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Why employee experience matters now more than ever

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The impact of COVID-19 is forcing us all to manage turbulence at the intersection of our personal and professional lives in ways we haven’t before. People all over the world have been stuck in their homes for weeks. Offices are closed, and schools are sending children home without any real certainty about when normalcy might resume. Business leaders are concerned about their people and are staring at lost revenues and declining productivity.

Your ability to nurture the employee experience at your organization during this time is critical and will be tested in a way it likely hasn’t been before. Focusing on employee experience means everything during a time like this. The payoff is the innovation that will pull your organization through tumultuous times.

Employee engagement is the outcome of a positive employee experience, and engaged employees are almost twice as likely to dip into discretionary effort, pushing beyond their normal responsibilities. That discretionary effort is the crucible of innovation. It’s where employees look at obstacles and find creative ways to get around them. What can you do to ensure that happens?

Safety first: Business leaders need to make decisions in the name of safety and communicate them with employees. Many companies have implemented and extended their work from home policies. They have also announced plans to pay hourly workers through this time, which demonstrates care for everyone who helps power their business.

Focus on personal progress: A proven and vital component of the employee experience is that your people feel a sense of accomplishment every day — and technology plays a critical role. Employees need to be able to make progress and get things done, even amid disruption. With so many offices closing, the work from home experience has to be virtually indistinguishable from being in the office. Many companies are using digital workspace technology to provide their employees with secure access to the things they need to stay productive, from apps and content to soft phones and multimedia, and not miss a beat.

Demonstrate care for employee well-being: Be ready to provide holistic care for employees that may be forced to stay quarantined in their homes, ensuring they have access to healthcare services and necessary supplies. Prepare managers to help employees feeling strain from the impact of isolation caused by quarantines. Make overtures to check in on your teams to keep a personal connection live or through Slack. Or hold regular, virtual coffee chat sessions where employees can connect.

Organizations that can best care for and preserve the progress of their employees will experience tremendous benefits. At the business level, productivity is the sum of individuals’ progress. If you demonstrate care for your employee’s experience they'll reward you with the innovation and discretionary effort to find solutions to seemingly impossible problems and carry your organization through this time.

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