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Employee Experience
3 min

Operationalization: Employee Engagement Is the New Bottom Line

by Kat Kollett, Emma Richardson, Analisa Goldblatt April 26, 2024

Over the last month, we have highlighted a few key employee experience (EX) practices that boost business growth and profitability. If you’ve followed along, it comes as no surprise that organizations often find a direct correlation between the employee experience and the success of their business. 

Greater attention given to the employee experience offers a significant return on investment that cascades into other areas of a business. But, particularly as companies grow and their teams and employees become more and more specialized, it becomes challenging to keep everyone working together smoothly. Individual teams focus on their responsibilities to the organization, and, as they become entrenched in siloes, their processes and standards can fall out of sync with the organization. This is true both for teams set up explicitly to build out capabilities to support the organization and its employees (HR, IT, Legal, etc.) and for teams that regularly collaborate with each other. 

How do you help teams across your organization scale and operationalize their work, and introduce governance where needed, in a way that enhances, rather than detracts from, the employee experience? 

Build and Standardize 

Governance, workflows, processes—whatever term your organization uses—are all in service of improving the employee experience through a shared understanding of how to work together collectively, consistently, and efficiently. Investing in governance resources and standardizing them across your organization is a key component of your EX strategy.  

For example, what are the necessary steps to publish a blog post? Where should this call-to-action button live on a page, and what color should it be? What tone of voice resonates with our audiences? These questions are all answered when organizations invest in style guides and design systems. Building out these assets provides stakeholders with the opportunity to align on frameworks, language, design principles, and more.  

As you work through changes to your operating model or ways of working, be sure to engage employees at all levels—from executive stakeholders to individual contributors. By avoiding a top-down approach, you’ll empower employees to work together to shape their future in creative and collaborative ways.  

Align and Ideate 

When organizations grow and become more complex, it’s critical to align on new processes and how teams will work together in a way that meets their needs and those of the organization. At One North, we apply a human-centered design approach. By emphasizing mutual respect, prioritizing employee needs, and creating opportunities for collaboration, you’ll ensure that employees feel heard and involved.  

It’s important to include knowledge management considerations as part of your align and ideate process. The tools you select to help your employees do their work have significant implications related to their experience, and providing them the opportunity to identify challenges and opportunities across internal systems will strengthen new processes. Governance—and even work itself—can be halted or upended when the tools that enable workflows are poorly constructed.  

Engage and Sustain 

You’ve now gotten everyone on the same page and working in the same systems—now what? It’s time for implementation. What can feel like a huge undertaking will benefit from a little planning and intentional rollout plans. Many organizations use roadmaps to identify which leaders will help with organization-wide adoption, create scripts for real-time stakeholder conversations, or remove out-of-date workflows. While roadmaps can be a helpful tool for rollout, allow yourself flexibility as implementation gets underway. You may need to have multiple roadmaps that provide direction for different teams or varying levels of abstraction.  

Lastly, continue to include the people who participate in your processes. Create intentional opportunities for employees to provide feedback or help identify additional areas of improvement as teams adopt new workflows. To successfully sustain your new operating model and create an optimal employee experience, you’ll need to provide contributors the space to test, iterate, and grow. Outlining priorities and getting buy-in not only supports alignment and adoption, but also empowers your internal teams to confidently carry the governance and operating models forward, evolving them as needed.  

In this series, we’ve explored the essential components of a great employee experience and its profound impact on organizational success. From Enablement to Communications and Employee Value Proposition, and a thoughtful Hiring process, these elements form the backbone of a workplace where employees feel valued and empowered. Remember, they are interconnected, and they must reflect and support the daily realities of your teams. A focus on nurturing a positive employee experience not only enhances productivity and innovation but also fosters loyalty, improves reputation, and attracts top talent. By prioritizing the employee experience, organizations can pave the way for sustainable growth, stronger teams, and, ultimately, greater profitability.  

If you would like a partner in elevating your organization’s employee experience, we would love to talk strategy with you. Reach out to connect with one of our experts. 

Photo Credit: Danist Soh | Unsplash

Kat Kollett
Senior Director of Strategy

Kat Kollett is the Senior Director of Strategy. She brings a multidisciplinary, user-focused approach to innovations in brand, digital, analog, environmental, and interpersonal experiences, and helps clients apply those innovations to meet their strategic objectives.

Emma Richardson
Senior Content Strategist

Emma Richardson is a Senior Content Strategist with seven years of experience in copywriting, editorial strategy, and content design. She enjoys working with clients to develop content that meets business goals, design accessible and user-friendly content, and deliver compelling storytelling to a wide range of audiences.

Analisa Goldblatt
Senior Content Strategist

Analisa Goldblatt is a Senior Content Strategist at One North with a background in content management, platform migrations, and marketing. She enjoys collaborating with clients to help make sense of their content and integrate tailored strategies to improve its production, management, and the end-user experience.