Category: EX

The Great Resignation

3 reasons behind the Great Resignation – and what your company can do about it

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 4.3 million people voluntarily quit their jobs in December 2021. Why is this? We have gathered some insights on three of the reasons why people are leaving their jobs post pandemic – and what your organization can do about it.

1. Employees market:
Today, most workers are confident that they can easily get a new job if they want to, and thus, being without work is no longer dreaded like before. The wish for moving on might be caused by the external labor market or social challenges, and if this is the case, there might not be much your company can do to prevent it. The best way to mitigate this scenario, is to make sure that skill development and potential career paths are advertised within the company, or simply by offering raises and bonuses to make sure that the organization stays competitive within the market.

2. Burn-out:
During Covid19, 52% of employees questioned the purpose of their day-to-day job. After all, most people were forced to turn their lives upside down and this has made people reconsider their purpose and how satisfied they really are in their positions. People are reassessing their priorities and making changes for themselves, and this can turn out to be both temporary and permanent. In some cases, the employee might simply be looking for an entirely different life experience. This could be a new career path, a new education, moving geographically or wanting to leave the workforce all together. In these cases, not much can (or should) be done to retain the employees, as this won’t create a wishful situation for either party. Best you can do is ensuring that you end the partnership on the best possible terms and leave a good impression for future references.

3. Dissatisfaction with the work environment:
Since Covid19, more people have started aspiring to pursue the life they want for themselves and their families. McKinsey polled that, out of the almost 600 employees that voluntarily left a job without another in hand, 47 people returned to the workforce in either a traditional or untraditional work arrangement. People might be returning for various reasons; because the alternative was not as glamorous as it seemed, they are headhunted by someone in their professional network, or they might simply be missing the paychecks. But even though some people return to their previous jobs, don’t think that they are not ready to leave for another one if their needs are not continuously met. For this reason, companies should keep reviewing compensation and benefits, ensuring that they stay attractive to the employees and focus on building a workplace that offers a sense of community, in which the employee will thrive (Employee Experience).

For more about Employee Experience see: Employee Experience – A need for a pragmatic taxonomy

Read more on the Great Resignation from our sources:

  1. McKinsey: Gone for now or gone for good – how to play the new talent game and win back workers:  
  2. The great resignation is a misnomer:  
  3. Gartner Business Quaterly – Lessons from Big Quit:

A chat about EX

Are you struggling with employee attraction & retention in 2022?

Today, most companies are already aware that good User Experience design is crucial for obtaining and keeping customers. With the vast number of apps and IT products available to consumers, people are simply no longer willing to put up with complicated processes, bugs and bad user interfaces.

But how often are you really considering the day-to-day user experiences of your employees? Are they still being forced to fill out countless of Excel sheets to register their worktime? And are they struggling to find a specific folder, e-mail address or SharePoint site, whenever they are reporting errors or ordering a service? Then you might be in trouble.

Because fact is that younger generations entering the workforce are bringing with them new knowledge and expectations on what employers should be offering them. For this reason, Employee Experience (EX) is gaining popularity amongst the companies that have understood how happy employees are the key to success for them and their business.

Denmark’s biggest news agency, Ritzau, is one of the Danish companies that have already begun their Employee Experience journey.

Why Employee Experience is important?

As the CHRO at Ritzau, Christine Skovgaard sees EX as an increasing challenge to get sorted as more uncertainty is shaking industries all over the world. To Christine EX as a concept is important to drive innovation and raise customer satisfaction.

The crucial part is of course the capability to attract and retain the best talent as new generations are taking over and the market opportunities are in the favor of the employee. This gives HR the challenge to make the job more engaging and improve performance across the company:

To us, EX started as a compliance- and digitalization project in HR, but we quickly realized, that it is much bigger than that

Ritzau soon began to discover the importance of giving the employee the best and easiest journey throughout the company and ensure that this reflects the company values.

One thing the younger generations want, is a clear set of expectations from their employer. Therefore, Ritzau has implemented very clear guidelines for who does what and when, so everyone is aware of their responsibility.

Ritzau has also recognized the importance in letting their employees know, what they can expect from their workplace in 1, 2 or 5 years. Based on this, they have introduced a 5-year strategy, ensuring new development needs are being recognized and what might be offered going forward.

