How to identify the moments that matter in your employee experience

by Bee Heller
January 10, 2018

At The Pioneers we see employee experience as the sum of all the interactions between the journey a company is on and an employee’s personal journey. We believe companies should use the lens of employee experience to make these interactions work for both the employee and the organisation.

Matt wrote a great blog on how to improve employee experience, central to which was identifying and improving moments that matter.

In their book, The Power of Moments, Chip and Dan Heath define a moment as: ‘a short experience that is both memorable and meaningful’. They refer to what psychologists call ‘the peak-end rule’. Experiments have demonstrated that we recall experiences not by averaging out the total experience but by focusing on the peak moment (high or low point) and the ending. You’ll find our lego reenactment of one of these experiments here. What Chip and Dan Heath  point out is that it’s not entire experiences that matter but specific, remarkable moments that create memories which stick with us and influence our lives.

When it comes to improving employee experience then we shouldn’t worry about every one of the thousands of interactions between an employee’s and an organisation’s journey. Instead we should focus on a few key interactions. To do this we need to identify the moments in employee experience that really matter to both employees and the company.

There are countless opportunities to create defining moments in the employee experience but to draw on more on Chip and Dan Heath’s advice, here’s how I suggest you identify yours…

  1. Look for transitions – natural defining moments in an employee’s life. These are moments when people are going through significant change – both personal and professional transitions are relevant to the employee experience. Professional examples include: the first day in a new job; a promotion to a new position; ending a project and/or starting a new project; leaving the company. Personal life transitions you might want to consider include: moving in with a partner; having a baby; relocating to a new part of the country/world. Once you’ve identified the transitions that matter in your employee experience then you need to find ways of marking these as special.
  2. Identify milestones. Unlike transitions, milestones can pass by without any real change unless you choose to highlight them. Many businesses recognise an employee’s length of service but usually not until many years have passed by. Are there opportunities to create other milestones in the employee experience such as: the 100th day in the job; the 10th project someone delivers successfully? We tend to be much better at creating and celebrating milestones in our personal lives such as birthdays. When you’ve got a handle on the milestones that are important to your employee experience, think of ways you can commemorate these milestones.
  3. Watch out for pits (or potential pits) – these are moments of hardship or pain. Potential professional pits could include: receiving negative feedback; being overlooked for a promotion; critical workplace technology not working properly. What could you do to preempt these potential pits and attempt to fill them as much as possible by supporting employees through them? Organisations should also think about employees’ potential personal life pits such as family bereavement, divorce, illness… what can you have in place to support employees during these tough times?

Transitions, milestones and pits – these are the moments that matter in your employee experience. As you identify these moments and seek to curate your employee experience, you should find ways of marking the transitions, commemorating the milestones and filling the pits. These moments are all opportunities for elevation, insight, pride and connection. But that’s for my next blog…!

If you’re interested in reading Chip and Dan Heath’s book (which I’d highly recommend) you can find it here:

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