If the “Great Resignation” taught companies anything, it’s that many employees today are willing to pick up and leave if they don’t feel connected to the company’s mission. Now, we face the prospect of an economic downturn or even a mild recession in the US, while the labor market, particularly for some difficult-to-hire positions, remains relatively tight. In this environment, keeping employees engaged and feeling aligned is more important than ever.

The reality is that the experience you provide your employees directly impacts your customer experience. A recent Gartner Modern Employee Experience Survey notes, “Organizations whose employees are largely satisfied with their experience are 48% more likely to meet organizational customer satisfaction goals, 89% more likely to meet organizational innovation goals and 56% more likely to meet organizational reputation goals.”

Your employees are the ones interacting with your customers in stores and building customers’ digital experiences (CX), so your brand needs to ensure their experience is just as positive and seamless as those you hope to create for customers. By understanding the critical role that your employee experience (EX) has on your customers — and your bottom line — brands and organizations can work to uplevel their employee experience.

Here’s how:

Encourage Executive Buy-In

To improve your organization’s employee experience, it cannot be an initiative driven solely by the human resources team. Instead, everyone in your C-Suite must be fully committed and invested based on an understanding that employee happiness is on par with customer happiness. For example, if the CIO and CMO collaborate to oversee the company’s CX and martech stack, working with them to extend those services to ensure employees have the most current information about the company, just as customers do, should be a high-priority project.

Executives also help set the tone by leading with empathy. I learned early on in my career that marketing is a team sport, and successful leaders take time to listen to their teams, and recognize their talents and contributions. A strong leader, who even in the midst of pressure encourages a culture of empathy, will establish a better employee experience.

Related Article: 4 Ways to Start Connecting Customer Experience and Employee Experience Insights

Recognize the Intersection of EX and CX

While many of your organization’s interactions with customers are of course fully digital, in-store experiences — and the continuity of those experiences with digital — are critical in many industries. So to deliver a superior customer experience, brands must provide consistent messaging at all journey touchpoints — from the product or service description on your website, to the discussions the prospect has with your in-store employees, and the digital or print advertisements they see.

When all employees — not only your marketers — are empowered with the most current information about products, brand assets, info about special offers, and more, they can quickly create compelling customer experiences that are accurate, and on-brand. The key is to make this information easily available to employees.

Another way to support a connected EX/CX is to develop a marketing strategy built on first-party customer data. Organizations that embrace a first-party data strategy will give their employees greater insights into the customers they serve, from what makes an individual customer open an email to what drives an in-store visit.

Learning Opportunities

Empowering your employees with easily accessible, unified first-party data across systems will allow them to deliver meaningful, personalized digital and in-person experiences. The more accurate and actionable the information you provide employees, the better they are able to anticipate and respond to customer needs and preferences.

Investing in Employee Experience

Investing in a better employee experience goes beyond aggregating data and providing the right tools to support employees. Those tools must also work well together so employees don’t need to burn time searching for the information they need, or encountering out-of-date material.

Wondering what this looks like in practice? To get started, first assess what is important to your employees and what will help them do their job better. While many organizations are focused on CX and external communication such as the company website, it’s equally important to tame your own content ecosystem. Don’t deprioritize your internal sites and platforms or allow them to become disorganized or siloed. Also recognize that workflow across functional teams matters and that technical barriers to collaboration slow your people and business down.

Related Article: CX + EX: The Formula for a Customer-Obsessed Culture

Return on Investment on EX and CX

Investing in employee experience generates valuable results for your company. The more you invest in EX, the more dividends you’ll receive — from lower employee turnover and better work performance to more satisfied customers.

To deliver a superior digital customer experience, or to extend that experience to retail stores and other offline channels, don’t overlook connections to your employee experience.

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