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  • Writer's pictureLisa Chesterfield

Employee Experience in a Disrupted World

Accelerated change induced by the pandemic has resulted in major changes across the business landscape. Business transformation priorities have been executed in record timeframes, resulting in many organisations shifting to hybrid or remote ways of working as a permanent operating model.

The magnitude of this seismic disruption has had many ripple effects, leading to an overall impact on Employee Experience. These ripples have resulted in disruption to the employee-employer relationship that underpins the perception of experience on both sides.

Employee-Employer relationship disrupted

The relationship between the employee and the business has recently been stretched, strained, and tested as the global economy works to exit the pandemic.

Disruption to this dynamic has illuminated gaps for some organisations, between new commercial goals and business ability to deliver. This gap can be addressed by considering one fundamental fact; your employees make everything happen.

The key to executing on new strategic objectives is engaged, enabled employees, which are derived from an exceptional Employee Experience.

Companies need to evolve the employee-employer relationship, recognising the importance of positive Employee Experience, to thrive in the post-pandemic marketplace.

Experience matters

The experience your people have at work is vital for company success. It’s the employee’s perceptions of their journey through all the touchpoints, that shapes their employee experience. This journey encompasses the employee-employer relationship.

The pandemic has forever changed the Employee Experience, giving rise to new employee needs, wants and expectations. Designing a new experience of work that addresses the emerging factors, creates the possibility for an ideal experience in the future.

Demands and dynamics

Employees are seeking workplace experiences that match what they’ve come to expect as customers; they expect their employer to provide a personalised, meaningful experience.

An organisation with business objectives to provide an expectational Employee Experience can be subject to pressure to act on these employee expectations. External forces add extra pressure; competitors may be responding to employee expectations, creating attractive Employee Value Propositions (EVP) to lure top talent, when it may not be sustainable or viable for the current employer to compete to try to retain them.

Conversely, in a current context that cites a ‘war on talent’, the impact on the relationship dynamic can be major. The detrimental impact of an oversupplied talent market, with limited jobs, is that the relationship may become impersonal if the employer views the employee as easily replaceable. The resulting lack of stability and security in their role undermines the employee’s experience of work.

The uncertainty that disruption creates impacts the experience of work for employees at all levels of an organisation, often triggering a period of self-reflection. Executives and employees may be reconsidering everything from the role they expect the company to play in supporting their purpose and values, to the kind of organisation they want to work for in the first place.

In a time of accelerated change, the solution to many business problems starts and ends with its people. Positive employee experiences are vital to all aspects of your company success.

Not all employees are the same

To evolve the employer-employee relationship at scale requires a deeper understanding of your employees and the relationship dynamics that influence the employee experience.

Segmentation of your employees and applying Design Thinking to reimagine the Employee Experience can help to understand the nuanced differences and emerging needs of your diverse workforce.

To address future business and employee needs, a set of employee personas can be created to solve business problems. This enables the employee journeys to be analysed more deeply to deliver a better result.

Despite the diversity of the modern intergenerational workforce, one commonality that exists is an employee’s experience is no longer influenced by singular factors like remuneration or whom they report to. In a hybrid or remote operating model, factors like flexibility, technological enablement, and opportunities to learn and develop significantly influence the experience of work.

The role of leadership

A decisive and quick organisational response is required in times of elemental disruption. Leadership during change requires taking deliberate action to evolve your employee value proposition and redesign the experience of work.

Understanding the varied employee needs and wants is essential for leaders to foster the employee-employer relationship. This includes considering the emerging needs of the intergenerational workforce as it shifts. Leading organisations are laying the foundation for a great Employee Experience by paying particular attention to the moments that matter to their diverse workforce.

A strategic leadership goal to enable an exceptional Employee Experience will set the foundations for a healthy, positive relationship dynamic. Happy, healthy, engaged employees will drive organisational performance in the post-pandemic era.

One more thing…

The quality of the relationship between the employee and their employer is fundamental in creating an exceptional employee experience and is at the heart of commercial success in the future.

A cohesive leadership team that aims to create an Employee Experience strategy focused on delivering great experiences, can unlock the employee’s potential and reignite their passion for their work.


Did you enjoy this article? I sure hope you did! Over the next few weeks I’ll be continuing this LinkedIn series on Employee Experience Essentials, so stay tuned for future articles.

And if you’re looking for help in taking your Employee Experience up a notch with the help of a creative, innovative, and science-obsessed team, let’s have a chat about how I and the team at Pragmatic Thinking can assist.

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