Rethinking the Employee Experience – Elevating HR

Today, we are talking about experiences that influence our perception and how it can help us rethink the employee experience.

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Micro Experiences

Why do we need to rethink the employee experience in the first place?

Organizations tend to look at the experience — whether it be the customer or the employee experience — through their lens instead of through an individual’s lens.

From an organization’s perspective, there is a very linear process of attracting people to the organization, onboarding them, developing them, and rewarding them. The employee experience is broken up into neatly defined life stages.

But does that model match the employee perspective?

Short answer: no. Employees don’t think, “Wow, I’m in the onboarding process right now.”

Instead, an employee’s “lifecycle” with an organization is a series of micro experiences, small moments that color their overall perception of their work life.

Peak vs. Valley Experiences

So with these small moments in mind, how should organizations rethink their employee’s experience?

The place to start is the adage “Two steps forward one step back.” 

Recent research shows that the effect of a positive (or peak) experience far outlasts a negative (or valley) experience. In the 2017 book, The Power of Moments, Chip and Dan Heath detail how positive experiences can shape our perception of the world.

How significant is their impact? The positive effect of peak experiences can last up to four weeks, which is twice as long as the negative effect of a valley experience.

So while it’s essential to minimize valley experiences, organizations need to spend just as much time, if not more, creating peak experiences for their employees.

And as the term “micro” suggests, these experiences don’t need to be significant. Small gestures go a long way.

The key to creating a sustained positive employee experience is that these peak micro experiences happen often.

Rethinking Employee Experiences

So as you think about your organization, think less about the lifecycle stages you’re employees are in and more about the micro experiences you’re weaving together.

You don’t have to be perfect in everything. But how can you create more peak experiences for your employees?

Here are a few employee retention ideas to get you started.

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