We had to take a good look to recognize, who the new generations are and which requirements they have for a workplace. The younger people are likely to expect different things than what we used to offer our employees.

The goal for Ritzau is transparency and a smooth onboarding process

For Ritzau it’s important that the company values are visible from the first meeting with the company and all the way through; what workplace is this, what do they stand for? This is very important in the fight for the good employees – both externally, when you are aiming to attract the right candidates – and internally, when trying to retain them.

In relation to this, being able to create a smooth process for the onboarding is key. In the best scenario, you should be able to set up a system that automatically creates and assigns each activity required during the onboarding process, from ordering flowers, workstations and access cards to creating the IT access needed and providing the right software. This way, HR and the line managers are not spending an unreasonable amount of time as project managers in the onboarding of each new hires, and you can ensure that they are receiving regular notifications with status updates when each assignment is fulfilled.

So, the key message here is to use the digital opportunities to create overview, transparency and coordination of activities between your support functions responsible for your EX products and services. A great User Interface is important but if your operating model behind the scenes is not working you won’t be able to deliver value.

An agile approach to EX Journey

EX is about designing and delivering frictionless experiences to the employees, and this requires strong initiatives in leadership as well as digital development. For Ritzau, being able to participate in design sprints has become a part of every employee’s competence development.

This way, projects are carried out in short sprints with representatives from all job functions, and this ensures projects are delivered quickly and are highly adaptive to change, rather than top-down managed and following a set plan.

The key to securing your EX for the future is Digital

Great EX is about more than surroundings and benefits; it must be a complete experience.

Digital EX is becoming more and more unavoidable in a job market where the competition is global, and the newer generations are taking over the workforce.

For companies, this means that it’s crucial to ensure you have a digital platform that can be integrated with existing systems and is easy to build on. Because great EX is not a onetime product; it is a constant development. To get started a EX product mindset and operating model is required to ensure a continuous delivery and improvement of your EX-product and services.

Thank you to Christine Skovgaard for a good chat giving great insight to EX

Three Pillars of great EX

Is your company prepared to handle the challenges of the great resignation? Here are three key elements to consider

In 2022, workers are leaving companies faster than you can replace them. People are particularly fleeing companies that don’t align with their values, that don’t appreciate them and that don’t prioritize good End User Experience for their employees (EX).

Today, companies are recognizing that there is more to employee satisfaction than just salary and benefits, so how do you get it right? Start by having a look at these three pillars of EX (source: McKinsey & Company).

1. Social Experience:
Employees today want to be seen and treated as a significant contributor to the organization, and they want to be able to feel like they belong in the teams that they work in. Care and trust amongst colleagues is important to create a collaborate and innovative environment. To facilitate this at the workplace, it is key to promote diversity and inclusivity by watching employees interact and rewarding inclusive behaviors. Managers should receive diversity training and measures should be taken to mitigate hostile interactions in the workplace.

2. Work Experience:I
It is a well known fact that most employees prefer to have clear responsibilities, interesting work and an opportunity to grow within a company. But today, and especially since Covid19, people are expecting more from their employers. They have gotten used to having more control over their work and how it integrates with their privates lifes, and they don’t want to give up this flexibility. For this reason, employers should consider how they are facilitating a flexible, digital workspace and whether they have the technology that supports remote work. Because if all other factors align, the companies that do this, will usually win the battle.

3. Organization Experience:
Employees today are more vocal about the benefits they expect from their employer. Aside from salary, health insurance and paid vacation, this will usually also concern the EX – and the collective experience for an employees journey within the company. Therefore, HR and IT should be joining forces to collect data on user experiences, and use this information to create the most desirable user experience from start to finish.

Why EX?
Research shows, that people who report having a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of employees with a negative experience, and that they are eight times more likely to want to stay at a company (source: McKinsey Employee Experience survey, 2020.). Therefore, if your company is not already focusing on the user experience you are creating for your employees, now is the time to start.

For more about Employee Experience see: Employee Experience – A need for a pragmatic taxonomy

Read more about great Employee Experience from our sources: 


The War for Talent

The War for Talent – Background & Challange

The term “War for Talent” was first discussed by the authors of the article “The War for Talent”  in  McKinsey Quarterly, January 1998. In the article the authors refer to the increasingly fierce competition to attract and retain talented employees at a time when too few workers were available to replace the baby boomers now departing the workforce.

