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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

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

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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.

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