New Ways Of Working: How Can We Design for The Changing Ways People Work?

We are all still adapting to new ways of working. And with this in mind, we must ensure we are working to create a positive work culture both as things change and for the future. A working environment that encourages personal and professional growth and offers opportunities for building meaningful connections must be a priority for companies that wish to thrive.

Why is employee experience so important?

A great employee experience and positive work culture lead to increased engagement, productivity, and talent retention. A Gallup survey found that “employees who are not engaged cost their company the equivalent of 18% of their annual salary”.

The employee experience is key for so many reasons, and companies that can adapt and continue to get it right will reap the rewards. Employee experiences need to be properly designed to ease the shift to these new ways of working. The design should be based on the unique needs of an organisation and its employees. But first, you need to know what’s changed and how and why it matters. We’ll take a look at the recent shifts and what they mean for the employee experience.

What’s changed in the workplace?

Flexible working is replacing fixed routine
Gone are the days of desks and cubicles and a full-time office presence. Employers can no longer expect employees to work entirely in the office and have realised employee performance does not depend on where they work. Rather, how they work is what matters. Companies are therefore now more focused on output.

A good employee experience allows flexibility in working hours and the opportunity for people to manage their own days. People want to find their own personal work/life balance, whatever that may look like. Therefore, employers are leaning towards giving their employees better tools rather than better offices.

Collaborating is replacing communicating
Communication is important, obviously. What we mean by this is that there is a shift in what people need when they go into a physical work environment.

As people work remotely, they want to go into the office to collaborate and have meaningful conversations. They will be looking for connection, rather than just to have a meeting. Employees are finding their own ways to network and share ideas and feedback with their colleagues and their wider work community. This is leading to companies investing in creating deeper connections for employees rather than ‘fancy’ workplaces: a 2022 study into connection at work found that “those who are strongly connected are 75x more likely to be fully engaged at work”.

Building people is replacing managing teams
Good management is now more about mentoring and developing capabilities: great leaders operate with empathy.
The hybrid working model has given employees opportunities to shape their own careers by selecting the projects and positions they want to engage with. Managers need to support and encourage employees to customise their career path and look for situations where they have the right opportunities: there is no one-size-fits-all.

Learning workers are replacing ‘knowledge’ workers
The ability to learn new things and apply them to new situations is crucial to future success. It’s easy to find information these days. Instead of relying on things learned in school, as happened in previous generations, continuous learning is the way forward.

Companies are devising ways to share information and best practices within their organisations through mentoring programs, internal collaboration tools, and face-to-face interactions. Employees should be given the opportunity to share, teach others, and constantly refresh and upskill their knowledge.

Making an impact is replacing ‘doing a job’
One of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic was that people are actively looking to work in places that deliver on their values. Previously, people tended to choose the organisations and projects they worked on according to their commercial value. There is now a shift to social value: talent is attracted by the opportunity to make a meaningful impact as well as the salary offered.

A great employee experience and positive work culture lead to increased productivity and better talent retention: the key is making sure you are designing your employee experiences to take account of this shift to the new ways of working. Just like every employee, every organisation has different needs and requirements. At Engine we are constantly learning and adapting. We can help you design a meaningful employee experience and increase talent attraction and retention. If you would like to know more, we would love to talk with you. Please book an initial chat with one of our service design experts.

The 10 Principles for Designing People-Centred Workplace Experiences

As the world of work continues to shift and change, we need to design workplace experiences that reflect the new world order. With the Covid pandemic altering how, when, and where people now wish to work, companies who want to attract and retain the best talent must reassess their workplaces to create a people-centred experience.

The workforce and the workplace are changing

The rise of remote working has changed the workplace, literally and figuratively. These days workplaces must offer value to the people who either work in or visit them. In turn, these workplaces create value for the organisation itself. Workplaces are simultaneously value propositions that attract employees and customers and value-creating systems that add to the bottom line.

A workforce is not a fixed or static entity. It is a continually changing system of energies, talents, expectations, and life stories, and these all create value for an organisation. A workplace is not just a building and its facilities: it is more than the sum of its parts. A workplace is a system of cultural values, human interactions, and interdependent services loosely bound by physical premises.

The boundaries between the workforce and workplace and work and home are becoming increasingly porous as our daily experiences of work with everything else in our lives blend.

