firms have become digital. Forrester Research defines Customer Experience as “How customers perceive their interactions with an organization.” Customer Experience pulls from the fields of design, psychology, and marketing and applies them to managing customer relationships.

The goal of Customer Experience is simple: Make the company easier and better to work with. Ultimately, the companies that excel at Customer Experience will have more loyal, engaged, and happy customers.

But all too often the story ends there when it should be just the beginning.

A company is the entity where customers and employees come together. At its most basic level, a company acts as a connector between customer problems and employees providing solutions. A company that only focuses on the Customer Experience is missing half the story.

What does the Worker Experience look like?

Worker Experience is about building a platform for employee engagement. Encouraging employee engagement should be a primary effort for managers. However, statistics show that businesses are largely failing at fostering employee engagement. For example, Forrester has written that less than one-third of employees are truly engaged. Engaged employees lead to happier customers, so building a platform that encourages engagement is a key business tactic.

The technology for a Worker Experience platform has four main ingredients:

  • Social. According to Forrester, the majority of the engaged workforce uses at least one social tool (53%) and/or one communication and collaboration tool (83%).
  • Mobile. Workers now expect a consumer-grade experience, from the moment they are recruited, continuing through hiring, onboarding and becoming proficient in their new roles. Worker Experience platforms should look more like Facebook on an iPad than SharePoint on a desktop computer.
  • Integrated with Human Capital Management (HCM) Software. The era of cumbersome yearly reviews is giving way to instant, actionable feedback. One way to accomplish this is to integrate the Worker Experience application with the company HCM app. Another benefit is a seamless experience in doing things like requesting time off or having workplace questions resolved in a HR Service Cloud application. Employees need only one seamless interface for their day-to-day working experience.
  • Fun and easy to use. Customer Experience is becoming a key way to convey brand to customers. Likewise, Worker Experience gives employees an intimacy with your brand that builds loyalty. It can start even before a new hire’s first day. Having an attractive, fun interface is welcoming to new employees and makes them feel good about where they work.

Like Customer Experience, Worker Experience requires a combination of solid business processes and agile technology. Where the Customer Experience story ends, the Worker Experience story begins. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a company in possession of disengaged employees, must be in want of Worker Experience.


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