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5 Tips for Kickstarting the Employee Experience


Employee Experience (EX) is kind of everything right now. It’s that magical force that retains, sustains, and unleashes the power of our talent. And whose top priority isn’t talent right now? But also…EX is a little dang intimidating! It’s amorphous and weighty…causing leaders to stare at it like deer in headlights, paralyzed by its enormity. But here’s the great news. While a fully realized EX results from marathons over sprints, we believe in the importance of early actions and wins to build momentum and trust. I've started delivering a talk called The Employee Experience Kickstart. And it's designed to inform, equip, and empower leaders to begin taking thoughtful and immediate action. Today I share five of my favorite tips from that talk. And I hope this read is a wonderful experience for you!


1. Start seeding the Four Quads

I begin this talk with an introduction to the Four Quads Framework (below). This provides a foundation - a shared language around the true drivers of an impactful EX.


When your team can Deliver (its best work), Develop (new skills and capabilities), Connect (to team, meaning, and purpose), and Thrive (be well, balanced, and whole), then the overall experience – and the results they produce – really shine.


FOUR QUADS FRAMEWORK


2. Start asking targeted questions

I'm a big believer in a thorough Discovery process. I'm also a believer in not waiting for said Discovery process before you begin stepping.


The Four Quads inform where you hunt. So now, start hunting. Begin asking some casual questions - just to see what's top of mind for people around you.


There are no bad questions - but here are some thought-starters:

  • How clear are you on your role and key priorities?

  • How easily are you able to access tools, resources, information, etc. that helps you do your job?

  • What keeps you feeling challenged, growing, and learning?

  • What makes you feel most connected to your colleagues?

  • How do you like to experience recognition or appreciation?

  • How well are you able to balance work with your non-work life?

There are a million variations – but just asking questions that express interest and invite suggestions to help drive the Four Quads experience can trigger meaning and impact quickly.


3. Start running tests

As insights and ideas are shared, choose a few low-stakes ideas and give them a spin!


What did you hear?


How can you sharpen your team's priorities? Or give someone a chance to run a "stretch" project? Or publicly thank someone for taking a risk that paid off. Or ensure your team has open access to critical resources and information.


These are all enablers of a powerful EX. But take your teams' ideas - not mine. That's where resonance lives.


And as you test, pay attention to what works, and do more of that. And what isn't working...maybe stop.


4. Start collecting and sharing stories

Do your own PR. If something’s working, shine a spotlight on it. Talk about what you changed, why, and what impact it’s had on someone’s EX. The human brain loves stories! They’re a great way to spread wisdom and trigger a (positive) contagion. If something’s working for us, wouldn’t it be great if others were inspired to try?


Last week, I was running a workshop on managing energy, and one participant shared that he ends all of his team meetings by asking everyone: “What is one thing each of you will commit to doing next week to keep your energy tank full?”


Just by asking this question, he’s seen his team members think more creatively about – and hold themselves accountable to - taking small breaks, making better human connections, setting better boundaries.


And by sharing this story, several of his colleagues have started experimenting with this practice - and the wins are beginning to add up.


Sometimes the best data is simply the stuff that’s working around us. So don’t be a data-hoarder – tell the world!


5. Start connecting the dots

And finally. Not every great idea requires change or invention. Sometimes the answer is as simple as connecting two dots that are already there. How can you facilitate a connection? Maybe someone on your team is craving some learning opportunities but doesn’t realize your company offers everyone free access to LinkedIn Learning courses. Or an overwhelmed working parent isn’t aware of the free childcare benefit available to them. Help people find those resources hidden just around the corner.

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