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“Customer First” – this age-old business adage can finally be replaced by another: “Employee first.” That's at least one of the goals of a new manifesto published by over 30 HR executives and employee experience design startup Excellent.
While optimizing user and customer experience has traditionally been a top priority for most consumer-facing businesses, creating a comfortable workplace “improves business performance at the expense of employee well-being”.
This framework has been adopted by companies such as like Patagonia, Airbnb and Shopify, and others have followed suit as firms struggle to attract and retain talented workers. Therefore, employers are interested in rethinking the corporate culture.
“The pursuit of a positive employee experience has gained momentum in the toughest job market in a generation. If you don't get great EX, you risk losing”, — said Caitlin Duffy, director of research at consulting firm Gartner.
This approach includes onboarding and training employees, flexible workloads and work schedules, technical workplace equipment and comfortable office design.
< br /> “At its core EX — it is the joint development of solutions with employees who understand the needs of both the organization and the workers”, — said Samantha Gadd, founder and co-CEO of Excellent.
However, “employee first” — it's a provocative mantra, especially in industries like retail.
Studies show that if employees are happier and get better support, the customer experience will inevitably improve as well. And as Gadd noted, employee turnover costs more: the cost of losing one rude customer is often less than the cost of replacing an employee who leaves as a result.
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