Engagement or Experience… What would JFK say?

In JFK’s 1961 Inaugural Address, he delivered the famous imperatives: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

When I consider today’s hyper-competitive hiring and employee-retention challenges, I say to CEOs and HR VPs: “Ask not what your company can do for your employees… but rather what your employees can learn, experience and expect while committing their work lives to your company.”

Employers of all sizes have focused on improving employee engagement, but many engagement models are metrics-based and company-to-employee driven. The fact is “top-down” engagement surveys are only benchmarks. To achieve real, sustainable engagement, companies must “proactively design” their employee’s experience.

Good EX design is not all fun perks and rewards programs- it requires careful consideration of the unique needs of your workforce. What technology makes your employees’ jobs easier? How do you best help your employees use their skills and talents at work? Which new-type intrinsic and extrinsic benefits must your company provide?

Once you’ve designed an EX strategy that aligns with your desired company culture, there’s still work to be done to implement it. For employee experience models to flourish, they’ll need to be embraced on the shop floor, in the cafeteria, and in your remote worker’s office. EX programs are more easily implemented when:

  • There’s a defined senior executive leadership responsibility spanning departmental and divisional silos.
  • HR or the new executive leaders have the budget and the power to affect changes.

Employers have a pressing obligation to create an engaging work experience if they truly believe that their employees are the seminal backbone and core competitive advantage of their enterprise. This obligation presents enormous opportunities for problem-solving businesses including think tanks, consulting firms, software vendors, health and wellness services providers, training and engagement integrators worldwide.

Many of our global clients are already engagement-focused and busy building on their plan to provide their own experience-driven culture. As a secure, video-based interactivity platform, we will be playing an important role in enabling hundreds of thousands with a better work-life balance, as we move together between an engagement model and an experience model.