Working to build an amazing customer experience while neglecting employee experience is like building a house with no foundation.
Employee experience is the bedrock of your customer experience. Without it, your organization is at an immediate disadvantage, and that disadvantage isn't limited to recruitment and retention.
Employee experience genuinely matters to your customers.
Serving your employees is just as important as serving your customers, and in many ways, they're closely related. Unless you're operating a one-person business, employees are more likely to be the ones whose work impacts your customers most. That impact can be positive or negative, depending on how engaged your employees are, and providing an exceptional employee experience is a crucial factor in engagement.
This doesn't mean you need to paint the office walls with bright colors or provide ping pong tables and a kegerator in the common area. If that fits your culture, fine. But really, it's more about building an organization employees are willing to invest an emotional commitment to. A big part of accomplishing that is giving consideration to the team's experience.
There's no one-size-fits-all solution to employee experience. What it takes to provide an excellent experience differs by industry, and from company to company. A great employee experience at a tech startup is probably going to look vastly different form one at a fast food restaurant.
Jacob Morgan explains in his Forbes article, "Why the Future of Work Is All about Employee Experience":
Catered meals, onsite dry cleaning, beautiful office spaces, modern technology, and flexible work programs may all seem like fancy perks but all of the companies I have been speaking with leverage these things as strategic business initiatives. They offer these things because employees actually ask for them. Employees at different companies value and care about different things.
This is why it's important to pay attention to your individual team, and cultivate an experience they'll truly appreciate. Your investment in providing an amazing employee experience is a clear and visible indication that you're committed to providing the kind of environment that inspires engagement.
The fruits of your employee experience efforts will multiply when they're reflected in your customer experience. Here are just a couple ways a great employee experience can extend to customers:
More positive interactions
The interactions your customers have with your employees are much more likely to be positive when employees are engaged in the experience you're providing. If you've ever experienced an interaction with a highly-engaged employee, this is likely something you can relate to.
You shouldn't expect customers to have exceptional experiences with employees who aren't being treated well.
Better products and services
When you're providing an outstanding employee experience, your team is more likely to become engaged with that experience. Engaged employees are more productive, and the work they do produce is often of higher quality. Even if your customers aren't interacting directly with employees, they still directly benefit.
There are many ways to improve employee experience in your organization. Building a culture of recognition and appreciation is one of the easiest and least costly to start. If you're interested in building this type of culture in your organization, check out our latest guide: