How your employee experience can transform you business

Do you remember the service profit chain? A theory published in Harvard Business Review in 1994 that linked employee satisfaction to customer satisfaction, propounding these metrics as pillars of a profitable business. Every CEO can relate to it, having struggled with the pursuit of satisfying customers and employees.
As a service designer, I learned to design the customer experience along with the employee experience for true service transformation. This people centered principle took me back two decades to the service profit chain, but design thinking empowers me in the present with a method that translates thought into reality. I get to create with and for all the stakeholders in a service.
The new age companies that offer a great customer experience also pride themselves on designing great employee experiences: transparent policies, flexible working hours, talent management, beautiful offices for example. Most brands recognize a customer experiences a brand on three levels: functional, human and sensorial. The three dimensions of an experience hold true for employees as well.
Let’s apply the three dimensions to your employee experience:
Functional: Refers to the features, tools, product knowledge, technical support, store – whatever is necessary for the customer to access the brand offering. In a hotel experience the bed, air conditioning and room hygiene would meet the customer’s functional needs. How well do you meet the functional needs: reward, role clarity, tools, systems, growth, workspace ect. of your employees ?
Human: Customers expect a personalized relationship building approach. Hotel guests like being remembered, receiving exclusive offers and trusting the brand to go the extra mile. Similarly, beyond the fancy office and big salary, employees need the organization to demonstrate the human touch by adapting policies, making allowances for personal needs and nurturing the relationship. Do your employees have a sense of purpose and belonging?
Sensorial: Even when their functional and human needs are met, customers expect to have a pleasurable experience. A hotel smells of fragrant mogra and high thread count bed linen serves to stimulate a customer’s senses. Do your employees need better coffee, an inspiring view or a comfortable place to eat to enjoy the work experience?
When we cater to employees needs that specially reinforce our brand values, the result is an empathetic, empowered and engaged service organization that works effortlessly well to serve customers. Less employee turnover, higher return on investment from training and motivated staff lower business costs and boost sales by retaining happy customers.