How does the workplace create value?

Value-creating propositions are made tangible not just through the physical architecture of a workplace and how it is laid out, but also through what happens in the building. A workplace is valuable for what it enables, the thinking it unlocks, the culture it inspires and supports: in other words, the experiences it creates.

How do you unlock value from your workplace with people-centred service design?

Firstly, you need to design your workplace value proposition. Once you have this, you can create a space that facilitates this proposition and the company culture, along with the services, personal development opportunities, and valuable experiences for the people within.

The 10 principles for designing people-centred workplace experiences

  1. Design a cultural destination for your company
    A workplace can express an organisation’s culture and values, which has become even more relevant as teams work remotely, with many viewing the office as their least productive workplace.
  2. View employees as guests whose stays you wish to extend
    Buildings are not just about the facilities available: it’s more about the experience. So, design a premium hospitality experience for your employees and visitors. Create a service culture for your frontline and back-office teams and set a clear vision for service, behaviours, employee services standards, and ‘signature’ service moments.
  3. Embody the positives in the lives and cultures of the people you employ
    It is essential for the culture and values of a company to be reflected in day-to-day workplace practices. For the same reasons, creating opportunities and experiences that reflect the lives and cultures of the people you employ can be just as necessary.
  4. Design workspaces as mixed-use ‘playgrounds’
    Less and less work happens at fixed workstations. Collaboration requires more than just meeting rooms with whiteboards. Home working has shown how small, ad-hoc conversations can be just as productive as large formal meetings and workshops, if not more so. People should be able to find a place to match their preferred modes of working.
  5. Provide social spaces and opportunities to connect, not just desks
    Design for your hybrid working policy and recognise that, for some, the workplace is no longer the most productive place to work. The office is more relevant as a social space to make meaningful connections and maintain personal working relationships and friendships.
  6. Create an architecture the company and its people can experiment within
    It may feel counter-intuitive, but ‘under designing’ a workplace will help ensure spaces are put together elegantly as new needs emerge. Focus on providing the people, skills, and a kit of parts (experimentation resources and support) that permit this.
  7. Design for the life stages of your workforce
    People need and expect different things from a workplace as they progress through their working life. People socialise and prioritise their time differently, so ensure this is reflected in your workplace experience.
  8. Use technologies that offer seamless, invisible interactions with the building and its services
    By focusing on software and services rather than tech hardware, tech-enabled services and experiences can be personalised and evolve. A workplace-services platform can be designed for resident and third-party services to operate within a premises.
  9. Design excellent eating and well-being services and experiences
    People eat and manage their time and well-being in many ways. The design of eating and well-being services and experiences should respond to this diversity and reflect people’s lives outside work.
  10. Design aspirational spaces and experiences that people feel privileged to be a part of
    Everyone sees work in their own individual way. While not everyone loves their job, we are all flattered and made to feel special when invited into high-quality, exciting, and exclusive settings. Such spaces encourage us to feel valued and supported, inspiring us to give more.

Here at Engine, we believe in the power of the service design process. Well-designed, people-centred workplace experiences are necessary for a positive employee experience and the future growth of forward-thinking companies. Designing around these 10 principles will help you get your workspaces right.

We would love to share our expertise with you, so why not get in touch? We can help you create a people-centred workplace experience that will make a difference.

Great workplace experiences don’t happen by accident; they are designed

Thanks to COVID-19 we have all seen or experienced a seismic shift in both the workplace and workplace culture. Employees are demanding more from the companies they work for, and it is essential leaders find ways to respond in order to avoid losing key talent.

What are we already seeing in the workplace?

  • Companies are taking a remote-first approach to their employee experience – with many employees working remotely for the majority of the time.
  • Employees see their work as more than a “9-5”; they seek meaningful work, with companies who share their values, and where they feel confident they can easily build relationships and experiences.
  • Workplaces are becoming more human-centric; There is a spotlight on supporting individual needs and designing an environment that supports employees wellbeing, as well as increasing productivity.

The future of the physical workplace

During the pandemic, many organisations mastered the challenge of equipping their staff for their home office. Now, there is an urgent need to reconfigure the traditional office in addition to bolstering remote work capabilities. In order to compete for the best talent, forward thinking organisations are enabling employees to work from wherever they want, whenever they want.

