By Andrea H. Reay CEO/President Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce A lot of attention has been placed on the “Customer Experience”- (CX). Simply put the Customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. Business owners and companies spend a great deal of capital on enhancing the customer experience; developing and investing in systems and technology to ensure the experience is positive and the relationship sustaining. However, many companies and organizations have failed to invest in the Employee Experience (EX) and we are beginning to see the evidence of that as our work force becomes more mobile and employers struggle with attracting and retaining employees. If companies would invest more in their employee experience, not only would they save exponentially with reduced turnover, but the customer experience would also improve as employees are more likely to give exceptional customer service when they are productive and have high job satisfaction. What is the employee experience? Like the customer experience, it’s the sum of all the interactions an employee has with an employer and their colleagues. This entails the culture of the workplace, the technology and/or tools provided to the employee to be successful in their work and the physical space or environment where in which they work. Statistically, very few companies invest in all three aspects of the employee experience (culture, technology, space). They assume that salary, benefits and other perks make up for less investment in culture, technology and space. They are wrong. As the demographics of our work force change, experience holds much more sway than other traditional forms of compensation in the workplace. If companies and organization fail to invest in the employee experience, they will continue to see less growth in positive customer experience, and continue to experience high turnover Here are a few quick ideas to help improve the employee experience at your business, no matter the size or number of employees:

  1. Focus on Culture: Culture holds the most weight. Define the mission, vision and values of your business-set the standard and live by them. Create an environment where achievement is recognized, efforts are appreciated and talent is rewarded.
  2. Technology: Whether it’s a computer program or data system, point of sale system or other tools, make sure you provide them and keep them in good working order.
  3. Space: Many studies have shown the importance of a varied work environment. Not rows of cubicles, or endless halls of private offices, or even open work space. But, where people do their best work is when they can choose to finish a project in a quiet private office, and then take a team meeting in an open conference area. Wherever possible, try to create flexible work space that fits the various needs of the job duties and work that needs to be performed.
Many of the above ideas and concepts were outlined and discussed at the AWB (Association of Washington Business) Policy Summit held in September when Jacob Morgan delivered a keynote on “The Experiential Organization: How the Best Organizations are Winning the War for Talent, Preparing for the Future of Work, and Crushing the Competition”. I’m happy to share my full notes and thoughts on the presentation and summit with any of our members or more information can be found on Jacob Morgan’s website For more information on Chamber benefits, opportunities and partnerships, please visit our website
Andrea H. Reay is the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce – “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988.

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