How The Emergence Of The Chief Worker Experience Officer Will Improve The Customer Experience

CWXO

The customer is demanding a personalised experience that’s not only accessible, but functional. A failure to work with a customer-focused mentality can lead to a significant hit to a company’s bottom line. Businesses must prioritise how they manage and treat their internal staff in order to create competitive customer experiences. Recent research conducted by Forrester in partnership with Appirio found that business leaders are in broad agreement that engaged employees are far more likely to be productive and provide customers with a best-in-class experience.

The question is, who responsible for monitoring the Worker Experience (WX) in a business, and ensuring employees are kept motivated?

The same report uncovered vast disconnects when it comes to ownership of managing the Worker Experience. While 48 percent of respondents said that direct-line managers were responsible (and only 11 percent said it was HR’s role), this function still remains firmly under HR and the C-suite’s remit. Coupled with this, is the view that because executive management, HR, and IT aren’t responsible for Worker Experience, planning and investment for these programmes falls short.

Enter the role of the Chief Worker Experience Officer (CWXO). This new role manages key business areas. For example, businesses currently rely on disjointed funding and project schemes to improve WX. In addition, only 26 percent of companies surveyed have a formal WX programme in place, while the remainder fund these efforts on an ad-hoc basis.

It’s not surprising that WX isn’t a formal budgeting item, given that cross-organisational leaders do not take responsibility for it. What this decentralised approach tends to do is limit investments in the types of programmes that would most benefit workers.

Formalising Worker Experience Initiatives

If companies don’t address and formalise how they invest in and coordinate WX programmes, their businesses will suffer. Managers recognise this, as 70 percent of business leaders believe not improving the Worker Experience would negatively affect their ability to attract and retain the best talent, ensure worker productivity, and, ultimately, deliver good customer experiences.

The CWXO serves employees by creating and managing a robust measurement programme that includes techniques like surveys, employee interviews, and professional training offerings. A CWXO can also ensure that any technology introduced supports the needs of the worker. For example, if a software company rolls out a new cloud offering, product managers must decide what types of support services it offers to ensure clients get the most value out of the product. Customer and employee journey mapping can prove useful here – allowing the business to lay out parallel client and worker journeys to see what each side needs to be successful.

The responsibility for the changes and investment needed to ensure a positive Worker Experience lies with the executive leadership. Establishing a dedicated CWXO is crucial in ensuring businesses can manage and set up a programme which has direct implications on all parts of the company. Businesses who focus on improving a positive worker experience will quickly see greater engagement from customers as the productive nature of a happy workforce trickles down to the consumer level.

Greg Bohlen

Greg Bohlen is Senior Director for Strategy & Digital at Appirio.