What’s wrong with asking for more effort?

What’s wrong with asking for more effort?

Does more effort = more output?

Businesses are constantly striving to make things easier for customers, and to reduce the effort required for customers to make purchasing decisions.

So why shouldn’t we also strive to reduce effort for our employees and make it easier for them to generate high quality output for the business?

Too often, increased effort is seen as a requirement for increased output, but this doesn’t have to be the case. It may be that we have to put in increased effort in short bursts for particular projects, but when increased effort becomes normalised it can create an expectation of over-work. The longer-term impact on the organisation can only be negative.

Making work easier can reduce the effort required to generate high quality output. Employees will be more positive, more able to service customers effectively, and more likely to stay with the organisation.

It’s clearly helpful for an organisation to be able to access discretionary effort. But we should only ask our employees to give discretionary effort for short periods of time if we want to avoid burn-out, and achieve sustainable performance and customer experience.

What’s your view on discretionary effort? Add your thoughts below, we’d love to hear them…


A huge thank you to our guest panelist Leigh Page for generously sharing his experience for this podcast.

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Does your employer care about your mental health?

Does your employer care about your mental health?

They should. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it can unlock untapped reserves of value for your business.

If you can get employees into a ‘good headspace’, the ROI is huge. The discretionary effort that you will unlock – the will to go the extra mile – is potentially enormous. Employees will want to come to work, stay at work, and engage with their work, because they buy in to what the business stands for.

In our recent podcast about engagement, guest panelist Stewart Bromley noted that if a company is striving to provide excellent customer experience, but failing to treat its employees well, this is not congruent. The conflict between the external and internal experience of the brand can contribute to stress, as employees become cynical about the disconnect between the perception of the business and the reality of working in it.

So improving the collective mental health of an organisation requires involving everyone in the conversation about wellbeing. Employee experience holds the potential to make the experience of work better for everyone in a business.

And the good news is that it’s likely to have a positive impact on your bottom line too.


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What do we mean by engagement? Engagement with what?

What do we mean by engagement? Engagement with what?


Companies want engagement, both from their customers and increasingly from their employees.

But what do we mean by engagement? And how do we create it?

A lot of companies want to be customer-focused, but the problem is often that this ambition is only skin deep. This creates problems for employees, whose experience of the brand is notably different from the image presented to customers.

It’s all too easy for businesses to focus on the wrong things in terms of experience. If you’re just relying on your contact centre to take care of customer experience, then you’re missing the point. Customer experience is the responsibility of everyone in the organisation, whether they are directly customer-facing or not.

Brands who do experience well succeed in creating a strong engagement with the brand for both customers and employees. But many businesses fail to get beyond the barriers of departmental silos, and never achieve the collective responsibility for CX that results in authentic engagement.

“The real power of an experience-driven business is that it engages both employees and customers in very similar ways. Great CX enables you to win and retain customers, get a bigger share of wallet, and more recommendations. Similarly, great EX enables you to win and retain talent and achieve more discretionary effort from employees, who then recommend more great people to work for the company.” Stewart Bromley, COO Atom Bank.

Just chasing engagement on its own is unlikely to lead to success. Engagement is a relationship, and a successful relationship is built on clear expectations and coherent, coordinated actions.

If we want engagement, we have to be honest about what customer and employees are engaging with, and why.

Don’t forget: you can get your questions answered by our ExperienceCast panel. Just send us your question, and we’ll feature it in one of our forthcoming episodes.

Guest panelist: Stewart Bromley, COO Atom Bank. The ExperienceCast team would like to thank Stewart Bromley for generously sharing his insights.

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The QoE 12th March, Quo Vadis, London

The QoE 12th March, Quo Vadis, London

Topic: Should customer and employee experience outcomes
be aligned?

To join us, please just reserve your place.

At its simplest, customer experience (CX) has been good at improving products and services, and generally enhancing how customers are treated by companies. In return, companies who provide good CX have seen increases in sales, loyalty and reputation.

So employee experience (EX) should therefore be good at improving the working environment and support services, and generally enhancing how employees are treated. In return, companies will see improved productivity at a lower cost, increased employee retention and reputational gain.

But is this really the case?

Looking at CX and EX in this way would suggest companies see them as such, and will act accordingly.

Other companies are taking the view that the two are interconnected: happy employees = happy customers. But while this may well be true in the service world, especially with voice on chat interactions, does this work as we move away from direct contact with customers?

There is no doubt that companies who are good at both CX and EX can be extremely successful if they can maintain standards in both. Unfortunately for some, the digital agenda has reduced direct interaction and undermined employees’ faith in their future. This produces a negative impact on employee experience, and in turn effects customers who are used to interacting with happy motivated employees.

Morning session: comparing the outcomes of CX and EX

  • Can we define the objective and outcomes of CX and EX?
  • What are the benefits of aligning the outcomes of CX and EX, and what are the risks?
  • If we truly want to improve CX and EX, how can we design the outcomes to be mutually reinforcing?
  • What are the secrets of those companies who get this right, and what are the rewards?

Lunch: quickfire questions from the table

Afternoon session: actions and outcomes

  • Deciding on the best approach to CX and EX outcomes for your business
  • Developing actions about where to align outcomes, and where to diverge