So what if my workplace experience is kind of ordinary and I wanted to try something different. Where could we start? Well pack your bags. We’re going on an employee experience journey.

Journey mapping is a concept that has taken off in the customer experience space. It’s about understanding your customer’s experience, touch points, barriers, opportunities to delight.

In most organisations, your employee drives the customer experience. They’re the person selling the product, delivering your service, on the phone, email or chat solving customer problems. They’re the person talking to your supplier when an account isn’t paid and representing your organisation at networks, in the community, at conferences, on social media.

The employee experience is the customer experience. They’re two sides of the same coin. If you map a customer’s journey you’ll be mapping an employee’s journey and what they do every day. Journey mapping can be a massive, resource intensive exercise. If you’re lucky enough to have the budget go wild. If you don’t, you can make small inroads into journey mapping. Baby steps still move you forward.

If your organisation has a marketing, brand or consumer engagement function go and make friends with them. Help them and they will help you. Find out what they are doing and how it impacts employees. Are they working on brand? Get yourself involved. Are they working on customer value propositions? Muck in. Is there a disconnect between the experience we sell our customers and the experience we sell our staff? In this day and age why is that?

Make friends with operations. Learn and understand what they do. Understand their service models. Understand their operating rhythms. Where does their revenue or funding come from? I remember seeing Dave Ulrich speak at a conference once and I recall him saying that if HR peeps were asked what the business does, only 20% would describe the actual business and its product or services and the other 80% would describe the HR function. I hate to say it HRTribe, but organisations don’t exist for you. You are not the business. Get out and see the business. Better yet, work in it. In an area other than HR.

Talk to people. Actual people in the business. Not just managers. Not just people in Head Office. I heard a great story the other day that I unfortunately can’t credit because I heard it third hand (if you know that source please tell me!). An exam for a business course had one question. It was a pass or a fail. The question was What is the name of the cleaner? Say hi to the receptionist. If you have satellite offices visit them. Base yourself or your team there. If you’ve got multiple floors leave your floor. If your organisation has gone hot desk, open plan crazy go and sit with another team.

You know who else is your friend? Finance. They’re humans too. Learn to speak a few words in their language and teach them to speak a few words in yours. Understand the financial targets of the business. What’s your turnover? What’s your revenue? Making changes? Talk to your finance friends and get them to model the impact and different scenarios. Learn how to rock a spreadsheet. Some finance peeps will show a glimmer of appreciation if you pull out your pivot table.

Who are the best kept secrets in your organisation that you look out for? Who else do you find it useful to connect and build relationships with?

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