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The Link Between Customer Experience and Employee Experience

Last week, NuAxis attended the ACT-IAC CX Summit 2022 and, wow! What an inspiring event full of energy and ideas that focused on putting people—and citizens—first. During the morning session, we saw a pattern emerging in the various panels and Q&A sessions: how can you deliver Customer Experience (CX) without first creating a culture of optimal Employee Experience (EX)? 

In other words, do happy employees really mean happy customers?

Luckily, I moderated an afternoon panel that took a deep dive into this very topic: How Your Culture Impacts Your Customers: The Link Between Employee Experience and CX. Our talented panelists, Gundeep Ahluwalia of the Department of Labor (DOL) and Airis McCottry Gill of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), shared their strategies, challenges, and successes to advance the EX within their respective agencies.

If you didn’t make it, don’t worry! Here are five things we learned:

  1. Start with the basics! The idea of overhauling your culture is overwhelming, so identify and prioritize quick wins. Maybe it’s as simple as removing an outdated step in an approval process to free up more time for employees. Then, start maturing the success criteria to address key moments that matter to people.

  2. Don’t let feedback sit on a shelf—take it and do something with it. Data is critical to building and improving an EX strategy, but you have to take action around what you learn. Most importantly, you need to communicate those actions, so employees know their time and input created value.

  3. Create a culture of listeners. This sounds simple but can be incredibly impactful. Not everyone’s needs are the same, and by listening to our teams, we can better understand the drivers of burnout and be more in tune with our employees’ overall well-being.

  4. Celebrate the opportunities in our “new normal.” The post-pandemic era introduced a remote posture in many industries where it hadn’t existed before at this scale. This affords some employees better work-life balance, and allows companies to reach talent from across the country (or world) to help transform through new perspectives and ideas. 

  5. Connect the day-to-day work to mission outcomes. Especially in the federal world, employees are motivated by advancing an organization’s mission—whether supporting veteran health or protecting America’s workforce. Make sure everyone in the organization knows how they are positively impacting the mission and citizens.

As digital transformation strategies are becoming inextricably linked with CX and human-centered design (HCD) processes, the same techniques should be applied to improving the employee’s experience. Whether or not the concept of “EX” ever reaches the excitement of CX, there is no doubt that the most powerful forces for transformation will be those organizations who figure out how to do both.