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Unprecedented levels of disruption in jobs and historically high quit rates are compelling organizations to rethink how employee experience (EX) works. And with the pivot to a remote and hybrid world, there’s never been a more exciting — and difficult — time to drive EX excellence.

In the world of EX, organizations focus on “Moments That Matter” to boost engagement. But what exactly are these “moments” in the new world of work?

Why day-to-day experiences at work matter

“Simply put, these moments that matter are the interactions and touchpoints that have the biggest impact on an employee’s experience with an organization,” says LiveTiles lead Employee Experience Consultant Nikki Tugano.

In the remote world of work, these moments are taking on a whole new meaning and significance. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these moments. And they are no longer just about the typical career milestones like recruitment, onboarding, training, promotion, and retirement. As the lines between home and work-life blur and blend, moments that matter become more personal and all-encompassing.”

Every organization is different, and each person has their own unique needs. Moments that matter can range from taking a break from work to bring a child to school for the first time. Some can be major life events like the birth of a child or the death of a parent.

It may be a time when a supervisor welcomes a new hire in a remote-work set-up, and whether or not they will have the right digital tools to connect and have regular feedback sessions. Or the moment when a manager introduces flextime based on employee feedback and needs, and how that can mean a healthier, more inspiring work-life blend for everyone.

As moments that matter evolve, one thing is clear: each moment can have profound implications for a person’s well-being, performance, engagement, and productivity at work.

Vantage point: employees as experts of their own experiences

At LiveTiles, we believe that empathy begets empathy. The goal is to deliver exceptional experiences for both the big and small moments at work. We define EX as “the strength of connection that emerges from the experience between a person and their employer”, and it is this strong connection that allows them to feel the support of colleagues at every level of their workplace journey.

As Accenture points out, a new paradigm in EX is emerging and it requires organizations to put people at the heart of it all. Today’s modern workers want to have the freedom to choose when, where, and how they work. Organizations must meet these changing expectations by co-creating experiences and taking a more holistic view of the workers’ needs and preferences.

In a hybrid work environment, this also means bringing back human connections to the moments that matter most. This is where an effective digital employee experience platform steps in to support the employee journey. For great EX to thrive in the virtual world of work, this mobile-optimized platform must foster a greater sense of belonging and collaboration among employees.

Measuring what matters

Knowing the value of EX is one thing; but how do you identify the moments that matter and use the insights to improve EX?

According to Gartner, the key is to align moments that matter with expectations. Similar to how “moments of truth” in a customer’s journey can determine whether they will buy from a brand or not, “moments that matter” determine an employee’s overall experience with an organization. It’s these moments that allow organizations to learn what’s truly important to their people, rather than the moments that HR and leaders think matter. By measuring these moments, leaders get in on the small but significant interactions that their people are having.

For industry leader and HR analyst Josh Bersin, it’s about going back to the basics. Citing his research and a study by Willis Towers Watson, Bersin argues that the moments that matter most to employees revolve around four key themes: inspiration, growth, trust, and clear leadership.

He says organizations with a sense of inspiration, mission, and growth create the best EX. “People don’t come to work for free lunch or exercise facilities, they come to work to get something accomplished. The most engaged, happy, and successful people feel truly fulfilled by their jobs, so themes like trust, growth, and inspiration score high.”

Tugano echoed the same sentiments in a talk titled “Measuring what matters: from engagement to impact” at the 2021 People Analytics and Future of World Global Conference.

She emphasized that at the highest level, what matters most to people is feeling a sense of purpose. Employees seek businesses they can be proud of, identify with, and advocate for. “We measure what matters by identifying which experiences have the biggest positive impact for employees…what factors influence trust and satisfaction across the business.”

Turning moments that matter into opportunities for engagement

To implement real change, organizations must deliver employee experience holistically across the entire employee journey. One way leaders can collaborate with employees to define moments that matter is to actively listen to the workforce.

Build trust by going beyond annual surveys. Leverage journey maps and informal, organic conversations to capture the highs and lows of people’s experiences. Give people the power to share feedback in real-time, at every stage of their journey.

To understand what employees needed to be more engaged at work, global sports betting and gaming group Entain held one-on-one interviews and focus groups to inform the design of its digital EX platform. The result? Leaders found out that an informal communications channel was crucial, especially for retail colleagues outside office environments.

Together with LiveTiles, Entain was able to deliver a modern, “use-anywhere” solution that lets users personalize their feed and makes internal communications as exciting and compelling as the brand’s external products.

To empower people to be their authentic selves at work, organizations must give them a strong sense of purpose. Leaders can do this by linking the organization’s “why” to employee communications.

For example, Wessex Water brings purpose to life by showcasing compelling stories of the 2,500 people who work at the company. Not only did the Livetiles Intranet connect the company’s field and office workers, but it also provided a platform for employees to interact with each other and celebrate the people who are living their purpose.

In the new world of work, leaders and employees must proactively design and shape EX. By learning more about the moments that matter most to their people, leaders can make improvements that will make the greatest impact on connection, engagement, performance, well-being, and inspiration. It will also help organizations deliver a consistently positive experience that gets richer as time goes on.