Employee Experience (EX) Blog Series: Embrace the Whole Human (Part One)

Customer Experience


August 25, 2016

In the human era, people seek purpose and long for authentic and meaningful connection. When people find purpose and connection, especially with the work they do and the organization they choose to work with, potentiality multiples and lasting engagement ensues.

In our recent POV, Employee Experience Redefined, we dissect the power of exceptional EX as a new, critical point of differentiation for organizations to grow and thrive. Our Employee Experience True North Blog Series with highlight each of our five principles of EX differentiation in detail. The principles include:

  1. Embrace the Whole Human
  2. Choose Connection over Utility
  3. Synchronize and Evolve Experience, Brand and Culture
  4. Align Internal Functions Across Teams
  5. Put Employees First

whole human graphic

Embrace the Whole Human

Who are employees – really? What do they do (at work)? How do they live their lives?  How do they think? How do they feel? How do they behave? What matters most to them?  What needs are going unmet? What inspires them?

We believe that an employer’s authentic connection with employees is based on their full acknowledgement of employee’s whole self and the life they choose to live:  their relationships, interests, aspirations, family, community, vulnerabilities, and work. A differentiated EX is a multifaceted experience that is employee-centered and satisfies unmet and higher-level needs. A few of my favorite examples that showcase how organizations appreciate this principle include:

  • The Traveler
    • Airbnb, provides employees $2,000 annually to travel and stay in any Airbnb listing.
  • The Student
    • CommonBond and PWC offer $1,200 per year for student loan debt reimbursement.
  • The New Parent
    • Netflix offers one paid year of maternity and paternity leave to new parents. They also allow parents to return part-time or full-time and take time off as needed throughout the year.
    • Zillow pays for new mothers who are traveling to ship their breast milk.
  • The Community Volunteer
    • Google supports employees in their philanthropic efforts. Google Reach Global sends a small group of Googlers to a developing area where they help local organizations and small businesses address development challenges.

Exceptional EX necessitates a fundamental shift in the organization’s approach to employees – from standard, one-size fits-all to personalized. It requires a strategic, long-term view of the employee/employer relationship.  Done well, exemplary EX can truly foster lasting engagement, higher performance and ingenuity than we ever thought possible.

Want more? Come back next week to understand more about our second principle of differentiated EX, “Choosing Connection Over Utility.”