The focus of the article was on the increasing competition for senior executive talent that would be harder to attract and retain over the next decades.

The article identified a pattern of a decrease of people in the age of 35-44 years resulting in a shortage of people to choose from when companies wanted to attract and retain people to executive roles.

The interesting thing is that the article worried about the decline starting in year 2000 but a closer look at the graph shows that the trough of the graph would appear in year 2015 which is about 6 years ago meaning the problem is at its peak right now as the shortage has existed for some time now and is starting to show its real impact.

In 2016 the “Failure to attract and retain top talent” was the number-one issue in the Conference Board’s 2016 survey of global CEOs.

Another challenge rising was a high increase in small and medium sized companies emerging, also looking to attract and retain talents as part of entrepreneur and start-up companies which had a new profile compared to the classic big American companies like Walmart and GE. This issue further increased the challenge, because on the top of the shortage of available talents, more companies were fighting for a decreasing number of talents.

To deal with the challenge companies started to focus more on how to build and maintain a company brand and a reputation strong enough to attract and retain talents from the competitors.  This new focus tried to find a balance on how to attract new talent but also making sure the existing talent in the company did not leave in the same or at a faster pace as new talent where hired.

The attract and retain balance started a new type of talent strategy where focus on the company employee value proposition became a critical point for your Talent Attract vs. Retain Roadmap.


As companies start to build their employee value proposition the approach to balance attraction vs. retention becomes a critical question. When we look at attraction, most companies are not clear about what kind of people to attract. In “War for Talent” four different types of employee profiles are listed as possible focus areas to attract:

  • Go with the winner: Focusing on the best companies. Attracted by growth and advancement. Wants to be among the best.
  • Big risk, Big reward: Focusing on opportunities and compensation as main drivers. Development and career is set higher than company success.
  • Save the world: Focusing on a mission, values and challenges more than career and compensation.
  • Lifestyle: Focusing on flexibility, lifestyle opportunities and relationships more than career and compensation.

A great point from the article is that no one can be everything to everybody and therefore an important part of your attraction strategy is creating focus on the specific talent profiles your company brand should attract. As we look at the retaining part it becomes a bit more complex as we are looking into the whole lifecycle of an employee in a new perspective. During and after the pandemic the idea of the hybrid workplace is becoming the norm. As the hybrid workplace is not depended on a specific location you could ask yourself what is preventing companies from attracting and retaining talent from any location?

This does set things in a new perspective. How do you retain talent and manage their lifecycle if you don’t see them in the office and your product and services are based on an operating model suited for office and in person-based delivery?

Many companies are now in a situation where they need to rethink how employees must be engaged and supported in the new normal. In the hybrid workplace flexibility and mobility becomes the critical elements in how you can retain your talent as they require an operating model that makes employees independent of time and space.


The attraction focus is an important part of the talent focus but at Experience Design we are focused on the digital products and services that makes it easy for employees to focus on what they are hired to do. The outcome of this focus should be that employees are not using valuable time to request and follow up on what we call Employee Experience (EX) products and services.

For the excellent Employee Experience to become real we need to start looking at the business support functions and how they can collaborate around the employee product and service delivery.

Many companies are focusing on how the business support functions can be more transparent and efficient in how they deliver products and services but often this is done in silos with focus on the individual business support function like HR, IT or Facility.

To enable a more digital approach to talent retention we need to focus more on the following initiatives:

  • Data and information quality to support the Employee Experience
  • A mobile platform to support a multi-channel access to EX product & services
  • Digital value streams & collaboration (Digital Flow of Work) across the support functions

Employees are looking for simple and easy to access products and services where coordination, collaboration and updates are covered from an end-to-end delivery approach. It needs to be easy for the employee to follow progress, updates and expected delivery date from a mobile device.

Products and services needs to be available from any type of device while providing an unified experience no matter the formfactor (Omni-Experience).

As the unified experience becomes the employee expectation for products and services there is also a great opportunity to ensure seamless access to critical information in the business core platforms.

Most companies are using a lot of different Apps, functionalities and design themes making it difficult to create a shared mobile strategy where employees can navigate a companywide UX standard for mobile design and functionality.


