What does it take to succeed in the modern world of workplace experience? It’s a question that seems straightforward initially until you dig a little deeper. The most successful brands have anything but simple strategies and programs in place.
Today’s digital-first workplaces require the support of modern technologies and flexible delivery approaches to adequately serve employee experiences. A good program should not only deliver experiences, content, information, applications and services that align with today’s standards, but also the innovations of tomorrow. It must be forward-thinking, evolving continually to better match employee needs, not just on a grander scale but more efficiently, too.
Actively disengaged employees cost U.S. companies between $450 billion to $550 billion per year. Looking at that statistic alone, it’s clear that satisfied, engaged employees are crucial to churning a profit, let alone achieving high levels of success.
Of course, all of that is easier said than done. Creating the kind of program described is not as simple as investing some funds and turning on the power button. The design of such workplace experience programs requires strong analytics that takes into account the exchange and encounters that happen throughout a regular working day. Collectively, the data provides relevant insights that can be used to personalize moments and create a well-oiled machine.
Despite much of the hubbub in corporate culture centering around digital transformation, it’s not the only thing organizations should be focused on. A majority of a program’s success rests solely on the shoulders of the workplace experience manager.
The Workplace Experience Manager Role Defined
As one might expect, the workplace experience manager is responsible for providing a seamless delivery of experiences to employees, vendors and customers across an organization. They do this by fine-tuning and customizing the interactions each party has, the information they access or receive, and the processes that impact day-to-day workflows.
It’s a role that is integral to the success of any experience program, bar none.
What Does It Take to Become a Good Workplace Experience Manager?
Definitions alone rarely explain the full scope of responsibility and talent that certain roles require. The workplace experience manager is a comprehensive and varied position that involves many different aspects of modern experience programs. On top of the more traditional roles that any manager takes on, here are the traits and tasks that the role requires:
Flexibility Because the state of experience — both employee and customer-based — is constantly changing, the manager must be able to keep up with the many shifting needs. That includes learning, adopting, and onboarding new trends and technologies, especially when they give organizations a leg up over the competition. Adaptability is key to staying on top of the market’s rising tides.
People Person Workplace experience managers must believe in the power of people, and they must believe in the inherent good within everyone. That might sound like a stretch, but it’s not a fable. To do good, you must not only believe in it but also must positively strive to influence the day-to-day lives of people. You care about them. You care about their work. And you care about the value they bring to the company (and vice versa).
Roots In Customer Experience Principles Good employee experience leads to excellent customer experience. How any company treats its customers should be the same way it treats employees and vice versa. You can’t have a positive corporate culture without focusing on both sides of the operation. Therefore, any workplace experience manager worth their weight in gold must have strong roots in the customer experience world.
Thirst for Knowledge Fail to plan and you plan to fail. So much research goes into the development process, and it involves data insights, current and future trends, technology and much more. To be the best and create the best experiences, managers must be willing to learn and grow on their own. They need to have a finger on the pulse of the market at all times.
Executive Planning The nature of corporate environments is that politics will always be involved. To try out something new, put a plan into action, or even just change gears executive buy-in has to happen. It’s important to approach these higher-ups with a solid, well-researched plan that includes specific examples of how a program or strategy will positively impact the company. Furthermore, how you approach key stakeholders is a large part of the planning phase, too. You must be able to show everyone your vision, and how you’re going to execute it to achieve optimal ROI.
Cross-Functional Team Management Most organizations are so siloed that managers must understand how to break these barriers. Each department has different needs and viewpoints, and it’s up to the workplace experience manager to overcome such obstacles when bringing the changes to pass. Every program must benefit each department in some way, too, and managers need to know how and where different factors apply.
How Companies Build a Great Workplace Experience Model
Of course, organizations must handle workplace experience investments a little differently than an individual manager. It’s up to the workplace experience manager, however, to ensure this happens correctly and seamlessly.
- Always invest in people over a product (people are the product). Happy employees are up to 20% more productive at work than those unsatisfied.
- Always honor up-skilling, the process of training employees and teams to further enhance their skills and knowledge sets. It empowers the workplace, particularly through digital technologies and tools.
- Adopt new technologies as an enabler, prioritizing value over quantity. In other words, don’t just adopt new tools and solutions for technology’s sake, there must be a clear benefit to the event.
- Practice and optimize personalization so that each employee feels instrumental in the operation. They must believe they are more than just a statistic, making a difference in the day-to-day.
- Establish a connected work environment that spans devices, people, places and things. It must bring the entire operation and all-access points together so that interactions are dynamic, seamless and collaborative.
- Develop an ecosystem of partners and technologies that work together fluently.
Digital and Dynamic Is the Way
The more traditional workplace blueprint is nearly obsolete. It loses ground every day to more dynamic, flexible, and digital-oriented trends. There is a lot that is contributing to the change, with the emergence of new technologies certainly at the forefront. The most important element, however, stems from the ever-changing demands and needs of today’s workforce.
It’s vital to remember that workplace experience impacts all programs and departments, not just those related to internal culture. Everything from the food served in the company cafeteria to the technology used to complete tasks has a place, and it impacts the experience of individuals either positively or negatively. Other factors include employee experience program requirements, physical environments, wellness, support programs and incentives, culture, processes and even the brand image.
Companies with highly-engaged workers outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share. It pays to focus on the workplace experience, particularly to achieve happier, healthier employees.
Although, it’s no small feat to get everyone on board, happy and continually satisfied, yet any valuable workplace experience manager can do precisely that, day after day.