Ten years ago, “employee” and “worker” had radically different definitions in many cases. Today, you may still have some preconceived notions about the varied definitions of both words. But when we at Appirio talk about the “Worker Experience,” we’re talking to the now and future state of our workforce: full-time employees, part-time employees, contractors, and so on. In many ways, “worker” is a catchall box that “employees” fit into — not the other way around.
There are as many kinds of workers as there are jobs today. Now is the time to join the conversation about the evolving needs of today’s workers. But why should your business care about transformative experiences for its workers? For one thing, empowering and engaging your workers leads to increased productivity, business growth, and better experiences for your customers. This complementary relationship between a better Worker and Customer Experience is a Virtuous Cycle.
Point being that it’s not enough to take workers out of cubicles or provide snacks and nap pods. What workers really need now is empowerment, engaging technology, training, and a great company culture — whether knowledge sharing and socialization happens in the breakroom or online.
Reimagine the Worker Experience your company provides
At Dreamforce this year, we’ll be talking a lot about how a great Worker Experience can lead to a great Customer Experience. But it’s important to note there is no one way to engage and empower your workforce. In fact, there are several! Here are 4 steps for business leaders to take to get on track to happier, more productive employees, an improved Customer Experience, and a better bottom line.
- Say yes to the future of work. No matter how much lumbar support your office chairs provide or how shiny your desktop monitors are, the fact remains: workers want to be treated like people with full lives more than they want to be treated to a nice office.
- Invest in the best tools and technology. Say goodbye to outdated, impossible-to-navigate intranets and hello to a better way to communicate and share knowledge in real time. With tools like Salesforce Chatter and Google Drive and Hangouts, your workers can engage with coworkers as they do in their personal lives — anytime, anywhere, and on any device. And at Appirio, we run all our finance and HR processes with Workday, which gives managers a consumer-grade experience for taking action and responding to change from any device. It’s simple: When you give people applications that function like those they use outside of work, they have a better time at work and get more from the technology.
- Provide relevant, timely training for all. It’s important for everyone across an organization to keep growing, and a good deal of that growth should stem from training provided by the company. Cornerstone offers solutions that enable managers to align a worker’s activities with larger company goals, in addition to monitoring their performance with regular feedback and training. Workday Learning provides workers with a personalized, individual experience that recognizes users and has the ability to recommend educational content based on an employee’s preferences, topics they indicate interest in, and how they interact with the application.
- Ask your workers for frequent feedback. People only ever feel “over-surveyed” if the surveys they take don’t result in any action or improvement. With Medallia, an operational Customer Experience management system, you can create and send employee surveys, collect responses, and run analytics on the data. That data is then transformed into actionable items for all workers in real time. Think of it as the power of NPS combining forces with smart analytics.
People have families and friends and their health to consider — things outside of work that influence how hard they work and the roles they choose to accept. Remote and/or flexible work environments are on an upswing in the U.S., and for good reason. Companies that put their workers first understand the benefits of prioritizing work output, not hours worked.