Employee experience drives customer outcomes - Human Centred Business Process Improvement
13 April 2022
- Improved employee processes are the basis of the employee experience, and this is central to any organisational transformation.
- Current research suggests there are three key cornerstones of employee centred transformation.
- Each of these are a type of operational transformation—an evolution of how work gets done, but not an evolution of why work gets done.
The topic of ‘customer experience’ has been researched heavily in the past few years. Emerging thinking highlights the impact of the ‘employee experience’ on customer experience outcomes. ‘The truth is your customer experience is directly reflected by your employee experience.’ 
This is particularly relevant to ICT in Canberra as it is very difficult for government agency customers to have great experiences in their interactions if the employees are struggling with bad processes, legacy systems, and underfunding.
Improved employee processes are the basis of the employee experience, and this is central to any organisational transformation. Current research suggests there are three key cornerstones of employee centred transformation. Each of these are a type of operational transformation—an evolution of how work gets done, but not an evolution of why work gets done.
1. Agile transformation – One of the most common types of transformations encountered. It intends to empower teams to respond to changing conditions, decreasing the time between design decisions and customer outcomes. Combined with strong employee-centred purpose, these transformations empower the whole organisation to execute on a shared mission. Government organisations must leverage a risk-based approach to agile: increasing delivery capacity alone is not a sure-fire way to improve customer experience. In fact, without a shared understanding of the value delivered to people, iteratively delivering smaller increments of work can result in a fractured experience.
2. Design / design thinking transformation - Skills transformations create a new organisational capability by bringing in a new skill or discipline. The classic form most related to employee-centred organisational transformation is the “design transformation” wherein an organisation hires a formally trained design workforce and simply facilitates their physical integration into the organisation. Alone, introducing any new skill or discipline into an organisation generally doesn’t produce meaningful structural change to the organisation. However, as an organisation’s purpose evolves, it may require new skills to deliver a new class of outcomes.
3. Digital transformation - This seeks to increase efficiency and amplify innovation potential by changing an organisation’s operating infrastructure. New digital routes to customers are established, new internal tools are developed, and new policies are enacted. It may seem that a failure to “go digital” can make the difference between a struggling organisation and an organisation poised to significantly improved outcomes. When oriented around a clear purpose, digital transformations can support and perpetuate better ways of knowing and acting, but we’ve seen many digital transformations fail because they didn’t address the real needs of the people they served. Digital infrastructure hardens bad behaviours as well as good ones. And changes to infrastructure don’t raise an organisation’s innovation potential unless employees know how to apply these tools to fulfill the organisation’s new purpose.
To find out more, register and attend the ACS event on 3 May 2022, where Synergy industry experts will discuss how to navigate improvement and transformation, by remaining truly employee and customer centric. We will also present case studies on organisations that got it right, and more importantly, organisations that learnt lessons the hard way.
 (Dan Pontefract – Forbes leadership contributor).