EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE IN AN ERA OF CURBSIDE EVERYTHING

 

You’ll have to bear with me. I’m on the way home from my weekly trek to the supermarket. I’ve got to stay focused, Mad Max…er…Matt style. You see, that trek is now more akin to something snatched from the cinematic version of a story set in a post-apocalyptic suburban wasteland, where Susan-from-down-the-street-with-the-Suburbitank is swerving said Suburbitank through traffic like her sweats are on fire or something.

That or she’s got it on good authority (read: her co-worker’s best friend’s third cousin’s Facebook status) that there’s a roll of toilet paper left for sale at a grocery store across town.

Ok. Crisis averted. Thanks for your patience. Suburbitank Susan is careening towards Costco I’m sure, and I’m safely here in the parking lot of the local chicken wing joint, awaiting curbside delivery.

What would we do without delivery and curbside service these days? My guess is many of us would either starve or just risk catching our death.

Thankfully, a lot of restaurants and organizations are finding ways to adapt to what’s quickly becoming known as “the new normal.”

They’re doing so by offering remote this, virtual that, and curbside everything in between.

I think there’s something to be learned here in regards not only to member/consumer experience and marketing (with a hat tip to my illustrious colleagues Taylor Wells and Elizabeth Arnold Rider), but also to employee experience in the era of curbside everything.

TWO RISKS FACING ORGANIZATIONS

 

Well, in the midst of all the hullabaloo and ballyhoo, my fear is two fold.

First, I worry that people run the risk of not only getting sick physically, but also finding themselves in increasingly negative situations as far as their work contexts are concerned.

What I mean is that folks who perceived some things to be less than stellar before will likely be struggling

Second, I’m fearful that organizations, while rightly focused on how to weather the current situation from an economic perspective, will overlook the fact that they have an opportunity to help not just buoy themselves right now, but also set themselves up for long-term, sustainable competitive advantage going forward.

 

Organizations have an opportunity, even now, to set themselves up for long-term, sustainable success by prioritizing their people. #leadership #futureofwork #companyculture Click To Tweet

 

How? Through bolstering their employee experience in the same restaurants have begun thinking about their service. Think curbside employee experience.

CURBSIDE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE: AN INTRODUCTION

 

Here’s what we know. Your organization has had to shift to having chunks, if not all, of your teams work remotely, work from home, or work in some way other than the way they’re used to working.

 

employee experience work from home quarantine matt monge twitter

 

But believe it or not, you can still turn that employee experience into something that’s a positive thing for both your team and the organization.

As leaders, the sudden shift in working conditions can present some challenges related to morale, culture, and employee experience. However, if we’re prepared and take certain steps, we can turn those challenges into opportunities to build team trust and cohesion, improve team effectiveness and efficiency, and propel overall team performance forward.

 

 

Here’s how you can do just that.

IMPROVE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE BY BEING EMPATHETIC

 

And I don’t just mean from the crisis perspective.

I’m referring to understanding what your team is thinking, feeling, and so on.

If you empathize with them, and if you happen to mentally cross-reference your empathy with solid information — say, some great, ongoing research from Forrester Research VP & Principal Analyst James McQuivey — you’ll likely land in the same spot.

It’s not great.

 

curbside employee experience gary v quote

Healthy culture + engaged teammates = organizational resilience & agility | #leadership #companyculture #futureofwork Click To Tweet

 

ROLLOUT CURBSIDE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE BY STAYING HUMAN

 

I’ve said it before {link}, and I’ll say it again (and again), but that’s because it’s so, so important.

Being and staying human, real, and vulnerable with your team matters.

ROLLOUT CURBSIDE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE BY BEING OPEN AND REALISTIC

 

It doesn’t do any good to act like what they already know is happening, isn’t happening. Just level with them.

There are few things that frustrate folks more than information not being shared with them.

Whether it’s from managers to teams, executives to the rest of the organization, or simply teammate to teammate.

All of it.

And that was before all this went down.

So you can imagine how much uncertainty is floating around out there right now.

AT THE SAME TIME, INJECT OPTIMISM

 

inject optimism curbside employee experience

 

Do your part to mitigate this by being both realistic and reassuring, both open and optimistic.

Believe me, they’re getting enough doom and gloom from their cable news channel of choice.

So again, yes, be real; but inject optimism.

ROLLOUT CURBSIDE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE BY GIVING THEM THE TOOLS THEY NEED

 

This will be a work in progress, of course (something you’ll want to communicate to your team), but getting your team the tools they need to do their work will be a massive relief to them.

There are few things worse than feeling the pressure to do your work and not being able to do it because you don’t have the requisite tools.

ROLLOUT CURBSIDE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE BY BEING FLEXIBLE

 

We’re all figuring this out as we go, aren’t we?

This is part of why humanness on teams is so critical. If we can all accept our mutual humanness, it’s going to be easier to understand that we’re all going to stumble here and there as we make our way in this new reality.

Consequently, when we see our teammates stumble, our first inclination is going to be to help each other up, dust each off, and set each other up for success next time rather than ding each other.

Make sense?

OVER COMMUNICATE

 

Don’t read this as “nag.”

Interpret this as being sure everyone is on the same page, motivated, feeling good, and has everything they need to be successful.

RECOGNIZE SUCCESS

 

It can be easy during times like this to fixate on all the potential failures, all the possible pitfalls, and all the chaos swirling around during a crisis.

Don’t.

Focus on the successes. Recognize your team’s work. Point out when individuals do something awesome.

SO…

 

So in this time of “curbside everything,” differentiate your organization by making your people a priority.

Plugging in the points above will help you do that, and will create a context more likely to produce optimal performance.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

 

What are you experiencing? How’s it going working at home? What’s your team doing to work better together? Leaders, how are you helping your team stay engaged? What ideas or suggestions do you have?

Let us know in the comments below!

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