Whether working independently or working in person, the office space needs to adapt to cater for different modes of work. In her TED Talk, Susan Cain talked about most offices being open plan:

  • “The workspace is designed mostly for extroverts and their need for lots of stimulation.”

Whereas the workplace of the future needs to adapt in order to cater for different characteristics.

We believe the business case for investing in a purposefully designed workspace is clear; for example, Steelcase conducted research with 12,480 employees across 17 countries. The report found that workers who choose where and how they work and have a workspace to fit their task at hand, whether that be deep or collaborative work, were 88% more engaged.

Creating a meaningful workplace

Whilst it was a tough transition, employees have settled into working separately in their homes, but many have also recognised the value of that flexibility combined with human connection in the workplace.

The workplace is a key factor in fostering genuine connection and purpose, which is more difficult to achieve remotely. The great resignation also highlighted some of the deeper issues surrounding the disconnect between business values and the lived experience of work culture. Talented individuals are seeking meaningful work where they can see and feel the authenticity of an organisations purpose reflected in everyone’s behaviour.

  • “By 2030, Generation Z will be a key part of the workforce who will want to see that leaders are invested in the causes that matter to them and, as a result, be inclined to work harder for a company that shares their values”

    Source: Unily report: Future Of The Workplace 2030+

What is clear, is that adapting your employee experience to meet evolving employee needs will help retention, reduce attrition, and build powerful connections across your workforce.

The emergence of the emotional workplace

Working from home has created a venerability within teams. With pets, friends & family walking past in the background of online meetings, we’ve seen people’s behaviours change as they open up about their life outside of work. As a result, we believe businesses will need to adapt and show a deeper care for their employee’s wellbeing.

  • “Companies face the economic burden of sickness and stress, both in medical expenses and lost productivity.”

    Source: Korn Ferry’s Future of work Trends 2022

Offices are an opportunity to build on these deeper connections, with co-workers’ wellbeing at the core of their employee experience. We think that a human-centric, considered workspace, ensures employees are both productive and feel supported.

What does this all mean for leaders?

We think the time to design tomorrow’s employee experience is now.

Organisations have come a long way since COVID-19 changed how we all work, but for many organisations there is still some way to go.

Remote, hybrid and flexible working options are here to stay, and companies must deeply consider how they reconfigure both physical offices and remote work capabilities. One of the rewards for those that successfully transform their employee experience and their workplaces, will be a clear competitive advantage, as they attract and retain the best talent and drive productivity across their teams.

The tangible benefits of an engaged workforce

  • 41% reduction in absenteeism
  • 24-59% less turnover
  • 20% increase in sales
  • 17% increase in productivity

Source: PwC US CFO Pulse Survey

There has never been a better and more critical time to design and transform your employee and workplace experience.

If you think your company could benefit from a human centred approach to design your employee experience, please get in touch. You can book time with a member of our team below.

3 Steps to align your customer and employee experience

As we found in our previous articles in this series of blogs about the employee experience, creating a positive employee experience is vital for companies who wish to attract and retain the best personnel. And designing that experience should be approached with a methodical, results-based process that looks at the experience holistically.

We have looked at the factors that have the greatest impact on employee experience and how using the service design process is key to uncovering opportunities. It quickly becomes clear that while customer experience may seem to be entirely separate from the employee experience, it is in fact closely linked.

Designing a World Class Employee Experience

Getting ahead in the experience economy

engine book customer driven transformation

“Employees who are not engaged cost their company the equivalent of 18% of their annual salary."

Download our free eBook

Organisations who identify the factors which have the greatest impact on employee experience, have the key to creating not just a world class employee experience, but also a world class customer experience, and that is how to get ahead in today’s experience economy.

What would be possible in your business if you could purposefully design an employee experience that enabled you to truly differentiate from your competition?

The customer experience and the employee experience are linked

The employee experience needs to be aligned to a company’s values and purpose for that to reflect in the way they behave. As we have discussed, the impact of COVID-19 has led to employees reassessing their wants and needs and making changes in their lives. The best personnel will be looking for the employee experience that most closely suits their own values and needs, and this will reflect in their engagement and productivity at work.

