What does an employee experience manager do?
And why is this job becoming more popular in recent years?
Below, we’ll look at:
- Why the employee experience has become such a hot trend recently
- What employee experience managers do
- What skills are needed to succeed at this role
- Pros and cons of becoming an employee experience manager
To start with, it pays to understand why the employee experience has risen to prominence recently.
A Brief Overview of the Employee Experience
Employee experience is an emerging field.
There are a few global trends that are helping to increase awareness of the need for powerful, positive employee experiences.
A few of these include:
- The Digital Skills Crisis – The digital skills crisis, as it has been dubbed, refers to a global shortage of digital skills. Technology is rapidly transforming workplaces and workflows, but not all workers are keeping up. If this skills gap remains unaddressed, it could have serious economic consequences in the years to come.
- The Employee Engagement Crisis – Simultaneously, workers are feeling less engaged at work. Gallup has called this a crisis, claiming that on average, only 32% of US workers are engaged. Udemy research claims that around 4 in 10 workers are bored at work … and bored workers are twice as likely to leave a job.
- Digital Transformation – Underlying these trends is the mega-trend, digital transformation. Across every sector and in every industry, businesses are adopting new digital technologies, automating processes, and changing business models.
Trends such as these have made organizations aware of the need for a skilled, engaged workforce.
And that is exactly where the employee experience manager steps in…
The Employee Experience Manager Job Profile
As this is still a relatively new field, each employee experience manager may have a different set of responsibilities.
Here are some responsibilities commonly handled by this role:
- Define the corporate culture. The organizational culture and climate play a crucial role in the employee experience. A positive corporate culture increases employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity – three focal points for employee experience managers.
- Improve the overall work environment. The work environment itself – from physical layout to the equipment – may also fall under the purview of this job role.
- Digitize workflows. Today, digital transformation has become part and parcel of the modern organization. Digital transformation and experience management often go hand in hand. Experience managers may hold some influence over digital adoption projects, reskilling projects, employee training programs, and so on.
- Create rewards programs, recognition programs, or gamification systems. One common way to boost worker engagement is through gamification. Contests and rewards programs, for example, help employees engage with work and feel recognized for their accomplishments.
- Develop communication systems to obtain employee feedback. Communication and feedback are vital to a healthy workplace. Employee experience managers may work with HR or other departments to develop communication strategies and systems.
As mentioned, every employee experience manager may have a slightly different job scope.
Challenges of Employee Experience Management
Employee experience management is, of course, not without obstacles.
Here are a few common challenges that can be expected in this role:
- Proving ROI. Returns are not always easy to prove when it comes to employee experience programs. It can be difficult – if not impossible – to reliably tie an improvement in culture, for example, to the bottom line.
- Obtaining executive support. When provable ROI is difficult to find, so is executive support. Without that support, projects can be put on hold, blocked, or completely rejected.
- Effecting change. Organizational change and change management are not easy. When employee experience managers need to alter the employee experience, they must motivate employees, build skills, overcome resistance, and so on.
To name just a few.
How to Become an Employee Experience Manager
What do you need to succeed at this role?
There are a few typical requirements for any experience manager position, regardless of its focus:
- Interpersonal skills top the list.
- Managerial skills.
- Leadership ability.
- Analytical thinking and organizational skills.
Like change managers and other managerial positions, employee experience managers need to use both sides of their brain.
On the one hand, it is important to have good communication skills and soft skills.
At the same time, logic and reasoning are necessary to evaluate projects, analyze data, and maximize outcomes.
Employee experience managers are by no means the only roles that help support, design, and create the employee experience.
Here is a partial list of other jobs that can also help craft the employee experience:
- Career Development Professionals
- Digital Adoption Managers
- Training Managers
- Employee Wellness Professionals
- Change Managers
To name just a few.
Each of these professions, of course, has its own special focus.
Some are more generalized, others have a narrower focus.
If you have strong interpersonal skills, enjoy helping others, and like managing projects, this job may be a good fit.
The role itself may evolve over time, to meet the changing needs of the digital workplace.
However, the general job function will remain the same – helping to improve the day-to-day work experiences of your fellow employees.