Employee Experience framework

5 Minutes
Supporting you in getting going with your EX efforts

Once you’ve undertaken your Employee Experience (EX) research via an EX Audit and then created your strategy, then it’s time to get going with your EX efforts. For this you need an EX framework.

According to the Collins Dictionary, a framework is "a particular set of rules, ideas, or beliefs which you use in order to deal with problems or to decide what to do".

Our suggested framework for EX is as follows.

The Employee Lifecycle

Start with defining this which will help to shape the potential scope of your (EX) activities over the long term. The Employee Lifecycle encompasses every interaction between an employee and an organisation, which covers a huge number of processes, journeys and experiences.

Publishing this internally will help define the terminology used for the different stages in the lifecycle as well as helping people realise that the EX starts before an employee’s first day and goes on after they have left the organisation. After all, you want to attract talent, maintain brand loyalty, and attract sales from ex-employees. You can read more about this here

The Moments that Matter

These are opportunities to surprise and delight an employee and make them feel positive towards their employer. These should be peppered throughout the Employee Lifecycle.

They may be viewed by some as the ‘soft stuff’ but they really are critical points in the Employee Lifecycle that will have a huge effect on the EX and therefore employee satisfaction. You can read more about this here

Employee Journey Mapping

Before we can truly understand how to improve an Employee Journey, we need to understand the current situation, so it is important to map the current Employee Journey in detail first. In order to minimise the complexity of journey mapping, we advise to try to be as granular as possible, for example, focusing on the first day Employee Journey as part of the overall onboarding experience.

It’s about breaking activities down into manageable chunks and interrogating each Moment that Matters to make it the best it can possibly be. You can read more about this here

Employee Archetypes

Where you have different types of employees that are likely to have a different experience, then it is important to understand their different needs, wants and pains.

To support this understanding, we recommend creating Employee Archetypes and map the journey for each Archetype separately. After all, not every employee is likely to have the same journey – a frontline employee will have a different pathway than an IT Helpdesk employee, for example. You can read more about this here

Empathy Maps

These force us to put ourselves in the shoes of employees to consider their emotional or physical responses during specific experiences. Empathy Maps are about getting inside the head of your employees to understand what they might be saying, thinking, doing or feeling during an experience.

The Empathy Map template can either be used by an EX team to discuss ideas or can be used as a prompt when interviewing employees about their experiences. When employees are nervous – you should seek to reassure them. When they are excited – you should seek to build upon this. You can read more about this here

Change Canvas

To test and review new or existing employee journeys and experiences, it is useful to have a structured retrospective approach to obtaining feedback. The Stop, Start, Continue, Change Canvas provides that structure.

In short, you will obtain feedback on what’s going right, what’s going wrong and where the challenges and opportunities are. You can read more about this here

Employee motivation

If you desire a strong ROI from your people, then increasing motivation is key. If you work backwards, profit is impacted by performance, which is impacted by productivity, which is impacted by the often-overlooked motivation.

Achieve high levels of motivation and it will certainly support a high-performance culture. Our motivation platform mojo will support with achieving this. You can read more about this here

Employee Experience measurement

As well as continuing with current metrics such as survey scores, absence rates, turnover rates, external benchmarking sites etc.; we recommend measuring improvements in motivation levels and satisfaction of the Moments that Matter.

After all, as Peter Drucker says: ‘what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done’. You can read more about this here

Employee Experience framework in action

Theory is one thing, practice is another. Utilising our knowledge and experience of practical application, below is an illustrative case study to articulate usage of the tools within the framework.

The organisation: ACE (Artisanal Coffee Enthusiasts)

ACE are a growing high street coffee brand who desire to sit somewhere between the famous and popular chains (Starbucks, Costa etc.) and independents. They currently have almost 100 stores and a head office.

After undertaking an EX Audit and devising their EX Strategy, they decided to use the EX Framework to get going with their EX improvement efforts. (Alongside working on other projects which were recommended following the audit – such as modernising their intranet, reviewing their EVP and building more of an ACE community.)

At the strategy stage, they had put together an ACE EX Council, which included 12 Directors/Heads of from across the organisation. The Council were involved in workshop sessions to help to define the strategy and are an ongoing resource to support the core EX team (which consists of a Head of EX and an EX Manager) who leads the Council.

