Employee experience isn't just another New Year’s resolution

Sean Holdmeyer & Zach Babbe null
Sean Holdmeyer & Zach Babbe null | January 29, 2019
Employee Experience
Employee experience isn't just another New Year’s resolution

We see it every year. Swarms of people create their New Years resolutions with the intention of changing their lives for good. These efforts start out with high hopes and strong intentions, yet ~90% of them fail. Forrester projects that 85% of EX measurement efforts the first and most important step of improving EX will also fail in 2019. What do New Years resolutions and EX improvement efforts have in common? And why do the majority of efforts result in failure?

Avoid these seven common New Years resolution pitfalls

1. Short-term focus

Most resolutions have a near-term scope. Similar to a juice cleanse, workplace perks lead to a rather immediate initial result, but do little to impact the larger goal in the long run. Important time, effort, and dollars are spent on something that isnt going to make a lasting impact on employee happiness or organizational performance, and leaders are left wondering what went wrong.

2. Fad Mentality

Following the masses and chasing the next quick-fix solution is easy. But fads dont always provide the results they promise. Consider a fad diet: theyre typically short-lived because theyre not created with sustained compliance in mind, and fail to provide lasting results. EX fads are just as easy to spot. Last years EX fad was all about improving employee workspaces, and this year were well on our way to the year of employee well-being. These can be very important aspects of EX, but theres far more to consider when pursuing sustained improvement outside of the sensational content seen on popular business blogs.

3. Insufficient Planning

All resolutions start with good intentions and oftentimes very clear goals, but frequently miss the critical step that comes between goal-setting and execution. If a plan doesnt exist outlining what to eat, when to eat it, and how to prepare it, failure is imminent. Similar to a big diet alteration, this type of preparation and planning is critical for a new EX goal. Like a diet, its important to follow a proven framework or method to improve employee experience within your organization.

4. Lack of discipline

Even if a goal is defined and a plan is created to get there, if routines or habits arent developed to stay on track, the diet is destined to be proven ineffective. Too often, EX improvement efforts are deprioritized over time for other seemingly important fires or initiatives. Its important to stay disciplined and follow through on the plan, especially if buy-in is required from the rest of the organization.

5. Unrealistic expectations

Unrealistic expectations, similar to extreme weight loss goals, make it easy to become demotivated or discouraged due to lack of immediate results. Many EX efforts are cut too soon as a result of near-impossible expectations. Like anything good in life, it takes time and sustained effort for long-term, promising results. Patience is required, and its important to relay this fact to stakeholders within the organization.

6. Poor support

Everyone benefits from a strong support system, and this couldnt be more relevant when dealing with change. Its hard enough to maintain the discipline to see change through on our own, and when other individuals are closely involved, or even need to be relied on for success, its critical theyre on board. Oftentimes, leaders or stakeholders dont understand the importance or value of improving EX, which creates an uphill battle. Its important to educate leaders and get them involved in efforts early.

7. Misunderstanding

If someone doesnt have a solid understanding of what theyre trying to achieve, or even worse, wrongly thinks that they do, theyre set to fail. They might think theyve created the most impactful diet in the world, but misinformation wont produce results. An appropriate understanding of EX is essential when beginning down the path of EX improvement. Doing the due diligence up front to ensure the approach to improvement is handled in an informed manner is the most responsible way to set efforts up for success.

An Effective Approach

The most tried-and-true way to ensure effective change, both in your personal life and organization, is to avoid the lure of quick fixes and approach change in a pragmatic, honest, and comprehensive way. We recommend the below simple yet effective approach to EX improvement.

  1. Understand the unique experience needs of your employees, and how effective your organization currently is in delivering those experiences.
  2. Update or create new experiences to better serve your employees needs, focusing on closing the biggest gaps between employee needs and experiences.
  3. Monitor your EX to ensure experiences continue to deliver on shifting employee needs.
  4. Adjust experiences where appropriate to compensate for new gaps.

Follow the above steps and keep the 7 pitfalls in mind, and youll be well on your way to responsible, effective, and sustainable improvements to your organizations employee experience.


Originally published on holisticplatform.com.