When embarking on a service design project for the employee experience there are three steps an organisation should take for the greatest chance of success:

Step 1 – Ensure you have a clearly defined vision and purpose

  • A company’s vision and purpose should be clear and easily understood by employees. Without an understanding of what a company stands for or what their goals and purpose are, employees have no meaning attached to their work. This is likely to result in lower productivity: people need meaning to engage properly. Vision and purpose need to be strategically aligned to promote engagement and drive.

Step 2 – Ensure you have the right input

  • To create a meaningful service that addresses the needs of both the business and the employee, the more insightful, impactful information there is to work with, the better. There are various ways in which this information can be gathered. Companies should already have channels of communication open with customers and clients for feedback. Feedback should be solicited from all members of staff, not just management.

Step 3 – Ensure alignment on the desired outcome

  • A company that says one thing and does another will quickly get caught out. Employees will soon become resentful, and this will show in their work (or lack of it). It may also become apparent to customers that the company is not embodying the values it is trying to sell, risking company reputation and future profits. Customers will look elsewhere for a product or service, and employees will look elsewhere for more meaningful work. Aligning the customer and employee experience will improve both: employees will be more engaged and motivated to provide a better experience, which means the customer experience naturally improves.
    Service design offers a collaborative approach that considers all aspects of the journey.

If you think your company could benefit from the service design process to align your employee experience to your vision and customer experience, please get in touch. If you have any questions or would like any further information about how service design works, or how it can be used for your customers or employees, we would love to hear from you.

Which factors have the greatest impact on employee experience?

We talked about the experience economy in our previous blog and why the employee experience is so important. To create the optimum employee experience, it is first necessary to understand where the areas of friction are. Only then can a positive experience be designed that will increase productivity, improve retention rates, and enhance brand reputation.

The McKinsey report, The Future of Work after Covid, says that “workers are hungry for trust, social cohesion, and purpose. They want to feel that their contributions are recognized and that their team is truly collaborative. They desire clear responsibilities and opportunities to learn and grow. They expect their personal sense of purpose to align with that of their organization. And they want an appropriate physical and digital environment that gives them the flexibility to achieve that elusive work–life balance”.

Here we’ll look at the factors impacting the employee experience as well as how companies can offer the appropriate support.

The workplace has changed, and employers need to change with it

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to changed working practices, and they are here to stay. Working from home and hybrid working is becoming an expectation for many workers in companies where the work offers that possibility. It has also precipitated the so-called “Great Resignation”, with record numbers of people leaving their jobs as they reassess their work-life balance and their future prospects. Many have left because the employee experience their job offered was not in line with their values or the way they wished to live their lives. If you’re concerned about losing talent from your organisation, check out four of the key factors below that might be the root cause of your attrition problem.

Designing a World Class Employee Experience

Getting ahead in the experience economy

engine book customer driven transformation

“Employees who are not engaged cost their company the equivalent of 18% of their annual salary."

Download our free eBook

Organisations who identify the factors which have the greatest impact on employee experience, have the key to creating not just a world class employee experience, but also a world class customer experience, and that is how to get ahead in today’s experience economy.

What would be possible in your business if you could purposefully design an employee experience that enabled you to truly differentiate from your competition?

Four Factors that impact the employee experience:

  1. Trust and safety in the workplace
    An employee who feels trusted by their employer, and, in turn trusts them, is more likely to feel a sense of loyalty to the company. They are therefore more invested in their employment and more likely to be positive about the brand and its values.
    This also means they are likely to stay longer in their job. For companies, increasing retention rates is particularly important, especially currently: as we learnt in our previous blog, “the cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary”.
    Safety is important on both a literal and metaphorical level. Obviously, a safe working environment is both a legal and moral requirement, but an environment where an employee feels mentally safe is also important.
  2. A meaningful, positive work environment
    People typically spend more time at work than anywhere else, and they want to feel a sense of purpose and a degree of comfort. Employees want to be in a meaningful and positive working environment and people need to be fully engaged in their employment to be properly productive. With this in mind, company culture is key; Managers should encourage honest dialogue and offer helpful, truthful feedback that enables an employee to grow and learn, rather than fear censure or feel unvalued. The relevant support networks need to be made available and clear boundaries should be respected between work and home life. Mental health support should be made a priority and clear pathways indicated for all so those who need access to help are not discouraged from seeking it. In addition to this, line managers should be appropriately trained.
    After the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted mental issues, particularly in toxic, difficult, or meaningless working environments, people who were spending their working hours in these environments are now actively looking for alternative employment.
  3. Effective and appropriate technology and tools
    The sudden switch to working from home with the global lockdowns was a difficult one for many companies. Without the right technology, working environment, or support many people found it incredibly difficult.
    Many were trying to do their jobs while looking after and teaching children. They may not have had a dedicated workspace, a good enough internet connection or adequate equipment. Processes may have been complicated and laborious. Many felt isolated and as if they had been left to ‘get on with it’ without the support the office environment offered.
    Companies need to streamline their technology and processes, as well as making sure that employees have the right training, tools, and office equipment to ensure that conditions for working from home are optimum.
  4. Clear pathways to progression
    Employees need to know how and when they are likely to progress, and leaders need to be clear on how performance will be managed. A defined and understood means of progressing will create goals and allow employees to envisage their future at a company. They should have access to all the learning necessary to develop their skills and that provide opportunities to grow and develop, ultimately encouraging them to stay, rather than seeking out better opportunities elsewhere.

