Do you rely on rescue moments to ‘delight’ your employees?

3 Minutes
In Employee Experience terms, there’s a huge difference between a moment that matters and a rescue moment—although they’re often confused.

Example 1

For safety reasons a ferry has to remain in port for an undetermined period. The passengers are let off, but the crew remains. By day three, they’re tired of eating stew, so the Captain gives the cook some money to buy some more interesting food from a local shop. The crew eat a wonderful meal and thank the captain. To them, this mattered.

Example 2

For safety reasons a ferry has to remain in port for an undetermined period. The passengers are let off, but the crew remains. Following pre-designed protocols, the Captain immediately gives the cook some money to buy some more interesting food from a local shop, as all they have in stores is stew. The crew eat a wonderful meal on the first night, and for all five days they’re moored.

The first example is a rescue moment, which has arisen out of poor planning. Although the captain will receive some short-term praise, the dining experience of the crew over the days they have been moored is poor. The second example is a moment that matters. It may not have the memorable peak of the first, but the consistently good dining experience is, well, a much better overall experience and displays that the wellbeing of the crew is consistently paramount.

Employees can see right through rescue moments

Just some familiar rescue moments at organisations are:

  • A group of colleagues rise from their desks to go to lunch. As they put their coats on, someone notices the new person, whispers to someone else if they should invite them, then bounds enthusiastically over to the new person and invites them to lunch.
  • At ten past the hour, someone unexpectedly gets dialled into a Teams meeting as their input would be ‘most valuable’.
  • A candidate emails to ask for an update on their job interview as they were promised a decision yesterday; they swiftly receive a reply which includes ‘I was just about to contact you’.

It’s important to plan your moments that matter through Employee Journey mapping and try to make these as consistent as possible across the organisation. Like the husband who comes home from work on his wife’s birthday with flowers from the petrol station, employees can spot a lack of planning/care a mile away.

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