Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and one of the founders of behavioural economics, links specific memories to various experiences. An example he provides is having dinner at a highly recommended restaurant. The atmosphere is wonderful, the menu looks great, the food preparation is artfully done, the wine list is spectacular, however, the wait staff are rushed, abrupt and when clearing the table, the waiter spills coffee into your lap. Odds are that the coffee spill and overall poor service will degrade your memory of the experience. Kahneman points out that the decisions we make are based on the memories of our experiences. So, for that restaurant, your memory will have negative consequences. Not only will it prevent you from returning, it will be shared with all of your friends who ask about your dinner.
If you want your employees to be fully engaged, you first need to make sure you are creating positive memories around their fundamental workplace experiences. The following slogan applies to both the world of customer service and to creating an organisation that employees will be proud to be part of and share with others. “People will go to where they are invited, will stay when they are appreciated and will invite others when encouraged to do so!” To ensure your people are highly engaged, you need to take an honest look at the work experience you deliver. I created the following acronym to remind organisations of the ten key employee experiences that most greatly impact engagement.
Entering the organisation (Onboarding)
X Exiting the organisation
Performance management and feedback
Individual development plan and mentoring
Networking with colleagues
Communications with supervisor
Equity in work/life balance
Ask the following questions for each “E.X.P.E.R.I.E.N.C.E.”:
- What do your employees say they want from each E.X.P.E.R.I.E.N.C.E.?
- How do your employees feel and see things after dealing with each E.X.P.E.R.I.E.N.C.E.?
- What memories should you be trying to create with these E.X.P.E.R.I.E.N.C.E.s for your employees, and what do you need to do to create them?
By asking questions about the work experience you deliver and the memories that are created with your employees, you will be able to design the kind of experience that employees will remember fondly and will want to tell others about. They will want to tell their friends and family because they feel so lucky, and they know how exceptional their employer is. They will want to give the people they care about and respect an opportunity to be as lucky as they are. Not only does creating such a satisfying, motivating, inspiring work experience turn your workforce into a band of headhunters, it also improves morale, productivity, engagement, and customer service quality. So, doing this is not a “nice to do if we had the time” project. Rather, it is a bottom-line driven measure with far-reaching implications for your financial viability.
About Dr. Denis Cauvier
Dr Denis Cauvier has worked with over one million people in 50+ countries across the globe and is the bestselling author of 14 books. He is frequently consulted by the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and is a recipient of the ‘Consummate Speaker of the Year’ award – an honour he shares with the former British Prime Minister, Lady Margaret Thatcher.