The world is filled with acronyms and the realm of user experience is no different. Some are well established — CX for customer experience, UX for user experience and EX for employee experience — while others, like DX (digital experience) and PX (patient experience) are still making their way into the business lexicon.
At the end of the day, though, all these acronyms are getting after the same thing: the experience a person has with a brand. The better the experience, the more likely that person will return and give the brand their business. On the flip side, sometimes it only takes one bad experience to undo years of goodwill. The same can be said for an employee’s experience with a brand. Great EX will keep employees engaged and invested in a company, while poor experiences will drive them away.
Knowing that employee and customer experiences are really chasing after the same goal of keeping people delighted and engaged, let’s measure both against the USERindex. USERindex is a tool that evaluates user experiences for usefulness, satisfaction, ease of use and reliability to showcase how these commonly prescribed areas in customer experiences are just as vital to the success of EX programs.
The USERindex: Where Customer and Employee Experiences Overlap
Any digital product must be useful if it is to be adopted. In other words, the product must fulfill a need. If this need can be met through other means, then the product must ensure that the product meets the need in a way that is as easy or easier than other ways. Imagine an employee portal that doesn’t provide any information on paternity leave benefits, or that doesn’t clearly guide the user to that information. Another means to get this information (or a pointer to the information) is to email HR. If employees view an email to HR as an easier way to get the relevant information, then the digital tools are not as useful and not employee-friendly, and therefore become expendable.
User satisfaction is a crucial aspect of a customer experience. A customer who likes using a website or mobile app will have a more positive perception of the company providing it, which results in increased loyalty and likelihood of recommending the company to others.
At first glance, one might assume that satisfaction doesn’t apply to the employee experience. After all, employees have to use the tools that are available, right? Because unlike customers, they don’t have a choice.
This may be true to a degree, but it does not mean satisfaction is not an essential part of the employee experience when it comes to digital tools. In fact, the level of satisfaction (or lack thereof) as it relates to digital tools has an impact on the overall perception an employee has of a company. Employees evaluate the company they work for on a regular basis. Low levels of satisfaction with digital tools will negatively impact their perception of the company and might ultimately contribute to employee churn.
Ease of Use
The ease with which the internal employee tools can be used and the learning curve employees have to deal with are important factors. Add to that the discoverability of the different tools, and all too often the set of employee tools feels like a maze to be freed from rather than a pleasant experience employees look forward to using.
If tools are difficult to learn or use, employees can get frustrated. In addition, they may spend more time on learning and using the tools. And that extra time inevitably leads to reduced overall productivity. In other words: tools that are difficult to use are frustrating to employees and cost the company more money in training and employee ramp-up time.
Employees must have confidence that the tools update the information quickly and accurately. A lack of confidence in the tools may lead to a negative impression of the toolset and perhaps extend to the perception of the employer. It may also result in additional communication with the HR team, which takes up precious HR time and resources, and slows down the employee in their training.
When it comes down to it, companies shouldn’t treat the employee experience any differently than the customer experience. Brands want to keep their customers coming back for more and engaging with them in new and enjoyable ways. They should want the same from their employee base. That’s why employees deserve the same attention to detail when it comes to EX and providing digital assets that are intuitive and follow the USERindex pillars described above. EX deserves the same care and attention as any other type of user experience.
Inge has been designing and testing web, mobile, voice and multi-channel experiences for more than 20 years. She builds and leads UX teams and evangelizes customer experience principles throughout organizations.