Why the employee experience matters
— September 15th, 2021
As a company that provides an omnichannel employee communications platform, we strongly believe that an effective communications strategy must be built around the needs of the employees, with a primary focus on reaching each person—wherever they work—with personalized information, on the channels they prefer. That sets the foundation of the employee experience (EX).
And considering that research shows even a small improvement in EX can have a significant impact on operating income, focusing on EX simply makes sense from a business perspective. That research went on to describe one scenario where the operating income increase amounted to millions of dollars for a company with a sales revenue of $600 million.
But that’s simply from the company’s perspective—what they stand to gain by improving the employee experience. What about the employees—what do they get out of an increased focus on EX?
Simply put: employees today tend to leave companies if the workplace experience doesn’t meet their expectations. So, it’s an easy correlation to make; an employee’s experience impacts their overall happiness in addition to their tenure at any given company. Given that, the ways a company communicates, listens to, and connects with its people goes a long way toward defining the employee experience, and retaining employees.
What Employee Communicators Can Learn From Customer Experience
To improve the employee experience, it’s worth looking into how companies approach the customer experience. After all, employees are customers when it comes to communication. Let’s look at some common successful customer experience strategies and see if they can be adapted to apply to the workplace.
Just a few simple searches in and it’s apparent, “omnichannel” seems to be a common approach when it comes to winning the customer experience game.
When talking about an omnichannel approach to customer acquisition and retention, the market generally agrees that omnichannel communication focuses on providing an integrated customer experience throughout each platform, device and media channel customers use. Further, this approach allows businesses to translate these insights into an integrated experience by aligning content and messaging, as well as design across all the channels the target customer set uses. So, it all comes down to knowing the customer, and providing a seamless, integrated experience across the channels that matter most to that audience segment.
This approach has been used in customer experience initiatives for quite some time, to a point where it is no longer the exception. It’s just smart business. In fact, as consumers, we expect a seamless experience, and are used to being met with the content and information we want—when we want it. Unsurprisingly, that expectation is increasingly carried into the workplace, which is why there has been such a focus on the employee experience over the years.
How This Impacts Employee Communicators
Imagine being able to deliver personalized, meaningful content—the type of communications that are seamless, integrated and consistent—to your entire workforce across all the channels available to them: email, mobile, digital signage, intranet, and social.
Sounds nice, right? But how do you do it?
The truth is, many companies may not be able to achieve this because they focus on more of a multichannel strategy. One of the key differences between an omnichannel and multichannel strategy is that omnichannel. focuses on the target audience and the content that must be delivered. A multichannel approach to employee communications focuses on the technology required to deliver the message. Given the differences in the two strategies, multichannel communications tend to involve siloed, disconnected technologies, which presents multiple challenges when it comes to reaching a distributed workforce with a cohesive message.
What Sets Omnichannel Comms Apart From Multichannel?
An omnichannel communications strategy puts your employees at the center of everything you do—making the focal point what they need and how they prefer to consume content.
And with the right omnichannel platform, this is all accomplished in a seamless, integrated way that creates a consistent experience.
Seamless. Integrated. Consistent. Those things set omnichannel and multichannel communications apart. Without an intentional, unwavering focus on the employee experience, it’s easy to bombard your workforce with irrelevant information across multiple channels. And that creates a cacophony of communications that often results in communications overload.
Take omnichannel communications, on the other hand. Omnichannel comms are employee-centric, with content that’s personalized and deployed across select channels—all from one platform. This approach allows employees to move between different channels like email, mobile, digital signage, video and other mediums.
When companies take this approach, employees can enjoy a more seamless, consistent, and integrated experience across all the channels they interact with.
Moving forward With an Omnichannel Comms Approach
To create and implement an omnichannel comms strategy, you should first:
- Audit your existing channels—use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to find out what’s working and what’s not. Work with other departments, such as HR, to assess cross-organizational comms efficacy.
- Survey employees—you should work to determine the channel preferences of your employees, so you know what to prioritize.
- Create employee personas—define the personas that comprise your business so that you may target individuals or groups of people with more relevant content. Not every person needs the same information. You should make sure your comms are aimed at the right people, not just, as many people as possible. This type of personalization can encourage people to tune in to workplace communications instead of tuning out—and that’s half the battle.
- Measure your comms engagement—without accurate measurement capabilities, you can’t determine which channels and communication types are right for which employee persona.
Because of the foundational employee-centric mindset of an omnichannel strategy, plus the integrated technical infrastructure required to support it, it’s easy to create and send personalized, relevant content that reduces distracting noise and information overload.
By adopting an omnichannel communications strategy, you can not only facilitate an employee-centric approach to what you do but also encourage your people to engage with your comms when it best suits them on their preferred channel, something that contributes to a better employee experience.