How Personalization Can Create the Best Employee Experience

If you want to create the best employee experience possible, then personalization is a must.

Through data and technology, employers can:

  • Deliver unique, custom-tailored experiences to the individual
  • Improve communication between employees, managers, and the organization
  • Boost key employee metrics, such as performance

Below, we will look at personalization, its methods, and its benefits in more detail.

Using Customer Personalization as a Lens

Business-to-consumer personalization is very well-known. 

Personalized customer experience management has received the bulk of the funding and attention over the years. In fact, many consumers expect personalization to a certain degree.

Thanks to this development, customer experience can act as a rich resource when designing personalized employee experiences.

Here are a few ways that personalization improves customer experiences:

  • Content relevance. Recommendation engines are also used to improve content recommendations on many websites, from blogs to YouTube.
  • Engagement. Content, advertising, and products that are more relevant increase engagement with a product or service.
  • Sales. Consider product recommendation engines on Amazon. On the one hand, they boost average shopping cart sizes. And on the other, they can serve up product ads within those recommendations, acting as additional revenue sources.
  • Revenue. These personalization tactics help improve revenue by increasing sales conversions, purchase sizes, and more. The bottom line is a higher customer lifetime value (LTV).

At first glance these concepts and metrics may seem irrelevant to employee experience personalization.

But the customer experience can act as a useful lens.

We can apply the same ideas and techniques to find ways to personalize the employee experience.

Creating the Best Employee Experience through Personalization

First, let’s look at a few areas that can be personalized:

  • Onboarding. By presenting new hires only with relevant information, the onboarding process moves more quickly and smoothly. More importantly, it feels more personal.
  • Training. Training is another important area of focus. Personalization essentially comes built-in to certain learning platforms, like digital adoption platforms. These platforms deliver in-app training that is contextualized, immediately relevant, and immediately personal.
  • Career development. Employee profiles can help HR professionals customize long-term career development solutions. With access to surveys, career data, and engagement data, they can improve recommendations, training, and counseling. 
  • Communications. Personalized communications can come in a variety of forms – through emails, workplace chat apps, social networks, and more. Communication apps with the right functions can help separate the signal from the noise.

Now, how can employees benefit from more personalized experiences?

Benefits of Employee Experience Personalization

Though you may already have some ideas, here are benefits you can expect:

  • Boosted engagement, productivity, and performance. Personalization functionality, as we’ve seen, can decrease noise. By boosting the relevance of communications and content, employees can stay focused on what matters – their work.
  • Greater employee retention. Talent management is a top concern for HR professionals. By personalizing their employee experience – throughout the employee life cycle – organizations can improve loyalty and retention. And, as a natural complement to this, they can decrease turnover.
  • Better learning outcomes. Today, digital literacy and digital skills are critical. However, digital skill levels are unique to each individual. Personalized learning solutions can meet employees at their exact level, then provide automated, contextually relevant guidance.

To name a few.

A better employee experience can also boost the overall work climate.

Indirect benefits can include a happier workplace, improved teamwork, more innovation, and decreased resistance to change … among other things.

Getting Started

Below is a simple, big-picture process for getting started with employee experience personalization:

  • Collect data. Learn about employees: their skill levels, their behaviors, their career aims, their opinions about the workplace. The more relevant data you can collect, the better your personalization efforts will be.
  • Integrate that data into your HR technology stack. Human resources manages the employee life cycle. To successfully personalize the employee experience: break down data siloes, collect data from other departments, and proactively implement that data in employee experience management.
  • Apply personalization to key stages in the employee life cycle. Evaluate the employee life cycle as a whole. Consider ways to personalize each stage. Ask how personalization can benefit each stage – recruitment, onboarding, training, and so forth.

The more you personalize, the more you stand to gain.

However, personalization is not without obstacles…

Drawbacks and Challenges

Personalization may be the key to creating the best employee experience possible.

But there are some potential obstacles to be aware of:

  • Privacy. There is a fine line between personalization and invasion of personal space. The best remedy is to be clear about your company’s privacy policies and to respect a person’s boundaries. If possible, personalize privacy levels – offering employees the choice of control over their data is itself a form of personalization.
  • Budgets. As with any other project, personalization comes at a price. There are times when employee experience personalization is superseded by other projects. However, by making a case for the ROI of the employee experience, it is possible to obtain approval, support, and sponsorship.
  • Personalization can’t fix everything. Though personalization can dramatically improve many employee metrics, it is not a panacea. There are other factors that influence employee productivity and engagement, for instance – workplace culture, tools and technology, and the actual individual in question. 

As long as you keep such considerations in mind, personalization can create stellar employee experiences.

The results of successful personalization will speak for themselves – workers who are more satisfied, engaged, and productive.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.