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Orçun Irfan Dec 29, 2022 12:02:56 PM 5 min read

Voice of Employee and Co-Creation to Cure the Change Fatigue

In our last article, we talked about the impact of these rocky times on the employee and why employees are now having difficulty adapting to the high-frequency changes they constantly have to keep up with.

We also agreed to meet in this article again to talk about how it is possible to develop a solution to organizational change fatigue with employee experience.

Well, let's continue where we left off.

This morning, I came across an article about Tesla's Semi electric trucks, which Tesla announced a few years ago with the promise of revolutionizing the transportation industry. What made the news interesting for me was that the content was about the real user experience of a truck driver using Tesla Semi trucks for the first time.

It is understood from the news that this driver named Tomasz Orynski did not like the Tesla Semi very much.

He listed his reasons in a way that made perfect sense to me.

  1. In the driver's cabin, the seat is located in the middle, not on the left. In a truck of this size, it is very difficult to see the traffic on double lane roads and to follow the vehicles approaching the truck from the side.
  2. Tesla trucks do not have any windows that you can open. The things that truck drivers do all the time, such as making payments at toll booths and signing documents during shipment, are impossible in this design.
  3. The driver always has to get out of the vehicle in order to carry out these tasks, which is a serious pain, especially on cold winter days.
  4. To reach the cabin doors, the driver has to walk a little towards the back of the vehicle because the doors of the vehicle are not positioned on the sides of the cabin. Drivers would have serious difficulties with this design with their muddy boots.
  5. The vehicle does not have a bed compartment, which is found in almost every truck. Although this vehicle is not designed for long journeys, drivers care about short naps for safe driving, especially during night journeys.
  6. Snow can pile up quickly in this windshield design. In cold winter days, it is very difficult to climb the 4-meter-high truck to reach the windshield and shovel snow.

If you've noticed, none of these justifications are luxury but rather real-life expectations. So what does Tesla truck design have to do with our topic?

Co-Creation

There is one big question that is asked when starting out on designing experiences.

“Who will be the customer of this design?”

Here, customer means user. In employee experience, we naturally answer this question as employee.

If you shape your experience designs for the employee by making assumptions or guesses on behalf of the employee, you may encounter a result like the Tesla example we mentioned.

For this reason, taking advantage of a strong approach that we call Co-Creation in employee experience, which means to involve the employee in all experience designs that touch the employee, makes things much easier.

Imagine that you coordinate any change initiatives to be carried out within the organization with the employees through the co-creation teams you will establish.

  • How will this change initiative be perceived by employees?
  • What should be the right communication time, channel and content?
  • What could be the possible effects of this initiative on the employees?
  • How can we make these effects positive?
  • How can we have the employee own this change and make it sustainable?

Preparing for these questions with a team including employees will give you a great leverage.

Especially if you communicate about your change activity, indicate that this change initiative was prepared together with employee representatives and state that the work was first approved by them, your credibility in the eyes of employees will increase from the very first moment.

Voice of Employee (VoE)

One of the most important stakeholders, not only in employee experience, but also in the entire experience domain, is the user. Therefore, it is critical for us to be able to hear the voice of the user in order not to encounter a result like the Tesla example we mentioned in our experience designs.

In fact, there are concepts defined as Voice of Customer (VoC) in customer experience and Voice of Employee (VoE) in employee experience.

How is the user experience perceived after the design prepared on the table comes to life and starts to flow? Is it aligned with the design? Or is it against the intended design?

It is extremely important to understand this, and even to understand it in time. Otherwise, it’s very easy to make this worse while you’re trying to be helpful. And once the vase is broken, it is very difficult to turn the negative employee experience into a positive one.

Right at this point, voice of employee applications, which are designed to make the feedback of the user be heard by the designer through various channels and methods, have serious benefits for us.

  • Identifying at which contact points the experience flows positively and spreading this gain to other contact points.
  • Understanding at which touchpoints the experience is working off the design and deciding how to elevate it by intervening immediately.
  • Instant measurement and follow-up of the experience in flowing data in a data-driven way.

How do you decide on the timing to trigger or communicate the change initiatives you want to implement in your organization?

How do you understand how the change activities are perceived by the employees after they are implemented, and whether your change initiatives are adopted or are they orphaned?

If you use traditional methods, such as after lunch, when the blood sugar is high, or towards the end of the workday on Friday to make use of the weekend to make employees cool down and digest, you may experience a Tesla truck accident.

In this sense, it would be a very wise investment to digitize your experience designs and move them to a smart platform that can enable you to manage the experience with data, instead of these approaches that are now in the pages of the past.

My suggestion for organizations that are not yet ready for this data-driven potential of the digital world in terms of human resources, leadership culture or process maturity, or that do not have the budget yet, is to quickly establish co-creation teams and keep employees as close as possible.

Organizations that hear the voice of the employee and involve the employee as a critical stakeholder will always be one step ahead to find a solution to change fatigue and provide a much meaningful employee experience.