Hope you enjoyed the last post about Customer Experience (CX), Everyone Has Customers (Including You!) Since then, I've been able to contribute to Bloomfire's "The CX Trends to Watch in 2020, According to the Experts." Check it out!
Now on to this edition--I thought I would end this decade where I started...with Human Resources. Whether or not you work in HR (or some iterative version of the name), this one’s for you. Because warts and all, it’s an essential function of the business to maximize the talent in the organization.
That should be everyone’s job. What goes for HR, goes for company leaders especially. Take for instance, employee experience. In my HR Professional magazine article, “What HR (and Everyone Else) Should Know About Employee Experience,” I wrote about 3 important characteristics: relevance, differentiation, and co-creation.
These are things companies try to do with their products and services already, and certainly with multiple functions working together to do it. If only more businesses turned these efforts toward their employees, we would see fewer toxic, burned out workplaces that underperform to their potential and create business risk.
Employee Experience in turn influences and reflects the company’s culture. I talk about the relationship between employee experience and culture in my book, Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences @Work. You can read a book excerpt via TLNT.com.
Employee Experience and Culture is clearly not just HR’s job—leaders must lead and employees are included given how patterns of individual behaviors shape and reflect culture too. Leadership, which includes Culture and Employee Experience (IMHO) can’t be in- or outsourced to HR alone.
Sure, HR has specific roles to play. My article, “It’s More than a Job: The Role of HR in Organizational Culture” is one example. While they may be the educators, facilitators, evangelists, sponsors, and connectors, they can’t “own culture” because no one (or few) people can wield its power. Culture is shared.
While there is always much to do, start with these:
… when it comes to deciding whether HR needs a culture change, think about whether the function has met its full potential with energized, engaged, and inspired employees who take the entire organization to a higher level.
Every company needs strong HR expertise. Having the firepower will enable them to deliver huge initiatives for the business, such as digital transformation. I happen to have some Tips for HR when it comes to Change Management and Digital Transformation, also published on Learnlight.
With the budgets related to the cost of doing business, wouldn’t you need your biggest asset—knowledge and talent that only comes through people--to be the best? Talk to leaders who trust their HR partners. They will tell you your investment will pay dividends.
Regardless of our roles, we all have customers. Those customers have experiences with each of us and, more broadly, our organizations. What does that have to do with culture and employee experience? More than you think.
When Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences @ Work was first published, the target audience was primarily company decision makers and culture practitioners, regardless of industry. To my surprise and delight, the CX community enthusiastically embraced the book and its framework, Design of Work Experience. The connection between employee experience and customer experience makes total sense when you think about it. Here are some reasons why:
1. Your employees are also your first customers. As a company’s external interface, they are the ones who communicate and reflect the quality of an organization through their words and actions (for better or worse). Few leaders fully understand this or behave as if they do. Those that "get it" have great proof of their success. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, said:
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
I quoted Angela Ahrendts (former CEO of Burberry and SVP Retail at Apple) on page 19 in Culture Your Culture:
“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.”
So if your company has customers and employees, you should be treating them as if they are important to the success of your business—because they are.
2. CX & EX are inextricably linked and co-dependent. Employees are also consumers themselves. They have purchasing power and thanks to social media the ability to promote or disparage brands. According to Accenture:
“…as the lines between professional and personal life blur, employees increasingly want the relevant, convenient and engaging experiences they have outside of work to be replicated on the job.”
Tools for EX and CX can be used to help each other. Consider one step farther: intentionally designing and implementing CX & EX together—for continuity, consistency, alignment, and IMPACT.
3. Progress is limited or enhanced by company culture. Here’s what Forrester predicts for 2020 when it comes to CX:
“We expect innovative, customer-delighting experiences to come to market that combine technology, creativity, and deep customer understanding.”
If you are in the business of serving internal or external customers (and I know you are), what happens when these new offerings are introduced to your company? Will your culture embrace, resist, or even ignore them? What happens after that? Chances are you have the foresight to answer these questions.
Whether good, bad, or just ok, get a handle on your culture. Understand its complexities and how you should manage its strengths and shortcomings to ensure it becomes a business asset, not a liability. Your CX, EX, and the success of your company depends on it.
If framing CX and EX together is new to you or just something you haven’t thought about recently, whet your appetite on my conversations with these Customer Experience gurus:
Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken
Crack the Customer Code with Adam Toporek and Jeannie Walters
CX Conversations with Vivek Jaiswal
RARE Business with Adrian Swinscoe
Photo by freestocks.org
Last week an exclusive group of executives and consultants gathered at EXcelerating HR to discuss next level topics, such as Big Ideas, Coaching and Leadership Development, Staying Relevant During Economic Downturns, The Future of Work and HR, Innovation and Digital Disruption, Design Thinking, Growth, and Innovation, and Women Leaders in the Workplace. Recommendations for books inevitably emerged through our discussion. Some were ahead of their times and more revealing than ever today. Others are newer entrants shaping our path forward. Everyone inside and outside that large hall could benefit from all this thought leadership--leaders most of all. Here is the running list (so far) below, in alphabetical order:
An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization
Black Holes and White Spaces: Reimagining the Future of Work & HR
Bullseye! Hitting Your Strategic Targets Through High-Impact Measurement
Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences @ Work (my book!)
