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  • Writer's pictureJulia Makhubela

What is an Inclusive Employee Experience?

We will explain what it is through telling a story of two employees who work at an organisation that we will call Top-notch Solutions.

Top-notch Solutions wants to have a more diverse workforce, they are able to attract and hire diverse people but are struggling to retain them.

Meet Nikita and Vuyo, they both work at Top-notch Solutions. They represent groups of employees that have been historically underrepresented at Top-notch Solutions. Groups that Top-notch Solutions is struggling to retain.

Vuyo is a graduate, first in his family to go to university, and have an office job. He wishes he had access to someone more experienced at work that could mentor and guide him on how to manage himself well at Top-notch Solutions. Vuyo uses two taxis from home to work, and from work to home. When the team works late, he leaves earlier than everyone to catch the last taxis home. He worries that might make him seem like he is not committed to work, and it might compromise his chance of being absorbed permanently at the end of his internship.

Nikita, is a head of department, single mother of two. Nikita’s mornings are busy with school drop offs en route to her morning meetings. Nikita often sits in back-to-back meetings. She leaves the office at 16h00 to pick up her children from aftercare. Often, she leaves the office feeling a sense of guilt and she worries that her colleagues might see her as less committed to work. When she gets home, she cooks dinner, chats to her children, and then catches up on her emails.

Vuyo and Nikita are both trying to be ‘ideal workers’ and avoid being seen in a negative light. The ideal worker is an invisible norm and standard used to measure a knowledge worker’s commitment to work by how late they work and how continuously available for work they are. Both the ideal worker norm and stereotype threat stand in the way of Vuyo and Nikita feeling settled at Top-notch Solutions.

If Top-notch Solutions wants them to feel settled, so that they stay longer, they need to deliberately design an Inclusive Employee Experience.

An Employee Experience is the journey that a person has in the organisation, made up of small and big moments. An Inclusive Employee Experience is when that journey and moments give a person a sense that they matter, belong, and can thrive in an organisation.

An Inclusive Employee Experience doesn’t happen by chance. It requires deliberate effort for an organisation to understand and address diverse employees’ needs and pain points throughout the employee journey.

Whether by default, or design, your organisation already has an employee experience. We can help you design it deliberately so that equity and inclusion are not left to chance.

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