Use the 3-E Framework to Improve the Employee Experience.

According to Forbes and Jeanne Meister, partner with HR advisory firm Future Workplace, the Employee Experience is the Future of Work.Consistently great experiences cause employees to be more engaged in their work.  According to Gallup, engaged employees are more productive employees.  And engaged employees invest more discretionary effort into their work.A highly engaged employee population leads to greater customer loyalty, improved profitability, and higher stock prices.  And a key element of employee engagement is a highly positive employee experience.

So how exactly do you create a positive employee experience?  There are several proven ways to do it, but since this is a blog post and not a book, I’ll keep it simple.  Let's call it the "3-E Framework."

What are the 3 E’s?

According to Kate Leggett of Forrester Research, “Customer Service must be Easy, Effective and instill Positive Emotion.”  (You can download the entire report if you’d like.)

Make it Easy for the Customer

Customers want it to be easy to get help when they need it. They don’t want to invest a lot of time or effort.  They want it to be hassle-free.  And they want it to be convenient.

Make it Effective.

Effective means getting the job done right the first time.  When a service rep answers a customer’s question, the answer has to be correct.  It has to be accurate.  And whenever possible, it should be personalized to the customer.

Make it Emotional.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between hard-shelled lobsters and humans like you and me?  Emotions.  That’s what makes us different.  Our central nervous systems are more complex than those of lobsters.

This complexity gives us the ability to process information emotionally.  Lobsters can’t do that.   When a customer service event triggers positive feelings like joy, interest, kindness, positive surprise, hope or gratitude, we feel good.  Lobsters, through no fault of their own, could care less.

So, those are the three E’s of customer service:  Easy, Effective and Emotional.  But the challenge is building all three into the entire customer experience.  Wouldn't it be great if there was a simpler approach?

A Journey Starts with a Single Step.

A customer service journey can be comprised of dozens of steps.  So, trying to build the three E’s into the entire journey can be a challenge.  But there is an easier way.  To understand it, let’s go back to that hard-shell lobster…

When you eat a lobster, you don’t eat the whole thing in a single bite.  You break off one piece at a time.  (Click here to learn how to eat a Maine lobster.)  Similarly, don’t try and apply the 3-E framework to the entire customer journey.  Instead, you break off

a single step

of the customer journey, and test it against the 3-E Framework.  Then repeat the process for another step.

Example use case #1: Employee goes to the Self-service Portal.

Is it easy to get into the portal?

Is single sign-on in place, so the employee doesn’t have to type a username and password?

Can they get there from their smartphone?

 Is the portal effective?

How’s the performance?  Does the landing page load quickly, or does the user have to wait a seeming eternity?  Is the content arranged in a clear and simple format?

Is it emotional?

Earlier, we said that triggering positive feelings like joy, interest, kindness, positive surprise, hope or gratitude make an experience emotional.  The right graphics, messaging and personalization of the portal screen can accomplish this in subtle, yet powerful ways.

Don’t leave it up to your IT types to design emotionally evocative portal screens (no offense, IT types!).  Get your creative marketing people involved here.

Example use case #2: Employee reads a Knowledge base article.

Are your Knowledge base articles easy to read?

Are the articles written in complex HR terminology, or in simple everyday language that an employee will understand? Use this tool measure and improve the readability of your content.

Are all articles written in a consistent format, with the same font, spacing and headings?  Consistency breeds familiarity, and familiarity makes life easier.

Are your Knowledge base articles effective?

An effective article answers a question in a clear, concise and definitive manner.  Are your articles driving Tier Zero Resolution, or are employees asking for clarification?

Do the articles guide the employee to related content, to answer those questions that they’re likely to ask?

Is your Knowledge base content emotional?

Is it written in authentic human language?  Does it include images or videos that will further engage the employee in the subject matter?  Where appropriate, do you add humor to the content to make it entertaining?

To Summarize:

Great customer experiences are easy, effective and emotional.  Transform your employees’ experiences by breaking the customer journey down to its individual steps.  Then focus the 3-E framework onto each step, and watch the overall experience improve!