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Why the Worker Experience is the Other Experience That’s Worth Our Attention

BY Ed Worsfold

There is a statistic we are pretty familiar with: Millennials (age 15-35) a.k.a. Gen Y’s, now make up the largest percentage of the workforce in North America (and beyond). If you spend some time and have a look at most workplaces today, you can pretty quickly confirm this fact.

This generation of workers has an entirely new set of expectations from their workplace that previous generations. With the influx of Millennials into our workforce, the “worker experience” is becoming as important as the customer experience. If you survey these different group, you will most likely find that Millennials much different expectations regarding what their work environment should be like vs. their Gen X and or Baby Boomer colleagues.

A recent Forbes article mentions that 88 percent of Millennials prefer a collaborative work culture. Additionally, they want to work in an environment where they can make a difference. They are looking for managers to give them room for self-expression and autonomy. This may seem idealistic to those of us who have been in the workforce a long time. Most established employees view work as a place where they can advance their careers and make more money. However, for Millenials, money is no longer the main driver of satisfaction in the workplace. Finding meaningful work is.

So what does that mean for the many key industries such as banking or financial services? Quite a bit actually. If the phrase “worker experience” is becoming as much of a focus as our attention to the customer experience, then we not only need to worry about providing the best tools and technology to meet our customers’ needs, we also need to provide them to our employees as well.  It’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to transform the worker experience not only to make them more likely to stick around, but to make their work more efficient as well.

If the technology your company has in place today doesn’t allow for the expectations of this important segment of Millennial workers —the need to be in a highly collaborative work environment and to be more involved in the planning, creation, and delivery of the work they are producing—you may be missing a key opportunity for both your employee and your customers. Having the ability to give employees (of all ages) control over messaging and content within customer communications delivers huge benefits for both.

Technology can streamline communications to improve the customer experience. However, having the right technology infrastructure in place can also improve the worker experience by eliminating the frustration among business and marketing users, who complain that making even the simplest of change to key customer communications can take months—and often requires a huge amount of red tape and micro-management to get the job done. What’s more, Millennials choose to use more cloud-based technologies in their daily lives because manipulating hard to use, old school applications built when Gen Xers or even their parents were their age only serves to diminish the worker experience they are seeking. Giving today’s workers the ability to create, manage and deliver relevant communications to customers when they want them, and how they want them, puts the responsibility for communications where it belongs—in the hands of those employees who are closest to the customers’ needs.

We live are in a world where everything is evolving by the minute and we are re-imagining everything in business including how we deliver our messages, how we create content and how we get people what they want when they want it. We have a new workforce that gets it. If we can put the right technology in their hands and let them go to work, everyone wins (even us Gen Xers).

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