The employee experience encompasses all aspects and interactions an employee has with their company. What makes this so challenging for employers, is that it only needs one aspect to be wrong for an employee to feel that they are undervalued by their employer.

Utilising the principles and tools of service design can enable companies to create a working environment and employee experience that is beneficial to both the organisation and the employee.

In our next blog in the Employee Experience series, we will be looking at exactly how service design is key to uncovering opportunities to create a world class employee experience.

If you think your company could benefit from the service design process to improve your employee experience, select a time and date below to book an initial call with a service design expert.

Getting ahead in today’s experience economy: Why employee experience is critical

The importance of managing experiences properly is not a new concept. Back in 1998, Gilmore and Pine published an article in the Harvard Business Review, coining the term ‘experience economy’ and focusing on the ‘fourth economic experience’. They argued that the service economy followed the three previous stages of an economy: agrarian, goods-based, and service.

Gilmore and Pine were correct in their prediction when they said, “we expect that experience design will become as much a business art as product design and process design are today”. Many businesses still underestimate the power of this art, and this is likely to reflect in their bottom line.

However, the concept of the value of experience and how it impacts a customer’s perception of a service is not the only area where experience matters. A company will not be able to offer outstanding customer service if their employees are not content, engaged and fulfilled. And they will not be able to retain valuable employees if they cannot offer the experience their employees want.

In this series of blogs we will be exploring the employee experience and the factors that affect it, along with ideas and tactics to help you get it right.

What has changed to make the employee experience so important?

Gone are the days of a ‘job for life’. Employers and employees no longer benefit (or suffer) from a mutual dependence and the expectation that they are both in it for the long haul. We are all sophisticated consumers, and just as consumers will look for the product or service that best fulfils their needs and aligns with their values, employees are increasingly looking for an equivalent experience in their working life.

COVID-19 changed our priorities and how we work

The COVID-19 pandemic shook up the world on every level. People were forced to rethink their priorities and values. The ways in which people live and work have changed, and so have expectations. This has impacted the world of employment, with the “Great Resignation”, as the large numbers of people currently quitting their jobs has been called, being one of the main consequences. The cost to businesses will be significant, both in terms of hiring new talent, and the impact on the customer experience as new team members take time to get up to speed.

People are looking for alternatives when they find their lives and values cannot be supported by their current employment. Remote working and hybrid working, formerly the exception rather than the rule, are here to stay. McKinsey’s Future of Work after Covid 19 report estimates that, of the companies where remote work can be undertaken without a loss of productivity, the percentage of the workforce that could work from home ‘represents four to five times more remote workers than before the pandemic’.

As Ann Francke, chief executive officer of the UK’s Chartered Management Institute (CMI) puts it, “just offering big budget salaries isn’t cutting it anymore. Managers who aren’t adapting their working models will be left wanting – and their organisations will pay the price.”

What do organisations risk by not considering the employee experience?

Gallup says that “the cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary — and that’s a conservative estimate”. And that employees who are not engaged “cost their company the equivalent of 18% of their annual salary”. So, whether an unhappy employee stays or goes, they are still impacting the bottom line.

We have all experienced terrible customer service from an individual who clearly does not care that the way they behave reflects poorly on the company they represent. Or perhaps, worse, they are deliberately sabotaging a company’s reputation because they have an axe to grind. The McKinsey research “shows that different experiences in the three core areas of EX [employee experience] —social, work, and organisation—explain most of the variation in how positively or negatively employees view their journey with their company”. This leads to satisfied employees “having a 40 percent higher level of discretionary effort”.

Designing a World Class Employee Experience

Getting ahead in the experience economy

engine book customer driven transformation

“Employees who are not engaged cost their company the equivalent of 18% of their annual salary."

Download our free eBook

Organisations who identify the factors which have the greatest impact on employee experience, have the key to creating not just a world class employee experience, but also a world class customer experience, and that is how to get ahead in today’s experience economy.

What would be possible in your business if you could purposefully design an employee experience that enabled you to truly differentiate from your competition?

Where does service design fit in to the employee experience?

In order to align employee experience with expectations, it is vital to align company culture with the face the company wants to present to the world. Employees who feel undervalued and cannot trust the company they are working for are unlikely to convince customers that trust and respect are values the company stands for, regardless of the marketing campaigns.

To create a meaningful employee experience, it is first necessary to understand where problems may lie. Processes, policies, and values need to be properly understood and aligned. Just as the customer experience needs to be designed with the process and the end result in mind, so does the employee experience. Failure to consider all the touchpoints and how to optimise them will result in a poor experience.

Just as there is unlikely to be one target customer and services should be designed accordingly, there are likely to be differing requirements amongst employees to be considered. Randstad found that, when considering the employee experience, “there are subtleties at play. Marketers are more interested in a company’s commitment to CSR and flexible working than others. Administrators give more weight to job security and free parking than anyone else. And people in financial services tend to care about career progression more than other professionals – while call centre workers put more store in mental health support”.

Getting ahead with your employee experience

In our next blog we will be looking at the factors that have the greatest impact on the employee experience. If you think your company could benefit from service design as a tool to create a great employee experience, increase engagement and productivity and to get ahead in today’s experience economy, you can book time with a service design expert below – just select the time that works best for you.

Service design: The key to creating a world class employee experience

In our previous blogs we looked at how and why the employee experience has become so relevant to a company’s productivity, profitability, and brand identity and reputation, as well as the factors that have the greatest impact on it.

The service design process helps companies to work out where issues might arise in the employee experience and gives them the tools to address any difficulties or imbalances. In the experience economy, employee experience will make all the difference to a company’s success.

In this blog we will be looking at the areas where the service design process can help organisations design a holistic experience for employees. This allows all the important elements of the employee experience to be tailored to both the employees’ needs, and the company’s business goals.

How does service design help with the employee experience?

Employees are the human side of a business, so it makes sense that a human-centred approach would pay dividends. The service design process can help optimise employee productivity and company technology. It helps create a sense of trust and transparency within an organisation, which also impacts mental health. Good working practices and the right technology can also positively affect employee physical health.

By tailoring processes, training, and working conditions to suit employees within the remits of the business, a company will attract and retain motivated and well-trained personnel who should have lower levels of work-related stress and physical problems.

Employees represent an organisation to the outside world, so it is vital to have competent staff who are confident in their ability to perform their jobs well with the full support of their employer. Engaged, contented staff is a fundamental ingredient in creating a great customer experience.

As the McKinsey article Shaping the ‘new possible’ through employee experience says: “companies that create tailored, authentic experiences strengthen employee purpose, ignite energy, and elevate organisation-wide performance”.

Designing a World Class Employee Experience

Getting ahead in the experience economy

engine book customer driven transformation

“Employees who are not engaged cost their company the equivalent of 18% of their annual salary."

Download our free eBook

Organisations who identify the factors which have the greatest impact on employee experience, have the key to creating not just a world class employee experience, but also a world class customer experience, and that is how to get ahead in today’s experience economy.

What would be possible in your business if you could purposefully design an employee experience that enabled you to truly differentiate from your competition?