It can seem a bit complex to get started with Omni-Experience products & services and we recommend to focus on the following actions to get a the focus and mindset initiated:

  • Identify the primary stakeholders to engage for purpose, objectives and priority
  • Select a digital platform to support the Omni-Experience journey
  • Identify the critical information to support the journey and ensure ownership and maintenance
  • Specify a roadmap for the EX products and services to initiate and drive your journey
  • Map the low hanging fruits to establish quick and high value digital EX products & services and make them easy available through the Omni-Experience platform
  • Ensure governance and frequent review of the digital EX roadmap as priorities changes
  • Build internal capabilities to drive and improve the omni-experience and EX journey
  • Work on a simple omni-experience strategy to unify how themes and functionality is designed and developed for all devices and platforms

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EX – A need for a clarification

The topic of “Employee Experience” (EX) is becoming more and more referenced and talked about, both in the media and in various networks. The role Employee Experience Manager is now a thing, and initiatives are taking place in many companies. The problem is that there can be found many different views on what it is and numerous definitions and viewpoints, so how do we know we are talking about the same things, the same problems, and solutions?

It is from a pragmatic and solution-oriented point of view, this article is striving to define a taxonomy around Employee Experience, in order to address some of the many issues which can be related to a bad Employee Experience.

When defining Employee Experience (EX), it is tempting to look at the definition for Customer Experience (CX) and exchange Customer with Employee.

The definition, however, is defined in a context, where the consumer does not have to care about all the activities and dependencies leading up to a purchase.

An example could be, that you order an upgrade to your Internet connection. As a consumer, you have very little interest in knowing about the whole delivery mechanism behind a change to your Internet subscription.

The same could be said about an employee, but if you want to make changes and improvements to the Employee Experience, you must know all the moving parts, which are part of the total Employee Experience.

That’s why a more pragmatic definition is required.

The focus on the customer response and the feelings and emotions a consumer event generates is more relevant than ever, but often ignored in an Employee Experience context.

Examples, which all falls under the umbrella of bad Employee Experiences are:

  • Employees feel they are wasting time, when reaching out to internal departments for assistance
  • Status and updates on existing support requests are not given so employees are spending valuable time getting the information
  • Internal systems are difficult and not intuitive to use
  • Internal processes take away time, which could be better used with the customers
  • Too many hours during a week are allocated for unproductive admin tasks
  • Young talents do not have the patience for unproductive applications and procedures and tend to choose companies with focus on a workday filled with value generating tasks

The examples all lead to employees which are unsatisfied, unproductive, and losing their motivation.


So, it is relevant to look at a more pragmatic concept of
Employee Experience, if you want to change an unfavorable situation, namely employees not being happy or productive in relation to the products and services they use on a day-to-day basis.

We can compare an Employee with a customer or consumer in the sense, that an employee is requesting something as part of their work life, to fulfill a task, solve a problem or acquire some sort of resource. We can call this a Product or Service[1].

So, from the employees’ point of view, the delivery is something you need as part of your work life. It can be questions to your salary statement, a new laptop, an application provided to register your vacation or assistance with hiring a new colleague. Tangible, intangible, or a combination. The concept of assisting colleagues and employees during their workday is often referred to as Enterprise Service Management, or in a more modern lingo, Employee Service Management.

An employee will engage through some sort of engagement channel to acquire this product, whether it is through a mobile application, personal encounter or through a portal. The way the employee is experiencing all the Touch Points before, during and after the product is delivered, is what can be referred to as Interaction or Friction.

In the context of a service, the consumption will take place as part of the interaction if you receive an answer or use an application for time registration. But you may have to engage several times, before the Service is available, and that is the reason why it is important to look at the whole delivery mechanism behind a Product/Service.

The most useful way to explain the delivery mechanism is found in the Operating Model Canvas, written by Andrew Campbell et al [2]

This leads us to a taxonomy of Employee Experience.

  • Product/Service – What you receive or acquire, being knowledge or something tangible
  • Operating Model – The whole delivery mechanism required to provide a Product/Service assisted by people and technologies
  • Interaction/Friction – How the employee experiences the engagement through touch points throughout the delivery, whether it is technologies or human interactions.


The way employees perceive a supporting product or services, and how it feels to interact with the delivery practice through human and digital interfaces

A great Employee Experience requires the expectation of the employee is met or exceeded

EX Design Model

Let us dive a bit deeper into each of the elements in a great Employee Experience, starting with the Operating Model.


