Transform your organization’s employee experience


Hugo Giralt

CEO and CoFounder of Propelland

The modern-day employee is changing. The millennial workforce, now the largest demographic, will have a major impact on the way we work in the coming years. Many companies have realized that part of their success is rooted in their ability to adapt to this new generation’s needs and expectations.

While every employee has a unique emotional and intellectual profile, as a group they have one thing in common: They are not excited about doing the same thing for 45 years. They want to work with a purpose, and they demand the flexibility to do so. This attitude might compel some companies to shut the door and rely on the old adage: “If it works, don’t change it.” But many companies are becoming more agile and fast-pivoting, and this trend suits the younger generation. Which means that the companies which don’t pivot or generate nimble work policies might, over time, lose their competitive edge.

We feel the change as well, both within propelland and with our clients. Large companies are now turning to designers to help them figure out a way to modernize and better cater to the demands of today’s labor force. It’s a very new trend, so there’s a lot of confusion about how to move forward. Type in “EX” today and a Google search will give you millions of results. So there’s no doubt that EX has gained momentum and is here to stay — and it will evolve. But where do you actually start with EX?

Companies that understand their employees as a holistic community working together, will find themselves with a competitive advantage

Understanding Employees

Step 1: Support a network of teams

One standard work-environment approach that has been consistently challenged and adapted is the traditional hierarchical pyramid. With this structure, there are bosses, and employees, often siloed; managers, and those who support the managers. Companies that understand their employees as a holistic community working together, and that take a more fluid approach to their workflow, will find themselves with a competitive advantage. These networks of teams are anything but siloed. They are an interdependent web where collaborators can shift, depending on a projects’ needs to work seamlessly across organizational boundaries. These are dynamic teams that are empowered by the ability to set their own goals and make their own decisions. This management approach can have a major impact on productivity, and morale.

The most effective and inspiring project managers understand that synergy comes more easily when you have built-in trust with a diverse group of teammates. Work becomes more engaging when jobs that present new sets of problems are met with a broader range of solutions. Diverse teams of people with complementary skillsets offer each other a spark; ideas can be better challenged and tested

Give employees the tools to celebrate their culture

Step 2: Invest early, and continually, in your employees

Employees want — and need — opportunities to grow. Investing in your employees early and often is a hugely important tenet of EX. Employees who provide training and workshops in-house will quickly see that helping people grow in their careers helps the bottom line. Investing in current employees, who already have institutional knowledge, will improve retention. If your investment can help them stay up-to-date (say, with ongoing tech workshops) your company is more likely to be up-to-date (or even ahead of the curve).

Satisfy employees personal and profesional needs

Step 3: Be an EX whisperer: Listen, really listen, to your employees

Dedicating time to really understanding the people who work in your organization is one of the best investments you can make. It goes without saying that in a creativity-based company, it’s essential that people feel like they are managing part of their own destiny. It means that we have to give people the right tools to help them widen and develop their expertise in areas that matters to them and to the company, and to not create obstacles to their everyday work.

Even when employers are eager and willing to tackle and implement change, it will require empathy; it takes effort to understand something that isn’t necessarily your key competence or area of responsibility. That’s why it’s so important for top management to also have an employee experience mindset; this ensures that the organization, and all of its functions, work together to create a workplace that satisfies employees’ personal and professional needs.

Put your EX to the test:

Are you positioned to address your organization’s EX? Ask yourself these questions, and then put them to the test:

Ask yourself: What is your company’s culture, and what concrete initiatives have helped you identify the culture?
Put it to the test: If you’re family-friendly, do you offer emergency back up childcare?

Ask yourself: How can you align your company’s culture with your employee experience?
Put it to the test: If your company is on the road to zero-waste, does your workplace environment reflect that in the ways your company manages its own consumption?

Ask yourself: What would be an effective way to measure your employee’s experiences?
Put it to the test: Can you move beyond the boundaries of the standard “employee questionnaire” to get deeper insights so that these reflections become an ongoing two-way dialogue?

Ask yourself: And finally, how can you develop your managers?
Put it to the test: With extra workshops and training, will they believe they have room to grow within the company? Are you promoting within the company?

Why employee satisfaction is good for business?

Investing in employee satisfaction translates into growth and profitability. At the most basic level, happy employees are good for the brand — if they believe in their company, they’ll work at delivering value by way of creativity, mentoring other employees, and retention. The passion of happy workers will translate into stronger business relationships with current clients, and will raise the bar around company brand awareness for future clients.

Every organization can use a fresh set of eyes to help them see new opportunities for growth and change. We’d love to talk to you about the journey of your company’s employee experience. Let’s be in touch!