Business to Employee: What Does a Good Remote Employee Experience Look Like?
May 18, 2020
By: Stefan Schinkel
Companies that are looking to transform their businesses pay a lot of attention to customer experience, but often fall short when it comes to thinking of their own employee experience.
While it's always a good idea to think about customers, it's always better to build a solid business to employee (B2E) relationship because, in the end, it's your employees who will help you deliver your company's products, services, and support.
Employee experience has also become a new emerging role, and companies of the size of Airbnb, Nike, and Nissan are transforming their employee relationships.
The truth is, that by ignoring the employee experience, companies can damage the customer experience because when the back-end systems aren't working, it's the end-users who suffer the most.
With more and more companies switching to remote work, the face of the employee experience is also changing. Since companies can't take their usual steps to boost employee experience, the internet has become the catalyst of every B2E initiative.
In this post, we'll show you how you can boost your remote employee experience and improve your B2E relationships.
What is Business to Employee (B2E)?
The business-to-employee approach refers to actions that focus on the betterment of the experiences of employees in the workplace.
This includes every step in the employee lifecycle, from recruiting to onboarding to driving career growth among employees.
The term B2E often refers to platforms for B2E; in particular, the use of intranets and all the systems for communication and sharing that companies can use to create a digital workplace.
B2E portals not only need to include every piece of information employees need to do their job. They also need to function as a medium for fostering community and collaboration.
What Does Employee Experience Mean?
When we think of employee experience (EX), we usually think of ping pong chairs, nap pods, and bring your-pet-to-work days. In short, all the nice things companies can do to attract and retain the best talent.
The concept of employee experience is one of the facets of the consumerization of the workplace. As online interactions become seamless and people receive personalized digital experiences in their lives, they've also come to expect the same level of personalization in their workplace.
But the truth is that the concept of employee experience goes beyond that and it's far more impactful than office perks.
Employee experience means delivering impactful, engaging interactions that reduce distractions, enable employees to focus on their work, increase company growth, and improve teamwork.
Every minute an employee spends in the workplace, both remotely or in-house, plays a role in how a worker feels about its purpose and the company's brand and culture. These feelings can directly impact retention rates and satisfaction.
And here's when B2E portals and platforms can help foster an engaging remote experience.
How to Use B2E to Craft a Solid Remote Employee Experience
Being an employee doesn't disqualify employees from being consumers. On the contrary, your employees are the perfect customers since they also get to experience your brand from the inside.
However, if employees don't have a centralized base where they get all they need to become high performers, chances are they will leave the company. When employees are forced to deal with ineffective and complicated back-end B2E portals to manage their daily tasks, productivity falls, and the end-user gets affected.
This is particularly true in remote work where people don't have the benefits of watercooler chats, after office activities, and personal presence.
Up next are some tips of how B2E can help you solidify the remote employee experience. Take a look at these strategies and guide your remote workers to productivity.
The Elements of a Winning Remote Employee Experience
Using Automated Solutions for Repetitive Tasks
Chatbots are often used for customers, but companies can also develop chatbots for employees, which can boost employee experience directly.
Repetitive or confusing tasks can contribute to lowering the morale of employees. Developing systems and chatbots to carry the load when it comes to answering questions, sending out emails, and approving requests means that employees will have more time to move the needle in the company.
In fact, it's possible to program a chatbot, so employees use it to find answers to simple questions like 'how many days of vacation do I have left?'
For instance, Teachable, the online courses platform, deployed a vacation chatbot to help its growing team coordinate their vacations and time-off requests. The Teachable team uses an internal chatbot to send vacation requests to their manager. Once the person in charge signs off, the chatbot creates a calendar event and lets everyone know, avoiding awkwardness and absenteeism.
Streamlining Internal Communication and Knowledge Sharing
Many brands utilize an intranet solution for internal communication, to share company news, or give staff access to company assets.
The only problem is, They fail to do things like integrating with third-party solutions like Slack and Salesforce, facilitating extranets and public-facing websites, being accessible via a wide range of devices.
For example, Airbnb, whose team is scattered across the world, has a bi-weekly meeting where everybody joins on a live stream. Then, the executive team has weekly meetings and distributes the notes out to every person in the company, helping the transmission of information from the top down.
This is part of the Airbnb philosophy of having an open, two-way dialogue between everyone in the company, and it's something that companies with remote workers can implement to foster and emphasize engagement among remote workers.
Facilitating Learning and Development
Learning and development needs to be a sizable part of your company culture. Learning is an essential part of improving your employees' performance, and by incorporating an accessible, interactive learning platform, remote employees can make time to upskill so they can achieve both their professional and personal goals.
Plus, let's not forget that training platforms can help employees be more up-to-date with compliance regulations since you can update your materials on the platform in a matter of minutes.
For example, Sephora, the cosmetics retailer, has realized the importance of education and provides retail employees with personalized training as well as a training program called Sephora University that's aimed at both corporate and frontline employees.
With the right technology in place, brands can use APIs to integrate their learning management systems, intranets, extranets, and other platforms to take the employee experience to a new, more personalized level.
One of those ways is by detecting behavioral patterns in search history, interests, classes taken, and interactions with fellow remote employees. Personalization detects behavior and discovers correlations, and as correlations happen, it becomes easier to deliver relevant information to employees in real-time.
For instance, Salesforce created an intranet called Concierge that delivered personalized content to employees, enabled them to solve their particular problems quickly, and get customized support in minutes, something that might not happen in such a big company where the headcount is always increasing.
Also, Salesforce enabled the integration of other software, which includes sharing of team goals and publishing survey results among employees. This has resulted in boosting satisfaction, which in turn results in Salesforce being one of the top 10 companies on the Employee Experience Index.
Leveraging IoT in the Workplace
Appliances and computers equipped with IoT technology can make B2E much easier. IoT makes possible tracking and alerting both employees and employees about important events or broadcast messages directly to intelligent devices such as Alexa Echo.
For instance, it's possible to use IoT to create customized beacons that send alerts to the employee's smartphone to let him or her know about important events or relay information about meetings or company-wide decisions that could affect them.
On the other hand, voice-activated systems can also serve to communicate simple orders to other connected devices, which, in a remote setting, can streamline work and processes.
TELUS + dotCMS Case Study: Revamping a B2E Portal
TELUS is Canada's largest telecommunications company. It has a wide range of products that go from internet access to online streaming. The company also has over 400 retail stores throughout Canada.
The company's internal portal is crucial in keeping its thousands of retail employees up to date with the latest information and content. However, the massive number of active users required a portal system that's fast and flexible, but the old platform could not deliver on either.
The old portal system was managed by IT, but the day-to-day users were the business team, so the tech team had troubles meeting the requirements of the system's primary end-users.
With that in mind, TELUS chose to move its outdated portal to the dotCMS Cloud that's hosted on AWS. One of the main drivers of the decisions was the platform's import tool, which enabled the company to migrate its old content to the new CMS effortlessly.
With the new platform, TELUS was able to strengthen its business-to-employee (B2E) experience and drive efficiency across the company. Business users could now quickly log in to the portal to update their content, promotions, and marketing collaterals without waiting for the IT team's approval.