You’ve identified the moments that matter in your employee experience so now what…? 

We think of employee experience as being shaped by the 1000s of touch points at which an employee interacts with their company. When it comes to improving employee experience, it helps to think of it as a series of moments that matter because this is how people remember experiences. 

In a previous blog, I’ve shared how you can identify the moments that matter most in your employee experience – the transitions, milestones and pits

This blog is about how to improve the moments that matter in your employee experience.

Moments happen all the time. But what makes a moment go from ordinary and mundane to something meaningful and memorable? 

According to Chip and Dan Heath in their book ‘The Power of Moments’, powerful moments are those that:

  • Elevate: transcend the ordinary and rise above the everyday
  • Provide insight: rewire the way we see the world, cause us to stop, reflect and adjust our view of ourselves
  • Instil pride: capture us at our best and create a sense of achievement
  • Connect: strengthen the experience because we share them with other people

Why does this matter? Because, once you’ve identified the moments that matter in your employee experience (the transitions, milestones and pits) then you need to look for opportunities for these to become moments of elevation, insight, pride and connection. 

Here’s my guide for improving the moments that matter in your employee experience…

1. Mark transitions

Transitions are moments of change – starting a new job, getting a promotion, going on maternity leave etc. Transitions can cause angst, excitement, nervousness, anticipation… whatever the emotion, people are always aware of moments of transition. As an employer you can choose to stay passive and let moments of transition for your people pass by…

It’s Jenny’s first day in her newly promoted role. She comes in feeling different, proud, ready to scale new heights, but everyone treats her just the same – she’s been acting up into the role for the past three months anyway so what’s changed? She goes home deflated, accepting the promotion wasn’t such a big deal, nothing more’s expected of her than what she’s already been delivering.

… Or you can (*cough* should) find ways of marking these transitions…

Jenny’s been promoted. She’s been acting up for the past three months but today’s her first official day in her new role. She arrives to find a new set of business cards on her desk complete with new job title. Her boss takes her for coffee in the morning to thank her for the great job she’s been doing and emphasises how excited she is for the contribution she believes Jenny can make to the organisation in her new role. Jenny goes home brimming with pride, confidence and excitement about the new journey she’s embarking on. 

Think about how you can mark moments of transition for your employees. Can you elevate someone’s first day at your company so it becomes the best first day in a new job they’ve ever had? Can you make someone stop and reflect, realise why they’ve been promoted and take real pride in what they’ve achieved? Can you help someone feel connected to your company and their colleagues even as they’re about to go on parental leave?

2. Commemorate milestones

Milestones are usually moments arrived at by the passing of time or the totting up of accomplishments – birthdays, anniversaries, projects delivered, customers acquired or revenue generated. Milestones are made memorable when we choose to celebrate them. When we don’t they’re often insignificant…  would we notice if it was our one year anniversary at our company if it wasn’t pointed out to us?

To make the most of milestones you need to commemorate them. Companies have traditionally focused on long service milestones – corporate gifts for 5, 10 or 20 years service, an extra day’s holiday per year after staying 5 years. But there are endless opportunities to create and commemorate other milestones for your employees. Can you commemorate someone’s 100th day at work by asking everyone in their team to share something they appreciate about that person, giving them an insight into how far they’ve come in just 100 days? If you’re a start up or growing business can you highlight customer or revenue milestones by bringing the whole company together to recognise these team accomplishments when they happen?

3. Fill pits

Pits are negative moments – technology failures, receiving negative feedback, dealing with home life traumas etc. Pits can cause frustration, fear, worry, anger… emotions that are often strong and difficult to deal with. Because of this, the default for employers is often to ignore potential pits in the employee experience and hope they go away… 

Lucy’s really not performing. It’s starting to affect the performance of the whole team. Lucy knows she’s missing delivery dates for projects but she’s also trying to take care of her sick father and so she can’t put in any more hours. As the weeks go by, she feels bad she’s letting the team down and stressed about her father’s health. As her boss continues to chase her for work, Lucy starts to resent not being able to spend more time with her father. Meanwhile, Lucy’s team get increasingly frustrated that they’re having to work harder to pick up the slack and no one seems to be doing anything to address the situation.

It’s rare that pits just go away, more likely they’ll get deeper and more difficult to deal with the longer they’re ignored. When it comes to pits a little planning about how you can fill these pits when they do occur can really help… 

Can you train your managers to spot pits before they become trenches so they can intervene early? Can you provide support for employees to deal with negative feedback so this might become a moment of insight? Can you turn moments of personal trauma into opportunities for people to feel connected and supported by their colleagues?

So if you want to improve your employee experience, you need to find ways of marking transitions, commemorating milestones and filling pits with moments of elevation, insight, pride and connection.