Jacob Morgan is a three time best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist. His latest book is "The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they Want, the Tools they Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate” and is based on an analysis of over 250 global organizations. It’s been ranked #1 on Amazon for HR, Organizational Leadership and Personnel Development. We decided to sit down with Jacob to discuss what goes into a great employee experience.
You talk about the three environments that make up the employee experience. What are they and why are they each important?
The three environments that make up the employee experience are culture, technology, and physical space.
Culture comprises 40% of the overall experience and deals with how an employee feels about working for an organization. I looked at 10 variables here including: having a manager who acts as a coach and mentor, pay and compensation, positive brand perception and much more.
Physical space comprises 30% of the overall experience and looks at the actual spaces in which employees work. This includes things like flexibility, autonomy and having multiple floor plans that employees can pick from.
Technology and tools
The last environment is technology which also comprises 30% of the employee experience and explores the tools employees use to actually get their jobs done. When evaluating this side of things, it’s important to look at things like adoption of the tools you provide and whether or not the tools are user-friendly.
What are some of the coolest or most interesting things you’ve seen organizations do to improve employee experience?
Interestingly enough, employee experience is really not about doing anything cool! Sure you can have cool spaces (COOL is actually the acronym I used in my book for the 4 variables that comprise physical space) but employee experience is really about building that connection and relationship with your employees and, in a sense, giving them a type of ownership to shape the organization they are working for. However, there are some interesting stories of tactics that organizations have been using.
Companies like Cisco are moving away from traditional employee life cycles to focus on something called “Moments That Matter”, which explore who their employees are on a more human level by identifying the moments that matter most in their lives. They were among the highest scoring organizations. In fact, their entire “People Deal” manifesto came from employees based on the U.K who wanted to shape what Cisco looks like. They also continuously hold hackathons to break down their people practices and rebuild them for 2017 and beyond!
It can be tough to craft a positive employee experience in the gig economy. What are some things organizations can do to improve matters for a contingent workforce?
The first thing to realize is that full-time employment isn't going away. The majority of us will continue to have full time jobs the way we do now. However, we are going to have more of a hybrid workforce which is something organizations need to be aware of. My advice to organizations would be to start paying attention to how many contingent workers you have, educate your teams on how to properly work with them, but don't abandon your full time employees!
There’s a lot of buzz in the HR world about advanced analytics and data science. Beyond the typical engagement surveys, what role does this kind of data play in designing and maintaining a great employee experience?
In my book I look at three layers of questions that organizations need to focus on. The first is the basic layer of "what.” These include the most basic things. How long is your average employee tenure? How many people work in the organization? Those are the basics.
The second layer of questions is around "why." This looks at things like why individuals leave after X year, or why are some teams perform better than others?
The last layer of questions is a bit more predictive and anticipatory in nature, they answer more complex problems. For example: "We know we have 50,000 employees and that 25% of them don't stay longer than 2 years, how can we identify who those people are and what can we do to fix that problem?"
Personally, I think annual engagement surveys are waste of time and we will see their use and reliance dwindle over the next 3-5 years.
Learn more about creating a great employee experience
You can purchase Jacob's book "The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they Want, the Tools they Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate” on Amazon or wherever you get your books.