Creating the ACE Employee Lifecycle

The Council met to define the ACE Employee Lifecycle. In a workshop session, the EX team gave examples of existing lifecycles and then people went into breakout groups to think about the stages and the language relevant for ACE. The end result was a defined set of stages and to tap into the fact that employees are termed as an ‘ace’ – so the stages were defined as ‘Find an ace’ through to ‘Remember an ace’.

Defining the ACE Moments that Matter

As different functions own different stages of the Employee Lifecycle, several workshops were set up to discuss the Moments that Matter. As Talent Attraction own ‘Find an ace’ they, along with the core EX team and members of the Council, attended a workshop to define these moments. As L&D own ‘Develop an ace’ they, along with the core EX team and members of the Council, attended a workshop to define these moments. And so it goes on.

As it evolved, those attending the workshops came to believe that there should be two sets of Moments that Matter – one for head office employees and one for in-store employees. And so these were defined.

Designing the ACE Employee Journey Maps

There were over 100 defined Moments that Matter across the two different sets and so it would be impossible to prioritise all of them. So, it was decided to begin with journey mapping one moment that needed urgent improvement and one moment that was thought could be a quick win.

#1 First day in-store: The data showed that around 7% of new hires left within the first week, so this required urgent attention. A workshop session was set up with the core EX team, relevant members of the Council and a few in-store employees who had recently had their first week. It became apparent that the first day experience was lacking and those new hires who left swiftly did so, in the main, because they felt unsupported and were expected to be productive almost immediately. So, the clear task was to come up with ways to improve the first day experience.

#2 Researching ACE: It was felt that there was a lot of information about the organisation on the website, but it lacked a real sense of what it was like to work at ACE. A bunch of ‘day in the life’ videos had been posted on the intranet and it was decided to post these on the website and see if that fixed the issue.

Building the ACE Employee Archetypes

ACE decided that they wanted broad archetypes and created ones such as “The Ambassador” for Baristas, “The Sellers” for the sales teams and “The Techies” for IT employees. When designing the first day in-store experience, they referred to “The Ambassador” archetype to understand the typical kind of person they were dealing with. (It also prompted them to ask if they were recruiting the people with the right motivations for the role.)

Utilising Empathy Maps

These were used in the workshop sessions to understand what the person going through their first day and those researching ACE were likely to be thinking, feeling etc. Participants used ‘I’ to bring immediacy.

Using the Change Canvas

For both the Employee Journey Maps the Stop Start Change Continue canvas was used. It was much simpler for the Researching ACE map as the only major change was to start adding ‘day in the life’ videos to the website. The first day canvas was a lot more extensive – but certainly helped to shape the direction moving forward.

Leveraging mojo to underpin EX efforts

As it was felt that they were possibly hiring Baristas with the wrong motivations, it was decided to ask final-stage candidates to take a mojo map to understand their motivations. ACE didn’t want, for example, new hires motivated by earning lots of money as they couldn’t promise this in Barista roles. And to track how new hires were feeling, it was decided to pilot mojo on a group of them to see if this knowledge and ensuing interventions would make a difference to employee satisfaction and retention.

Measuring success

A baseline was taken before any improvements were made. Success was then measured on:

  • If feedback from a quick survey showed improvements in understanding what life at ACE was likely to be like before they joined.
  • If feedback from a quick survey showed improvements in satisfaction with the first day in-store.
  • If less employees were leaving within the first week.
  • If those in the mojo pilot felt supported throughout their first few weeks.

The end result?

Ultimately, the two biggest outcomes from an effective EX are improvements in culture and productivity. In this illustrative case study, the very likely outcomes are that:

  • Current and future employees will view the Employee Lifecycle and believe that the organisation takes the welfare and development of their employees seriously.
  • Employees will see demonstrable commitment to continuous improvements through Employee Journey mapping and mojo.
  • Potential new hires are more likely to understand what working life is like an ACE to help them to decide if they wish to apply.
  • ACE are more likely to be able to match the right people to the right roles by considering intrinsic motivation in the recruitment process.
  • Employees are more likely to feel supported and to stay and thrive due to being effectively supported.
  • ACE would need to spend less on recruitment, as the right people will be hired and people will stay for longer.

You can read more on the Employee Experience here

Hudhaib Al-Allatti
Hudhaib Al-Allatti
Co-founder 12 Events & Managing Director ProMedia International

Nicholas made an indispensable contribution to our Diversity & Inclusion summit. His insightful concepts, compelling presentation approach, and authentic enthusiasm for the Employee Experience topic significantly resonated with everyone, leaving a lasting impression on our entire audience.

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