From the madeleine to the cupcake… the employee experience transformation | NTT DATA

Tue, 28 July 2020

From the madeleine to the cupcake… the employee experience transformation

Some time ago I wrote about the Madeleine of Proust and how a madeleine evoked powerful past memories and inspired him to write seven long and brilliant volumes.

What Marcel Proust experienced was an involuntary autobiographical memory (IAM). The involuntary memory is a sub-component of memory that occurs when cues encountered in everyday life evoke recollections of the past without conscious effort. IAMs can bring positive emotional effects, feelings of nostalgia (associated with pleasure), joy, goodness and love.

This is the importance of creating experiences based on positive emotions and this is the foundation of employee experience.

Employee experience is about to define special and positive moments along employees life cycle that our employees want to shout about. The NTT DATA employee experience is focused on engagement, empowerment and inspiration through positive moments, development, growth and happiness at work. It is a new people approach. Innovation, transformation and future of HR is all about employee experience.

Nowadays lots is being written about Employee Experience, the new Covid-19 situation is changing the mind-set of most of companies. We know now how important is to create an environment in which our people feel well and live positive experiences. But at NTT DATA we want to go a step further by personalising the experience of each moment in the company.

This is the transformation or evolution of our madeleine to a cupcake. A cupcake is a small cake designed to serve one person. Cupcakes can be stuffed and icing, fruit and other toppings may be applied. Foundations of a cupcake are similar to a madeleine but cupcakes are more elaborated, sophisticated and the most important and differential, they are more personalised. I would choose a chocolate cupcake stuffed with banana cream and topped with salted caramel, while another person may choose a blackberry one, topped with vanilla and stuffed cheese cream.

This is the transformation of employee experience the change from something designed for everyone to specific and personalised experiences for each person in our organisation. Because we all have different motivations, expectations and needs. We are all unique and we are all different so we need to provide a more personalised experience.

Technology can help on this aim, for example tailored Responsive and Native Mobile apps for Gamification purposes, in order to promote and reward the employee engagement within the company allowing employees to decide what kind of initiatives they would like to be involved in. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality applications for On-boarding and Training process, can provide to the employees a personalise experience they will never forget. Virtual Agents, as Chatbots and Voice Assistants, help us to be closer to the employees and help them with anything they may need. For us, this has been incredibly useful as well to do “touchable” our business to our employees and it also enables them to feel proud of the things we do.

However, before the use of technology or the implementation of employee experience in an organisation, we should work on a change of mind-set.  To have people sponsoring the new way of doing things is a good idea, because you are going to implement something that is new, that requires a cultural change and it is going to challenge the current status quo.

Taking this into account, as HR leaders, you have to work on building trust through your business. Business leaders, executive team and the board of directors should be part of your allies’ network and spread messages being trustable and optimistic about the employee experience transformation. Having a combination of evidence-based strategies and practical, lived experience is essential to implement any transformation.

Communication is key for any firm and it has to be strong enough before the Employee Experience Transformation in both directions so the firm communicates to the employees and employees to the firm.

Once you have this in place it is time to involve your people in the definition of the experiences they want to live. The key factor in the employee experience transformation is bring employees to the centre of the design process. Just analysing and understanding your employees needs and the context you would be able to provide the best solution.

At NTT DATA we work together with our people, our aim is co-creation to innovate together. We base this research on a people centric approach that includes 3 elements. We carried out individual interviews, focus groups and surveys. We research internally to diagnose the situation using projective techniques to put together the rigour of our rational mind-set with the powerful connection with emotional moments. These techniques allow us to identify our employees feelings, needs and desires.

By using this approach we have the ability to create a holistic vision, focus on creating special and personalise experiences for employees keeping always in mind our key values: from client projects to internal initiatives. This methodology allows us to support business changes, evolution & growth by implementing innovative people-centric models.

The next step to really create an EX transformation is the design of tailored employee journey maps focussing on the positive aspects of an organisation’s culture and values, and implementing cultural changes. Once more, by including your people in the design process you can be sure the end design is something that they want and need. To do that we use “design sprints” a design methodology to solve big challenges and test out new ideas. In a design sprint you have the right people together to build, test and learn and make real progress on the final plan. This kind of methodology translates requirements and people needs into strategies and solves false expectations or negative experiences from an analytic perspective.

Journeys are designed using Employee Journey Mapping (EJM). We take the journey people take when interacting with the company, break it down into stages and then look at each stage from different angles to get the complete picture of what the experience of this particular person may look like. Then you decide how to do it:

High-level mapping.

To map the entire journey of the employee lifecycle. We start with a high-level map and dive into details.Focus on a specific part of the journey.  To start with one moment of the journey with high impact in your employees.Identify the most problematic stage and start with it.

The final result is a tailored employee journey map and a multiplicity of HR related transformation projects that are critical to the HR function providing an end-to-end vision and implementing cultural changes. A new model, focused on people, because we believe that the integral development of our employees will have an impact on our business development. We have had that impact already.

At NTT DATA our people-centred plan has generated relevant employee experiences, with an impact not only on our people but also in our business goals. We have decreased our non-desired attrition rate in 7 points and the global engagement of our employees is 73%. A total of 75% of our people recommend NTT DATA as a great place to work and we have increased our social engagement by 16%. The economic impact in our business has been positive and seen an increase of 9% on the revenue because of the talent attraction and 31% turnover cost reduction because of attrition rate decrease.

We believe that these results show the power of providing people with the best experience ever. We are committed to do it and to create inspiring workplaces where people feel positive emotions and generate an expansive wave that increases happiness levels in our society… because, a personalized cupcake with the filling, the topping and the flavour of your choice is always good!If you want to know more, join our free webinar

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