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Employee experience (EX) is the new CX, but content is still key

Employee experience (EX) is the new CX, but content is still key

Employee Experience (EX) is the practice of treating employees as though they were customers by providing a responsive, adaptable and fulfilling workplace.

If done well, Employee Experience (EX) means happier, more productive, engaged and effective people.

It sounds so simple; the kind of idea we all wish we’d thought of first. The kind of thing future generations won’t believe we soldiered on without.

You know…like marriage equality, or fidget spinners.

But here we are, pretty much sitting on the edge of that moment when a buzzword becomes ubiquitous while we’re all still trying to figure out exactly what it means.

So, it isn’t surprising that I am asking myself – and am increasingly being asked by clients – what does EX mean for content?

Purpose, Culture and Enablement: the three pillars of Employee Experience

According to my colleague, Kirsty Robinson – our National Digital and Employee Experience Lead at Deloitte – EX is built upon three pillars:

1. Purposewhy an organisation does what it does
2. Culture – how the ‘why’ is constructed and driven
3. Enablement – what tools, platforms and systems will be needed to support purpose and culture

While content has its role to play around enablement (what content and feedback loops you use will inform which platforms and systems you choose), let’s focus on purpose and culture.

No-one would disagree that to communicate and support both, content has a crucial role to play.

Every brand needs to be driven by purpose, and that purpose needs to be authentic, transparent and lived both within the organisation, and outward to customers.

Content is the ongoing, continuous expression of purpose regardless of who you are talking to, or which channel you use.

Meanwhile, a brand can’t just set and forget its culture, no matter how flashy the PowerPoint presentations or slogans are.

True culture must be co-created, invite participation, engage in conversation and remain active – not occasionally, but every day.

Hard to do if creating content isn’t built in as standard.

Content: no longer the poor relation

These things are also true, however, when brands only look outward to the customer.

And yet with CX, content was just one spanner in the marketing toolbox often delivered by an agency. It was a nice to have, a campaign, a post.

With EX, content isn’t a tool, it’s THE tool. Its importance starts with communicating the change EX will bring and continues by driving an ongoing conversation around all HR functions.

For content specialists, EX is a chance to champion content again – this time at the forefront and not scrambling in the background for recognition.

It’s like getting the chance to make that IKEA sideboard again with less tears and no ‘spare’ parts left over at the end.

We have a plan. We’ve done this before. We’ve got skills.

The first step for content and EX  

EX needs content, and content needs talented, creative people – and I don’t just mean writers; I mean graphic designers, animators, illustrators…

Because talented, creative people can turn emails into EDMs, stock messaging into something meaningful, PowerPoints into videos, social posts into entertaining conversations…

So, my answer to ‘what EX will mean for content’…? Is, it’s the wrong question. HR leaders should be asking, ‘What can content and creatives do for EX?

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