Employee Experience Lifecycle

Employee Experience Lifecycle

Vijay Pendakur, PhD moderated an insightful panel about the Employee Experience (EX) lifecycle. Industry leaders shared their insights on defining, implementing, and improving the EX lifecycle within their respective organizations. Meet Eric Shen, Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Employee Experience at Chime, Dawon Hawkins, Director of Culture & Engagement at DocuSign, and Mohit Jiwnani, Director, Talent Development at Okta.

Defining and prioritizing the employee experience

When asked to define the employee experience at Chime, Eric emphasizes that it includes all interactions an employee has with the company from onboarding to offboarding. His organization prioritizes embedding key people initiatives into these interactions and executing them by defining what they own versus what they consult. 

For Dawon, the employee experience centers on company values; who they are and who they want to be as an organization. This includes onboarding, connecting employees to resources, fostering a supportive community and exiting. It's about bringing organizational values to life through intentional engagement to create a workplace where employees feel genuinely supported and valued.

Mohit is building Okta’s employee experience strategy around consistently aligning with core values. He also focuses in on emerging trends, and considers how they can adjust and improve their strategy. Okta also prioritizes employee feedback to make a real difference. They have found that a "less is more" approach allows them to concentrate on impactful initiatives that resonate with employees.

What is foundational to workplace experience?

Dawon shares that being intentional is key to fostering employee connection in the workplace. Knowing what to focus on and what outcomes are trying to be achieved is important. That drives actions such as employee programs, financial investments, and success metrics. Having a clear, measurable goal is critical. 

Eric shares that diversity, equity, and inclusion are core to their workplace experience at Chime. Ensuring that people feel seen and valued creates a workplace culture where everyone feels invested and connected. 

Overcoming challenges and finding solutions

At Okta, Mohit's biggest challenge is understanding what matters most. Their dynamic work model allows employees to work from anywhere, which can be challenging when trying to make work intentional. By gathering employees a few times a week for events, onboarding, and social activities, they gain a greater sense of connection. However, this creates inconsistencies among participants because of their flexible work environment. By making this process consistent and modeling these consistencies from top to bottom, the employee experience can align with organizational goals.

At DocuSign, one of the main challenges was enhancing the visibility of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs are crucial for connecting employees with similar interests and shared experiences. However, employees often see participating in ERGs as additional work. Dawon focused on enhancing the visibility and effectiveness of (ERGs) by highlighting how they can benefit employees. By integrating ERGs throughout the employee lifecycle, they ensure involvement in these groups is linked to employees' intent to stay with the company.

Eric highlighted the issue of how connection shifts throughout the employee lifecycle. ERGs have been a great medium for enhancing connection in the workplace. However, hosting too many events can dilute their impact. By taking a ‘less is more’ approach, reducing the number of events, and adopting a more cohesive strategy, the effectiveness of ERGs has been enhanced.

Useful tools and technologies 

Eric has seen the impact that technology can have on employees, both positive and negative. Thoughtfully implementing technology into the workplace is integral to the employee experience. Considering how it will help employees rather than overwhelm them is critical. 

Dawon addressed the challenge of tool fatigue, where too many tech tools can overwhelm employees. By focusing on integration and streamlining processes, they made existing tools more user-friendly, enhancing the overall employee experience.

Continuous improvement 

At Okta, Mohit shares that they focus on what they call “data day.” At the end of every engagement survey cycle, him and his team spend a few hours reading through every comment in small breakout groups to identify themes across talent development, talent management, learning and development, employee experience, and more. They prioritize addressing issues that need immediate attention. Although it is time-intensive, it is critical for success in employee engagement and has served Mohit and his team well. 

Dawon and his team focus on supporting their organizational leaders and enabling them to do their work effectively. Providing access to learning and development opportunities is critical, especially in our constantly changing environment. Leading teams is very different now than it was 20 years ago. Recognizing this is critical for continued growth. 

Key takeaways

  1. Embed key initiatives throughout the employee lifecycle, aligning them with company values to foster a supportive work environment.
  2. Prioritize intentional actions with clear goals, emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure everyone feels valued and connected.
  3. Maintain connections in flexible work environments by using Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and a “less is more” approach, with consistent practices and strategic event planning to enhance effectiveness and alignment.

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