How Micro-Moments Can Make or Break the Employee Experience
The customer experience has long been a business priority. The employee experience, on the other hand, is often an afterthought.
Since the mainstreaming of employee well-being and engagement efforts to drive business performance, companies are beginning to look inward to see how they can improve the employee experience.
When doing so, it’s important to understand the influence of “micro-moments” — short but meaningful moments in which decisions and impressions are made.
Companies can take advantage of micro-moments to promote a positive experience and drive better overall performance.
What is the Employee Experience?
There are many misconceptions about what the employee experience is. Let’s start by defining what it’s not.
It isn’t, for example, the amount of perks a company offers. It’s not about giving unlimited PTO or whether there’s a yoga room in the office (although those things don’t hurt). It’s not talent management, and it’s not even the level of employee satisfaction.
So, what is it?
We like this definition from employee engagement firm DecisionWise: “The employee experience is the sum of the various perceptions employees have about their interactions with the organizations in which they work.”
Note that the employee experience is determined by the way employees perceive what happens inside the office, not what actually occurs. It’s not just about what a company does or doesn’t do, it’s about how employees interpret its intentions, according to DecisionWise.
The employee experience you create can be positive or negative. It can either propel your organization forward, or be a chronic barrier to success.
Set the Stage for a Positive Employee Experience Through Micro-Moments
The question is, then, how can an organization ensure it provides a positive employee experience?
It is the leaders’ responsibility to establish the right employee experience so people can and want to perform at the highest level. Only then can a company truly thrive.
Keep in mind that it’s not always necessary to redesign workflows and procedures to improve the employee experience. You can achieve significant improvement by capitalizing on micro-moments.
How to Use Micro-Moments to Your Advantage
The term “micro-moments” originated in a marketing context. It refers to the brief instances when people turn to their devices to fulfill a desire to learn, do, watch, or buy something, according to Think With Google.
Micro-moments are opportunities for a brand to instill a positive perception of itself in the mind of the customer. They’re a chance for companies to establish trust and credibility.
If a brand can deliver whatever it is we want right at the moment of need, it has successfully used that micro-moment to provide a better consumer experience.
For example, while standing in a store, a shopper might compare two different products on their smartphone to help them decide which one to buy. In this scenario, the company that delivers the most relevant or compelling information in the moment of need will likely influence the consumer to select their product. Here, a micro-moment not only informs a purchasing decision, it may also affect the way the customer thinks of each brand as a source of information.
Smart companies utilize micro-moments with their employees to the same end. They understand how these brief moments have the power to shape the employee experience. Often, they are even more influential than the regular elements of work life.
Use Micro-Moments to Display Genuine Compassion
A company might have thousands of workers to look after. Establishing a positive employee experience for a workforce this large may seem daunting. Just remember that ultimately, you are dealing with individual people.
Inevitably, employees’ personal hardships may affect their performance or demeanor at work. In these situations, micro-moments can significantly affect how workers perceive the company and their overall experience.
Perhaps an employee’s family member has had an accident or fallen ill. Maybe they are going through a divorce. Maybe their child is struggling in school. A little empathy can have a huge effect on employees’ perception of the company, management and work environment.
Check in with employees, ask how they are feeling. When unfortunate circumstances arise, offer extra accommodations, like the ability to temporarily work from home or take some time off.
Small gestures such as these show your staff you are here to support them, both inside and outside of work. They can go a long way to promote a positive employee experience.
Micro-Moments Can Guide Employee Training
Whether you’re onboarding new employees or embarking on digital transformation, the learning curve can be long and frustrating.
Micro-moments can help alleviate the negative emotions that come with these change initiatives. During training, pause every so often to see how employees are doing. Ask if they have questions, or if there are any tools that could make the learning process easier. Then actually provide them.
These check-ins can be short, but they have the potential to be very meaningful.
First, they provide insight into how to most efficiently approach employee training and onboarding. They also show employees you are willing to take a personalized approach so they have the highest chance to succeed. This is integral to building a positive employee experience.
During a Major Crisis, Micro-Moments Can Set Your Staff at Ease
Unexpected changes can create a lot of stress for employees. What if the CEO suddenly departs? What if the leadership announces a round of layoffs? What if the company is being acquired?
The key to maintaining a positive employee experience during difficult transitions is communication. During organizational changes or a crisis, it is necessary for leaders to clearly communicate with staff about what’s going on. On top of that, managers can use micro-moments to reduce any potential distress.
Send an email to staff that says you’re door is open to answer any questions that arise. Tell them you understand they might be stressed, but you’re there to provide additional support.
Use every micro-moment possible to make sure they know you have their best interest in mind.
Micro-Moments Require a Proactive Approach
Micro-moments can’t always be planned. Sometimes they occur as a result of unexpected situations. However, taking a proactive approach will help create a positive impression of the company in your employees’ minds.
Whether it’s reaching out to an individual employee to show them you care, soliciting feedback to improve training, or providing assurance during a difficult transition, the way you handle micro-moments has a great influence on the employee experience, for better or worse.