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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Should Focus on Their Employee Experience

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 — June 26th, 2023

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Should Focus on Their Employee Experience

Many organizations are already having or will have: pay freezes, hiring freezes, budgets slashed, people projects put on hold, and, worst of all, lay-offs.

So, how exactly can EX help to mitigate a process of cuts, cuts, cuts?
One of the many beauties of EX is that there really are few barriers to entry. Even if budgets are small or non-existent, so many positive changes can be brought about if you instill the EX mantra of "from the people, for the people" in an organization.

Positive changes can not only bring about improvements to the culture but productivity too—which will favorably impact the bottom line.

The Multi-Million Dollar Impact of Communication on Employee & Customer Experience


Monetizing the Employee Experience
As Mike Sharples and I outline in our book, MONETI$ING TH£ EMPLO¥EE €XPERIENCE, EX has a more compelling ROI than CX. Why? Well, it’s easier to obtain, quicker to realize, and potentially more valuable.

Yet EX is generally seen as a poor relation not only to CX but to internal functions such as IT and Governance. This needs to change—and you can influence this. (Yes, you.)

If an organization of around 13,500 employees—who were paying the average UK salary—reduced both sickness and turnover by just 1%, then they could save around £10 million in sickness costs and £1 million in recruitment costs annually.
That's a fair old sum of money! And a target figure worth chasing after... much like sales of £11 million per year are worth chasing after.

But here’s the thing. If you continue to undervalue the importance of EX then sickness and turnover will go up, which will lead to higher costs and lower productivity, which will lead to lost revenue opportunities.

But if you focus more on EX then sickness and turnover will go down, which will lead to greater savings and higher productivity levels, which should lead to more revenue.


You can view the ROI from investment in EX for your organization via our EXO ROI Calculator. The savings and productivity gains can be significant, so do share them with your CFO. Once seen, these numbers can’t be unseen. Even though you can get going with EX with very little or even no financial investment, senior leaders will still require a business case to review the "why bother?"


EX should be everyone’s responsibility
The best things in life are often free and so are some of the best EX initiatives which our clients have undertaken. These initiatives have come "from the people, for the people" via Employee Journey Mapping workshops with existing employees.
Here are some examples of no-cost or very low-cost initiatives from our clients:

  • Hiring: Allowing final shortlisted candidates the option to talk to a non-hiring member of the team
  • First day: Assigning someone to offer to go to lunch with the new joiner
  • Support: Encouraging colleagues to contact one other colleague per day, just to check in with how they are
  • Recognition: Introducing a culture of saying "Thank You"
  • Alumni: Sending an e-card to ex-employees on their birthday, to show they’re not forgotten.

The above examples alone will support with:

  • Ensuring the right people join the organization, which can mitigate costly early departures
  • Making colleagues feel welcomed and appreciated, so they’re more likely to be retained
  • Ensuring your brand isn’t forgotten about, which can lead to future sales

Of course, as you will have seen from the ROI calculations, with potentially significant savings at stake, it may be worth asking for a budget for EX improvements.

After all, spending a little money on the right tools will be worth it if productivity gains are made. And motivated, productive employees will perform better, which will boost profits, which will negate the need for all the cuts.
Investing in the employee experience is a win:win:win:

  • It benefits the employees, as they have a more enjoyable and fulfilling work life
  • It benefits the business, as employees will be more productive
  • It benefits the customer, as they will be served by motivated and satisfied employees

In short, when times are tough start with focussing on the Employee Experience, don’t start with destroying the Employee Experience. The ROI is clear. It’s not: "Can you afford to invest in the employee experience?" It's: "Can you afford not to?"

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