In most companies, employees do not care about their jobs. A Gallup survey found that only 25% of employees are “actively engaged”. 75% are just muddling through. University of Michigan’s David Ulrich observes that “job depression” is on the rise.
- Disengaged and depressed employees are not likely to deliver a great experience to customers.
- To turn that around, you must engage the heart and soul of every employee. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi at the University of Chicago found that employees want to experience work as “flow” – when they become so involved in what they’re doing that they lose track of time. Flow is about optimal experiences and enjoyment in life, and the ultimate goal is “turning all life into a unified flow experience”. When that happens, work does not feel like work, and the separation of work and leisure becomes meaningless. Work and leisure become one.
You can make that happen by treating employees as customers, and applying the principles of Customer Experience Management.
- Find out what they want, learn about their experiential world.
- Ask them what they would change.
- Instead of imposing a regime, let them help develop their new work environment.
- Get them really involved in the brand. Run workshops and discuss what it means to them. Let them suggest how they can live the brand in their work and in their personal lives.
- Examine the employee interface. How can you improve contacts and interactions?
- Seek their input about innovation, include them in developing innovations.
If you pay attention to your employees experiences, you will be rewarded with a happier, more productive, more proactive workforce. Utopia? Yes, sadly many companies today still operate according to a command-and-control system. Strategy is developed at the top and disseminated to the front lines in an environment of fear. This experience-destroying, military model of the organization fails to recognize the innovative and value-creating forces that a positive employee experience can unleash.