If you do not have a well-functioning Operating Model behind each of the Services, Technologies, and Products you as a company provide, there is a great risk your employees will not have a good Employee Experience. So, each delivery to the employee, starts by looking at your Operating Model:

Operating Model for Digital EX (Modified from Operating Model Canvas)

This is basically all the activities and related information required to provide a service to your employee. Have you removed nonvalue adding activities, bottlenecks, and redundant work? This require that all the stakeholders/partners in the process know their role and what can be expected from them, otherwise the process will not work.
Time spent on defining and mapping out the delivery process is well spent and necessary.

You have to know and control the assets of your employees, products and services to meet the employee expectation. The data quality must be high, or you may provide the wrong answer and service which is not fit for context. You need to know the services and products they already subscribe to and the related entitlements to provide the right solution for context and use.

This is the technologies used to deliver products/services and how the employee engagement is made easy. This is where the interaction will be felt by the employees. Make sure you provide information to align delivery expectations and ongoing updates. Providing intuitive applications (User Experience – UX) and portals for the employees to provide the best opportunity for a great Employee Experience.

The organization refers to the internal organization delivering a service/product. Make sure the organization is both capable, skilled and structured with aligned roles, responsibility and authority to deliver a great Employee Experience.

Often, there are multiple people, departments, and companies behind the delivery of a product/service. Hiring a new colleague, requires many departments, like IT, Facility, and HR. But external recruitment agencies may also play a part. As a hiring manager, you will only receive a great experience, if all these stakeholders play together.

The Management System is the system overlooking the entire Operating Model and status of deliverables. The Management Systems will allow you to see how well you are delivering on the communicated expectations, realized bottlenecks and areas for improving the Employee Experience. Things like the Value Proposition definition and the overall governance of the Operating Model is considered part of the Management System.

The engagement you as an employee encounter in terms of touchpoint and interfaces between Employee = Consumer & the Provider is the core of experience. It is helpful to think of Interaction in terms of the People you meet during your request for a product/service or the Technologies you are in contact with.

Even more importantly is the quality, nature, and content of the interaction. Is it pleasant, maybe even entertaining, is it easy to understand and to the point, in the sense, that you get the right information and not too much? Reporting your weekly timesheet may be quite a headache, if you are presented with more input boxes than you need, and the sequence of your interactions is unclear. It is both too much, and not enough.

A great Employee Experience requires that you have everything at your fingertips, that it is intuitive when to enter what and where and maybe most of all, when you want it. There are several studies suggesting, millennials and generation Z are used to many choices and options and have less patience than the older workforce. It may not be possible to provide more than one time sheet solution, but it can be provided as a mobile solution, so you can engage anywhere, from any device, in the bus, canteen, with or without WI-FI. This is where you as a responsible company, can provide a multitude of options and accommodate a younger workforce.[3] And back to the importance of team spirited co-workers, let’s not forget, that a good experience is heavily dependent on the people you meet.

As an employer, you need to reduce the experienced Friction, which is the unnecessary time and effort required to get what you want, when you want it. Friction can be seen as the waste time or frustration you experience when a technology/service is simply slow or difficult to operate, or friction can be the unpleasant time you encounter when a person is unfit to fulfill your request/question.

Inspired by traditional Service Management theory, good service is often perceived as getting what you expect or more. The same notion is helpful, when providing great Employee Experience. You must master the area of employee expectations. First step is to be clear on your Services, when can they be expected, in which quality and how will they be delivered.

This needs to be clear at the first interaction the employee has with the delivering part. If the time slips, and delays occur, the employee must be notified and updated. We all know the importance of being kept in the loop. If your flight or train is delayed, it is nice to know why, even if it doesn’t change a thing. Even if the scheduled delivery time is followed, it feels good to know, where in the process your request is, if pending approval, being shipped, etc., like you are used to from Internet shopping. The employee will need this type of interaction to be smooth, and always present, favorably as a mobile app. Any trouble getting the right information at the right time is friction and unnecessary waste of time and insecurity.

So, to summarize, a great Employee Experience is clearly dependent on how well a product or service is delivered, but for companies to consciously improve, it is also important to analyze, design and master all the moving parts leading up to a great experience. And the touch points between the employee and the delivering organization or technology need to be easy, clear, and frictionless.

[1] Product & Service will be used interchangeable throughout the article


[3] E.g. LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2020 | Multigenerational workforce

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