Designing the employee experience using service design can help;

  1. Optimise productivity
    McKinsey also note that research shows a positive employee experience will create 16 times the engagement level than a negative experience. Engagement, as studies have shown, is a key factor in productivity as engaged employees work “more efficiently and with the success of the organisation in mind”. Understanding employees’ needs through a carefully thought-through process and tailoring practices to them will optimise productivity.
  2. Reduce work-related stress
    The World Health Organisation estimated that “the lost productivity resulting from depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental disorders, cost the global economy USD 1 trillion each year”. And that was before the pandemic hit. Transparency creates trust, which is essential for employees to remain engaged and motivated. This in turn reduces work-related stress as employees know where they stand and what they need to do to achieve it. Using the service design process can ensure that these factors are designed in, not left to chance.
    Practices and guidance that help maintain good mental health are key, as well as effective support pathways to ensure that employees know how, when, and where to access any help they may need.
  3. Provide better working conditions for physical health
    Optimising workstations and ensuring that employees have the right equipment so that they can avoid back or neck pain, for example, will make employees more productive and engender the feeling that the company cares. Establishing good working practices that encourage regular breaks from screens and active movement will also help, so it is important to know if and how this all fits into the employee experience.
  4. Ensure staff are properly trained and tech-savvy
    A properly thought-through service design process can pick up any holes in employee training and development. Staff can be kept up-to-date and relevant with the right training and other lifelong learning opportunities that will help them grow both personally and in their professional lives. Being technologically literate means that tasks can be done more efficiently and with less stress.
  5. Develop a company’s reputation
    Employees who are not happy in their roles and do not feel that customer values align with their experience will not be good ambassadors. They may be happy to share their grievances with the wider world as well as creating a disruptive atmosphere at work. Conversely, employees who are engaged and satisfied with their working life are more likely to present a polite, interested, and competent face to the public as the company’s representative.

As long as a company is clear in their values and business goals, the employee experience can be designed to reflect them. In our next blog we will be looking at how to align customer and employee experiences.

If you think your company could benefit from the service design process to improve your employee experience and get ahead of the competition, please get in touch. If you have any questions or would like any further information about how service design works, or how it can be used for your customers or employees, we would love to hear from you.

Redesigning the workforce experience

Thanks to all those who joined the third in our series of ‘Leading out of Lockdown’ webinars where we discussed what employers need to start, stop and do more to create and maintain a high performing workforce.

Also special thanks to our four guest panelists:

Andrew Mortimer
Managing Director, Country Manager and Chief Operating Officer, the Middle East at Barclays Plc.

Hannah Richardson
Senior Vice President Global Client Services & General Manager, EMEA and APAC, at BGRS – talent mobility specialists.

Rohini Bhalla-Gill
Senior Management Consultant at GGC Consulting – a leading Human Resources Consultancy.

David Stockton
Chief Executive Officer at Dulsco – one of the UAE’s longest-serving People & Environmental Solutions businesses.

Designing the workforce and workplace experience

We’re all becoming used to services that are more personalised, proactive, real-time and rewarding because we experience these qualities every day when encountering leading brands in retail, hospitality, travel and banking, for instance. We’ve come to expect our interactions to be seamlessly joined-up across all of the touchpoints, whether online or instore, in person or assisted by AI.

As the lines between work and private life blur, this heightened expectation has transitioned into the workplace and keeping up with what employees see as reasonable benchmarks and ahead of emerging trends is a universal challenge.

There’s more and more media commentary about the ‘best companies to work for’, employees are looking for more than just compensation and benefits and want their careers to be part of a wider, richer life experience. As more and more companies focus on customer experience, so their staff become more attuned to what’s possible and what good looks like.

Customer experience is well-established as a competitive battleground. Now, employee experience is coming to the fore in the battle to attract and retain a globally-mobile and demanding workforce.

More mature organisations, that have realised the value of designing more remarkable and compelling customer experiences, are also applying design-led approaches to improve their colleague experiences, interdepartmental services and business processes. For them, this is becoming the way they solve some of the most important challenges their businesses face.

For others, the journey is just beginning, with an increasing number of organisations looking for ways to better connect with their customers and employees, not as a nice to have, but as the driver of commercial advantage.

Our experience of designing colleague and workplace experiences spans a variety of sectors and sizes of organisation. Some of our work has been specifically about how we’ve helped organisations design better employee experiences for their own staff in automotive, financial services and talent mobility. Others explore another interesting angle, that of B2B2Employee where the experiences we’ve designed have enabled our clients to deliver an improved experience for their B2B customers’ workforces in hospitality, infrastructure and pension provision.

In short, as a methodology, mindset and set of tools, Service Design provides an approach that’s effective for designing better experiences for everyone.