Evolve Yourself: Conscious Personal Evolution
Focus: Creating Career + Brand Clarity
Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Principles: Life and Work
Safe Enough to Soar: Accelerating Trust, Inclusion, and Collaboration in the Workplace
Self as Coach, Self as Leader
The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World
The Character of a Corporation: How Your Company's Culture Can Make or Break
The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace
The Lessons of Experience: How Successful Executives Develop on the Job
The Whole Brain Business Book : Unlocking the Power of Whole Brain Thinking
Three: The Human Resources Emerging Executive
Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It)
Since it's likely I inadvertently left some out, I will continue to add to this list as I hear from colleagues.
*Please note the links above are affiliate links*
As I said, it's been busy. Check out the just released newsletter below as a summary of the last few months. If you like what you see, subscribe!
Where has the time gone?! It's long-overdue for a dispatch from Culture Land (a.k.a my world), chock full of resources for you (and shared on my social media feed this summer):
1. Did you ever wish for a better culture, but didn't know where to start? Check out the #CYC30DAYS Challenge! Launched in commemoration of my book's publishing anniversary, you can start the challenge in your organization any time. Just be sure to tag me on social media so I can share.
2. Here are articles where I was featured:
3. Articles I wrote:
4. Interesting bits I shared on social media this summer:
There's more to come! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or LinkedIn so you don't miss a post. Likes, shares, retweets, etc. are always appreciated.
Long time readers of my newsletter know that I continually experiment with content and format. Stay tuned for upcoming editions organized around themes, starting with Customer Experience (CX) and Human Resources (HR).
As for me, I continue to work with clients on projects such as cultural identity development (purpose, mission, vision, values) and founding team dynamics with startups. I had a great Fireside Chat a few weeks ago with Startup House. This week I'm on a panel discussing the Future of Work with Business Insite Group's EXcelerating HR Conference, and next week I will be speaking at Silicon Valley Advantage's Demo Day. I can't wait to announce a few more activities in my pipeline! In the meantime, please keep me in mind as a resource for your organization or those in your network. New client conversations are always welcome. More details on my offerings can be found on the website.
Now it's your turn. How are you? I'd love to hear what you've been up to and how I can help.
As you can see, it's been busy! I'm pleased to share 3 podcasts that launched over the spring and summer season, all in the Customer Experience (CX) space. It's been a joy to be embraced by this community, starting with Adrian Swinscoe and Ricardo Saltz Gulko of eglobalis. You'll find that each of these, like my other podcast interviews, are all very different from one another. Enjoy by clicking each of the images above and let me know what you think!
It's the Goodreads Giveaway! From May 1 - May 31, 2019, click below for a chance to win one of 10 copies of Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences @ Work. Every organization needs this!
SPREAD THE WORD.
*Sorry, available in the US and Canada only
It was a privilege to be a guest on Carolyn Kiel's Beyond 6 Seconds podcast recently, and not just because it was a personal milestone (my 20th podcast!). Experience showed me how truly different every conversation can be, even if the premise is to talk about about my favorite topic of company culture. Between her wonderful radio voice, curious mind, engaging questions and our easy rapport with one another, we talked well beyond our scheduled time. We covered so much territory that it necessitated a second bonus episode about Culture Your Culture's journey to publication. My hope is that our fun translates to your enjoyment as listeners. Give it a listen and let me know what you think!
I've always had a variety of people in my professional and social circles--it reflects my own diverse interests and experiences. Everyone is spread out geographically, but it would be one heck of a party if I had them all in one place to watch all the worlds colliding.
That being said, every once in a while I am reminded of the limitations within my network, which in turn speaks to the challenges of business norms in general. When I asked on occasion whether I know someone that fits x, y, z, conditions, I usually have at least some tangential connection. Recently however, I could not find enough executive women of color in my circles for a special invitation-only gathering. I lamented this to a colleague and friend (also an executive woman of color now consultant), who said, "there aren't any." She really meant "there's not enough." So true, so true. There's much work to be done, but thankfully some organizations are trying. People need to know, and be motivated to do the same.
This is why it was so wonderful to add my $.02 on this article in Fast Company, "These Companies are Making Sure More Women Get Promoted to Management," which showcases what's being done and provides for some starting points. I highly recommend you read the whole article and share it broadly. Here's a preview:
If you aren't familiar with MindTools, it is "one of the world’s most popular digital, on-demand career and management learning solutions, helping more than 24 million people each year." I have been a distant admirer for years (they've been online since 1996!) and recently had the opportunity to talk with them about Culture Your Culture and Design of Work Experience, which resulted in a great article and podcast. The latter resides in their members-only area, but thanks to their generosity you can listen right here.
As you know, I joined the Consortium 4 Change (C4C) of the Business InSITE Group (BiG), an invitation-only network of thought leaders partnering together. That gives me access (and therefore you) to even more leadership development opportunities. Earlier this month I told you about inFRONT Leaders taking place April 16-18, 2019 in Manhattan Beach, California. The program is designed for any operating leader who can benefit from better understanding the future of work, unleashing their leadership potential and developing their own and their team’s innovative spirit.
I'm pleased to also share with you the BiG Coaching Differentiator, a whole network of expert coaches for your organizational needs. I shared my perspective on coaching programs previously in my post, "First Things First: Fundamentals for an Executive Coaching Program." Find out 10 compelling ways BiG brings significant value to coaching relationships and let me know if you are interested in either of these programs.
A place to share interesting concepts that will inspire, spread, and/or apply new ideas. This page is dedicated to sharing my twitter feed, announcements, and blog posts.