Everyone is talking about EX - are you?

It seems like everyone is talking about EX at the moment. It's the next big acronym.

But what is it, and why should you care?

EX stands for Employee Experience. A step up from employee engagement, which has been getting a bit of a bad rap lately, EX  is a way of looking at the entire relationship between employee and employer, from the moment someone considers applying for a job to the day they move on.

More and more, businesses understand that performance hinges on the humans who make the wheels turn. EX is a holistic lens through which performance and motivation can be understood and addressed. For more on what EX is (and isn’t), we recommend this Forbes article

Why does EX matter? 

Organizations can't exist without people. It's now well understood that engaged employees perform better -contributing up to a 40% boost to bottom line performance in some cases- but businesses have generally struggled to move the dial on engagement levels, and employees are, ironically, becoming disengaged by the annual engagement survey.

EX is about understanding that employees want more than cookies in the kitchen and a birthday card each year. They want to work towards a purpose, to feel valued by their employer, and heard by their leaders. And the benefits to employers? Lower turnover, improved productivity, increased innovation, and a more resilient culture. 

With Mercer finding that 90% of employers are expecting more competition for talent, and a new generation of employees seeking a rewarding career rather than a job to show up to on weekdays, the increased focus on EX is timely.

Communication is your best friend

Together with HR, few departments are better placed to help deliver EX goals than Communications. Here's why.

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Good communication leads to a good employee experience

Good communication is inseparable from a good employee experience. Study after study emphasizes this symbiotic relationship: people want to hear from their leaders, to be heard by their managers, and to feel connected to what's happening at their organization.

Communications teams know your people

The single most important aspect of EX is knowing your employees. Not just collecting basic demographics, but truly understanding who they are as people, what their needs are, what motivates them. Chances are, your comms team is already great at this. They’ll have both data and an intuitive understanding of the audience that they connect with every day. 

As you progress on your EX journey, your comms team can partner with you to share the latest developments with employees, and provide essential feedback for continuous improvement. 

So now you know what EX is and you definitely think you should care about, how do you make it happen?

Using communication to create EXcellence

Be purposeful 

Today’s employees want to work for an organization with a clear purpose that aligns with their personal values.  

With a communications strategy rooted in purpose, you can use every message to demonstrate how your organization is living out its values, and how your people contribute to your success. We've all become human doings rather than human beings: reminding your people that those spreadsheets, project plans and Monday morning meetings contribute to a greater purpose, keeps them connected to the reason they came to work for you in the first place.

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Strategy isn’t just for the C-suite

Working aimlessly is hardly a rewarding experience; yet fewer than 30 percent of employees can articulate their organization’s strategy, and only 10% are clear about their role in delivering it. Engaging communications can help employees understand your strategy, how you’re progressing and what they can do to make a difference. 

Swimming upstream

Communication, by definition, must flow two ways. But the majority of organizations struggle to give their employees a voice. They can be left feeling unheard and as if it’s an uphill battle to share their feedback, which should provide vital input to organizational direction.

Analyzing and, if necessary, redesigning your communications channels will facilitate a meaningful ongoing conversation with employees. This will enhance not only their experience, but allows them to provide valuable on-the-ground insight. 

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What would Tesla do? 

Jesse, a manager in operations, has discovered her company could save 20 percent on its office space costs if it adopted agile working practices. She wants to kick off a project, but her manager needs to speak to the COO first, who might then raise the topic with the Head of HR. 

Wouldn’t it be great if Jesse felt empowered to just call the Head of HR?

This is exactly what happens at Tesla, where great ideas and efficient delivery are embraced, instead of silos and chain-of-command communication.

Reviewing your communication culture to make multidirectional communication easier will contribute significantly to the quality of an employee’s experience. And that may just help great ideas come to life. 

These are just some of the ways that good communication contributes to a better employee experience. 

Talk to us today about how we can help you deliver your EX objectives. It's our motto and our core belief that great communication creates happy teams, and happy teams deliver amazing results.

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