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The Economy of Experience






2020 is only four months old, but the year has already been defined.  The coronavirus is, at least at the time this article is being published, dominating every facet of working life.  As the year continues, coronavirus itself will be less of an issue but its impact will be long-lasting.
But there will be other topics that will gain traction this year.  One of the strongest contenders will be the employee experience economy.

The Employee Experience Economy

For such a long time, there has been a huge focus on employee engagement.  It’s still very important in terms of metrics for the company.  To prove this, look no further than Gallup.  The organization reports a whopping 85% of the global workforce is not engaged.  But the employee experience encompasses so much more.  An employee’s experience is the sum of everything he or she has experienced while engaging with the company.  This means everything from the moment he or she discovered a job opportunity at the organization and applied for it all the way to the end of employment.
This is what Atrium Health Vice President for Workforce Engagement Sebastien Girard calls the economy of experience.
What is the EX economy?  Girard says the basis of the EX economy is a quote from the famous poet Maya Angelou.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
“In the business world, organizations that pick up on that and build their business model on the fact that if they can create the best experience they’re going to keep their customers forever,” Girard said.  If you apply that same methodology for employees, HR inevitably takes on an experience function and engages in the EX economy.
“We’re in a world where your employees, your teammates are customers.  We’re not doing them a favor by employing them.  They are doing us a favor by coming to work for us,” Girard said.  Taking it a step further, Girard said everything that happens during the employee lifecycle has one common denominator… and that’s HR.  It’s for that reason he feels very strongly the EX economy is the future of HR.
And if you’re wondering what the culprit behind the shift is, Girard says look no further than the digital revolution.  He pointed to how his organization engages with potential new employees as an example.
“When it comes to hiring, the use of digital channels is no longer optional. When looking for a job, most people first check out an organization’s Twitter, Facebook, Glassdoor or LinkedIn activity. This is one of the ways job seekers “interview” their potential future employer,” Girard said.  “This first encounter is a company’s first chance to create an experience with a potential hire and demonstrate the culture of the organization. Employee engagement/experience now starts before your future teammate has even applied!”
At the end of the day, HR is going to “have to have a strong desire” to embrace this idea of the employee experience economy.  Girard said it is going to look different for every organization.  But end the end, he said it means one thing for HR and the company.
“The employee experience is going to be a competitive advantage.”

In Summation

I started out this article by saying the coronavirus will impact every facet of work.  The employee experience will be the same, but the impact will be different.  How your company responds to the crisis will define the employee experience for months to come.  Many employees will decide whether or not this wish to continue employment with the organization in the months and years to come based on the events that happen over the next few months.  Stay focused on delivering the best experience possible and you will retain those employees into the future.