HR teams around the globe have woken up to the importance of creating a stand out employee experience. In the same way that customer experience came to the fore for marketing teams, now, at last, organisations have realised that employee engagement is an outcome, not an action in itself, and that it is your employee experience which will directly drive that engagement. Here at Benefex, we are passionate about helping companies worldwide deliver a stand out experience for their employees.

I’ve written before about just how prevalent a tool email has become within the modern workplace. Over time, it has gradually taken over our working practises. There is a lot to like about email. It’s fast. Efficient. Free. It allows us to communicate seamlessly with both our colleagues at the next desk and those who are on the other side of the globe.

Gradually, over time, I have observed face to face and phone interactions dwindle in favour of email or online chat. Admittedly, there are a number of benefits of this change in communication practice. We can save on costs and also time – time taken to travel or to gather large groups of people in a meeting room or on a conference call.

What about the employee experience?

But… what about the employee experience in all of this? Who’s thinking about all of that? Because, while there are undoubted benefits of email, it cannot be denied that it also has the potential to impact negatively on the overall employee experience.

We’ve all experienced days where we feel we’ve fallen victim to ‘death by email’. And we need to ensure we don’t underestimate the importance of that human interaction in our day to day communications. Because it’s that human interaction which plays such a key part when it comes to our employee experience at work.

Most of us thrive on the contact we have with other human beings. For example, today I’m working from home. While it would be very easy to default to email communications in and out from the office, I’ve made sure to intersperse my day with a number of phone calls with both internal and external stakeholders. Each time I take or make a call, I can physically feel my energy levels lifting. I get off those calls motivated, enthused, and with a clear understanding of the actions I now need to take.

Moments to inspire you

Think about the most stand out moments you’ve experienced during your career. Those moments which have lifted you; inspired you; encouraged you to do more. I’m going to bet that the vast majority of those came from personal interactions. Personal interactions which provided key cornerstones in your employee experience.

As with most things, it’s about finding a balance. Email communications have an important part to play within the workplace. For sending out bulk communications or for sharing quick fire reminders there is almost nothing better.

The power of human interaction

But, as we further embrace this technological age, let’s not forget the value of a good old-fashioned conversation. Next time you go to write that email, why not consider, just for a moment, if there is a different way. Could you walk across the office to speak to that person? Could you pick up the phone? And if you did, what would be the impact? How would that further advance your relationship and get you to the best possible outcome, in a way that email could almost never hope to do? At the very least, it is surely worth thinking about.

Delivering a great employee experience is the holy grail for organisations right now. And technology can provide us with some valuable tools to assist with that. Along the way though, let’s not forget the power of human interaction. Because that really can make all the difference.