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Employee Experience

“Our understanding of technology and service management allows us to combine operational data, sentiment data, and cultural data to pinpoint the EX issues that impact business performance at scale.”

~ Alan Nance

For Decades, we Existed in a Service Economy

Following the agrarian and industrial revolution, we lived predominantly in a service-based economy. We approached providers for any kind of work or personal life-related service, understood the expectations, and if they were met, generally believed all was well. 


 As of the start of the millenium, we began to slowly but steadily move away from this, towards a more experience-based economy. The original pioneers of this movement, Pine and Gilmour, argue that now time and attention are the factors we compete for in generating customers. People want to receive experiences now, wherever they go. The ambiance of a coffee shop or the extra attention to detail from providers is valued more than just simply the service, the coffee or service received.

Such is also the case for employees. As people look to find more meaningful and valuable work that melds with their values and expectations as a person, employers are increasingly required to actively look to their organisation. Is it supporting their employees to perform their best, actively listening or promoting the kind of culture that will attract the modern workforce?

What Does Good Look Like in the Experience Economy?

The discipline of employee experience is reaching its full maturity, and while there are no standard answers, authoritative voices inform us:

  • A good experience is always what the business consumer values and seldom what we think it is or should be

  • An Experience Level Agreement (XLA) is so much more than a survey. It is a fit for purpose design

  • A meaningful experience is not a transaction, but a cumulative dynamic sentiment established over time and calibrated often

  • The traditional practice of building standard capabilities to manage a service, give way to an experience architecture catering to people as they adopt different personas as they perform different roles during their day

  • Experience isn’t about the psychology of the individual but how you make people feel at scale in a way that matters to your business

As we're you'll notice, with XLAs and the experience economy comes a more human-centred, psychological focus not just on what was done, but how those affected felt about it. For example, in the world of IT support, it is no longer enough to resolve a problem and assume the person affected is happy. We need to know how they felt about the resolution. Did it solve in the way that suited them, at the time that suited them? It may not affect the services overall, but it will affect our employee happiness and productivity

There are many other considerations as well as the question above, but the key point remains: we need to understand sentiment, the how and why behind the what, if we are to improve our overall employee experience. 

What Else Does Good Look Like in the Experience Economy?

  • Post-pandemic work patterns must offer a rich, deep, and different employee experience

  • Use meaningful micro-experiences based not on technical personas, but experience personas to design a new way of working to combine internal and external ecosystems of work

  • Gen-Z has arrived, and Millennials are taking over the executive roles. They demand passionate employee engagement from the business. Meeting their expectations is key to successful recruitment, productivity, and retention

  • Technology teams are more than “a cost to be cut.” Experience management is the opportunity for these talented teams to create value that matters to the business

  • Scientific management of services has had its best day. There is limited to no return on further investment in ITIL, SLAs, and KPIs. The new management tools of choice center on experience management rather than process management. XLAs (Experience Level Agreements) and XIs (Experience Indicators)

Digital Employee Experience

An important element of overall employee experience, digital employee experience (DEX) refers to our experiences with our workplace technology. Whereas in the service economy the focus was on whether the technology we relied on was available and working, the experience economy focuses on how our use of the service made us feel, and if we were able to remain productive regardless of any fantastic service metrics. 

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