For better or for worse, my family is a customer of a large bank near my home. Once in a while, I step in to the branch to update documents for my mother (she still likes to see her account balance in print) or some other such need. Here’s the kicker, though: Every time I visit that branch, I have a terrible experience — without fail. Either their printer is not working, or the person behind the counter doesn’t have the information I need so I’m re-directed, or the queues are too long, etc., etc.
To top it all, the staff is consistently rude. In fact, the other day I watched in shock as an employee yelled at a customer because he wasn’t clear about the instructions the employee just gave him. This repeated display of their terrible attitude toward customers got me thinking:
Does this bank, as a matter of policy, recruit mean people? Is it a written policy that they need to go out and find the rudest people out there and employ them?
What do you think?
Obviously, the answer is no. No organization does that. I’m pretty sure if I were to meet these employees outside the bank, we’d have a perfectly cordial conversation, ask after each others’ families, and so on. But something changes when this perfectly nice set of people are placed behind the counters in this bank — they turn into their worst selves, and customers bear the brunt. Why does this happen?
The answer: a poor employee experience. Clearly, these guys are understaffed, overworked, don’t have the right tools, or possibly the right training. In short, the bank makes demands of them but does not give them the resources to fulfill those demands. And therein lies the crux of good employee experience: giving employees the resources to meet the daily demands a firm places on them.
Employee experience (EX) is not about free pizza or the Ping-Pong table. Research shows that good EX is driven by the ability of employees to accomplish their daily tasks. But many Asia Pacific firms flounder here. During the research of a new AP-focused EX report I just published, I found that while interest in EX is high in the region, and firms want to do right by employees, firms take missteps in key areas. For instance, firms:
Do not grasp the full extent of EX. Many of those tasked with improving EX are essentially HR folk rebranded as EX pros; they continue to perform the same job while taking on none of the broader tasks that EX management needs, such as developing employee personas, mapping employees’ daily journeys, and so on.
Ignore the role of tech. Irrespective of the specific nature of the work, most jobs today are heavily tech-dependent. In fact, six of the 18 drivers in Forrester’s Employee Experience Index relate to technology. But many EX initiatives completely ignore the tech dimension.
My short advice: Take a good, hard look at your EX program. EX is more than the employee lifecycle; it’s about the employee’s daily journey.
My detailed advice and my findings about EX in Asia Pacific are in my new EX report here.