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As much hoopla as there is around customer experience, creating good employee experiences can be a differentiator for company’s survival in 2019 and beyond. “Ignoring the employee experience weakens the impact of critical IT projects on business outcomes and “alienates employees” according to a Gartner report (fee required).

Capterra’s Brian Westfall agrees, writing  in a recent blog. “In 2019, employee experience will become the key differentiator between good employers and great ones. SMBs that make sustained investments in their employee experience will be able to hire and retain top talent, and dominate the competition.”

Executing on Employee Experience

Those are great points but they don't answer the questions on execution, like where to start or where should the priorities be of those who touch employee experience efforts in their organizations? “An organization’s brand, purpose and values must be used throughout the employee experience process to drive differentiation,” said Colin Lange, North America executive director of brand engagement at Landor. “Ensuring that your entire hire-to-retire journey is consistent and delivers an on-brand experience that limits, or eliminates, the gaps employees feel overall will enable them to understand their role in the business, helping to drive engagement.”

We caught up with a couple of practitioners charged with employee experience delivery in their organizations to help us gain insight into their focus for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

Related Article: How Do You Know if You're Providing a Top Employee Experience?

Doing More With Less

Monika Fahlbusch is chief employee experience officer at BMC Software. She shared that the BMC Employee Experience team manages the largest operating budget for the company. She said they are challenged to do more with less in order to deliver as much of their resources as possible to serving customers, and to delivering EBITDA. “This reality drives our strategy, and it forces us to be innovative in what we prioritize and deliver,” she said.

BMC’s digital workplace strategy is a direct result of needing to make its employees more productive by delivering a fully digital experience, and reducing friction and expense at the same time. “Simply put, our strategy is to automate business processes wherever possible, to deliver service digitally and efficiently around the globe and to hold ourselves accountable to how our employees feel when consuming these services,” said Fahlbusch. 

She went to share the most companies are doing parts one and two but that m any miss part three. "We find innovation in our financially constrained reality — and it’s a great story we share with our customers, who have the same constraints,” she said.

Related Article: 9 Employee Engagement Survey Questions to Ask

Standing Out to Job Candidates

One challenge for BMC and Fahlbusch is making the company a standout when there are so many choices for prospective employees. BMC recognizes it has to differentiate itself against better known employers. To this end, it has prioritized an “ownable position for us in the marketplace. That position is delivered through our digital workplace foundation, and it enables us to be one of the more recognized remote worker friendly employers of our size,” she said.

Related Article: 9 Tips for Putting People at the Heart Of Employee Experience

Driving Global Adoption 

Morten Dal, internal communications manager at jeweler PANDORA, said his top priority for the rest of this year is driving home global adoption to get full ROI on the company’s digital workplace solution. “After the last onsite training in Dubai earlier this year, we are now also onboarding emerging markets including, Panama, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Belgium,” he added. ‘When done training we will shift to become available as on demand e-learning.”

Related Article: How AI Is Helping Improve Employee Experiences

Connecting CX Outcomes to Employee Experience Delivery

Dal also said he’s interested as a digital workplace practitioner helping deliver employee experiences to make a solid connection with customer experience outcomes. It’s a link explored recently, but many are wondering where the hard data is on the concept: that good employee experience leads to good customer experiences. Dal said he wants “to connect the buzz of management focus on customer experience and prove how digital employee experience links directly to creating a better PANDORA customer experience.”

Promises of AI, Machine Learning and Cognitive Capabilities

Fahlbusch is also excited to focus on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cognitive capabilities will enhance how it can help deliver digital services to employees. “If done right,” she said, “we will now have even more ways to listen to our employees, and to intervene on issues to further drive productivity and happiness.”