Employee Experience (EX) Blog Series: Choose Connection Over Utility (Part Two)

Customer Experience


September 2, 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 multiplies 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 will highlight each of our five principles of EX differentiation in detail. In our inaugural blog, we highlighted the principle of Embrace the Whole Human. This week we highlight the principle of Choose Connection Over Utility.


Today, we live in a world of abundant choice. Conversely we are more selective in what we choose in the end. This is especially true in a talent-driven market. Employees have more choice, are more informed, and therefore more selective when choosing what they want to do and the organization they want to work with.

Organizations that build relevance and value for employees – creating a meaningful work experience that provides a sense of fulfillment and a mutually beneficial relationship with employees – are more successful at attracting, engaging and retaining best talent. These organizations connect with employee’s purpose, concentrate on the ‘give’ more than the ‘get’ in the relationship, and build trust with employees over time through all actions and interactions.

A couple of exemplary organizations that demonstrate the principle of Choose Connection Over Utility include:

  • FAVI, is a family-owned French brass foundry. FAVI has dispensed of the usual control mechanisms, and has been built on the foundation of mutual trust. Employees are seen as reasonable people that can be trusted to do the right thing. With that premise, very few rules and control mechanisms are needed. As a result of this change, business performance significantly improved. Additionally, employees have expressed that their self-image is different; they are more empowered, feel more responsible for their work and take pride in a job well done.
  • SAS, is the leader in business analytics software and services. The stated purpose of SAS is to make a difference in people’s life’s all around the world. Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS, is known for his belief that if you treat employees like they make a difference, they will. He believes it is his job to maintain a work environment and experience that keeps people coming back every morning because they want to – and employees do.  An anonymous employee of SAS advocates: “I wake up every morning excited to drive to Cary HQ. Working at SAS, you are empowered to take charge of your own career. The flexibility, collaborative environment, and trust culture are just some of the reasons I love what I do and where I do it!”

Exceptional EX necessitates a fundamental shift in organization’s approach to fostering a trusting, mutually beneficial relationship with employees – moving beyond a hide bound utilization mentality.

Want more? Come back next week to understand more about our third principle of differentiated EX, “Synchronize and Evolve Experience, Brand, and Culture.

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