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Desiree Martinello
Executive & HR Administrator / Office Manager

Would You Treat Your Best Customers Like You Treat Your Employees?

As an HR professional and as a consumer, I keep myeyes on trends. Trend-watching keeps me ahead of the change curve when it comesto HR. As a consumer, trend-watching makes me a more informed shopper. What I’mseeing now is a blended trend, that is, organizations treating employees asconsumers. With employeeengagement and retention being top concerns these days, treating employeesas though they are our best customers is a smart move. Here’s why:

Think about your recent trip to a mall or to alocal store in your city. If you’ve noticed that your experience there was lesstransactional and more “experiential,” you’re right. As they seek to attractnew customers and build loyalty among existing ones, retailers are putting bigmoney into making shopping a pleasant experience and not just a transaction. Thinkabout malls that now include dining and entertainment, and stores that deliverpersonalized customer service.

Businesses are taking a page from the retailer’s book andfinding ways to make the time employees spend on the job a positive experience,not just an exchange of labor and talent for a paycheck. The better theemployee experience, the deeper their engagement with their organization andtheir loyalty to it. This ties to what we talked about here recently, employeesas brand ambassadors. If employees don’t have positive experiences withtheir employers, it’s pretty unlikely they will be brand ambassadors for theorganization.

Smart businesses are extending that positiveexperience to job candidates as well, and for good reason.

A 2016 studyconducted by Future Workplace with CareerArc surveyed 1200 jobcandidates and employers and found that nearly two-thirds of the candidateshad a poor experience with the application and interview process. And worse, 72percent “…shared that experience online on an employer review.”

Forbes has identified “improving their (the company’s)candidates and employee experiences” as a top 10 trend for 2017. As you thinkabout ways to further enhance your employees’ workplace experiences, I’ll sharewith you some ideas we’ve implemented here and that we’ve seen worksuccessfully in other organizations.

Understand whatmotivates each employee and “sculpt” the job to fit. This idea comes from aDeloitte University Press article (“Employees as Customers,Reimagining the Employee Experience in Government,” May 31, 2016) thatsuggests employees sharing the same job category may not be driven by the samemotivations. Managers need to dig a little, informally and during reviews, todiscover what individual employees feel passionate about and then createopportunities that make it possible in the workplace. For example, if anemployee has a passion for learning, supporting that with workshops or in-housetutorials delivers a positive workplace experience.

Make it easier for employeesto perform their work. What’s getting in the way of employees getting theirwork done? Lack of resources? Not enough time to complete tasks? Distractionsthat pull their attention away from their work? Example: being pulled intounnecessary, drawn-out meetings.

Cut back on“administrivia.” A common complaint among employees is the amount of timespent entering data—into reporting documents or workflow management tools, forexample—and not enough time spent on the critical thinking required to do theirjobs well. Think about it: do you want your employees to be data drones or doyou want them to use the skills and knowledge you hired them for?

Be flexible as towhere work can be performed. Telecommutingis increasingly an option in most organizations. But what about other options rightin your own office? It can be as simple as offering quiet spaces within theoffice setting where employees can go to “think through” a problem or workconcentrate on a task.

Give employeesfreedom to determine how to performtheir jobs. Who is better at figuring out the best way to perform a task orexecute a plan than the persons actually doing it? Does your organizationencourage employees to share their ideas on how to do jobs better? Does itreward those suggestions that are actually implemented?

As you think about ways to ensure your workforce enjoys positiveworkplace experiences, contacta Marketing Innovators solutions expert to see how we can help you makethat happen.