This blog post is a summary of our webinar, Activating Employee Experience from Within: Five Steps to Improve Employee Experience. Watch the recording and learn from a real-life case study of a professional services firm that became a certified Great Place to Work using the five-step process.
If you want to attract and retain top talent, it might be time to level up your organization’s employee experience. Here’s our five-step recipe for creating a workplace with happy employees who want to stick around.
More than any other type of business transformation, employee experience improvement initiatives must be co-created and activated with employees.
This means employees must be part of the process every step of the way.
After all, they’re the real customers of this transformation.
The Five-Step Approach
To get where you want to go, you need to understand what employees want and how to get them onboard with change.
We’ve found a five-step employee experience transformation process called the BAASE Model highly effective in building stakeholder informed, designed, and supported change programs.
While the process can seem like slow going at first, as you work through the five steps, results accumulate—and often accelerate—over time.
Step 1: Establish a baseline
Your first transformation journey task is to establish truth about the employee experience—not what you think employees experience but what they actually experience.
To establish this understanding, we use three tools:
- third-party surveys, such as the Great Place to Work survey
- internal surveys
- qualitative feedback (first-person interviews with employees)
Pro tip: Gather as much information as you’re able—and be sure employees know it’s safe for them to share their perspectives.
Step 2: Analyze gaps and opportunities, and prioritize focus areas for improvement
Next, analyze insights from Step 1 to create a clear employee experience map and nail down what’s working well and what needs to be improved.
The following tools will help with this analysis:
- The Employee Experience Journey Map, which helps identify key touch points, pain points, and opportunities for improvement.
- The Who/Do Framework, which helps break down the needs of various stakeholder groups.
- Our Empathy Map Worksheet, a people-centered tool that helps you dive deep into the wants and needs of individuals.
Step 3: Activate employees around and within the initiative
“Activating” employees—that is, getting them involved and onboard with change—is one of the most critical steps in your journey.
At this juncture, you must help employees (1) envision the future goal, (2) understand how they’ll benefit from changes, and (3) see the road ahead.
A robust campaign of communications, learning, and feedback paired with solutions co-created with employees will help change mindsets, behaviors, and work processes so that change becomes embedded over time.
There are a few tools we find indispensable during this phase:
- Activation Curve. This tool maps how humans actually learn and adapt to new ways of working.
- Custom activation plan. This defines key stakeholder groups and specific communications and activities to be deployed over time to help stakeholders become part of the change effort.
- Activation Building Blocks Worksheet. This lists multiple tools and exercises—“building blocks”— you can use in your own activation efforts.
Step 4: Co-creatively strategize solutions with employees
To co-creatively identify and prioritize opportunities and strategize solutions for improving the employee experience, we recommend you schedule workshops (as many as needed) with employees.
In this stage, you’ll also want to brainstorm ways to fine-tune improvements to better meet the wants and needs of employees. Then you can draft and present plans for top initiatives.
Piloting the selected initiatives as quickly as possible helps prove their value and impact.
We recommend the following tools for this stage of work:
- the eight dimensions of the organization framework, which helps you visualize the breadth and the depth of each initiative (You can learn more about the eight specific traits that support a healthy, robust approach to change in our DNA of Change eBook.)
- the initiative tracker canvas, which will help your teams develop a simple one-page plan to define and manage each of your improvements
Step 5: Execute the program
To bring your initiatives to life, you’ll need three key elements:
- A dashboard to track key objectives and measure success
- A person or persons assigned to be accountable for the overall program and for each individual initiative
- A governance model, or series of checkpoints at which you’ll review progress, discuss obstacles, and plan next steps (you can use the initiative tracker canvas from Step 4 for this purpose)
Reap Additional Rewards
A powerful methodology for adapting to change and achieving sustained results, the BAASE Model can become a core process in your organization.
For best results, we recommend you repeat the five steps annually. With each year, the distance to your goals should get shorter and the work more focused.
And the best news of all: Follow-through, action, and results from this five-step process breed trust among employees. This means momentum for further improvements and added reward for your efforts.
To learn more about activating your employee experience initiative, we recommend the following resources: