The notion of employee experience isn’t anything new, but it has been in the news lately and is behind the phenomenon of the Great Resignation. Looking at this through a different lens, I have flipped this scenario on its head to coin the phrase, “The Great Resignation is the Great Recruitment.”
In my experience, the employee experience is much more than any single employee’s experience isolated from the rest. Yes, the individual’s experience matters, but in the grand scheme of things, it is the company’s culture, combined with the collective employee experience, and how this affects the entire operations – which, of course, reaches back to affect each employee directly. This circle determines how, when, and why one or more employees decide to stay or leave an organization and how well they perform if they decide to stay.
I tend to find that employee experience is routinely tied to what the employee gets from the employer – good pay and benefits, flex time, and remote work options are three examples that seem to get the most attention. Undoubtedly, employee experience is connected to and measured by what the employee receives from the entire organization, their managers, colleagues, partnerships, and customers. However, it’s also how and what they give back to the company, their colleagues, partners, and customers.
Starting with hardware in the early days of my career and moving on to software, cloud, and SaaS over time, I am fortunate to have been at the forefront of many industry-defining and market-making transformations. However, as I noted when I joined Taos, creating exceptional experiences goes beyond the technology and the processes; people remain at the core of everything we do. We need our people to be “A players” – we want our staff to be at the top of their game, ready, able, and willing to help us take our businesses to the next level. This is why I decided to join Taos; I wanted to be part of an A-player organization that brings A-players to companies seeking market-making digital transformations.
This takes me back to June of 2021, when I joined Taos. By the time I joined the team, the company had already been acquired by IBM and was prime to tackle and impact the global market with unprecedented growth. To do this, Taos was hiring for its first-ever Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) position, a role I’ve held many times. The CRO role is at the center of the forces that drive the company’s business objectives forward, often disrupting the business model, go-to-market strategies, and even the market. This is where I thrive. This is the experience I want. But I recognize that success is much more than just me. It’s about what I believe in – and what those around me believe in.
Do you believe in your leadership team? Do you believe in your team? Do you believe in what you are offering the market and to each of your prospects? Most importantly, do you believe in yourself enough to give others a reason to believe in you in return?
All these things crossed my mind as I considered the opportunity at Taos, including the leadership team I was about to join. Hamilton Yu recently took on the CEO role after being hand-picked by founding CEO Ric Urrutia back in 2017. Hamilton was to be his successor, a transition completed in 2019 when Ric moved to become the executive chairman and handed the reigns over to Hamilton.
It is this culture of belief that I wanted to be part of, that I wanted to experience, that I wanted to help grow so myself and others could be part of something bigger than any one individual.
This is an experience you can have if you put your mind to it and believe it is possible. It starts from within, focusing on the two – your 8-year-old self and your 80-year-old self, and moves outward to others surrounding you.
Here are a few tips that I believe can help you on your journey to be your own best A-player and to surround yourself with other A-players.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Ever. This can get in the way of doing great things. Try to laugh, be open to others’ ideas, and remember that the experience you want starts with yourself.
- Build an A team both inside and out. Don’t get caught in the trap that you can do everything in-house by trying to attract all the A-players to fill every role. The Great Resignation and Great Recruitment are absolute. How you play out these scenarios will make a massive difference in how you grow personally and professionally.
- Hold yourself as accountable as you hold others. Avoid double standards that can create friction, impact the experience, or diminish the greatness you are trying to develop in the company, your team, and yourself.
- Never sit still. Always innovate. This isn’t about technology; this is about you as a person, as an employee, and as part of the team.
- Stop and say thank you. This goes a long, long way. It goes much further than you might expect. Give it a regular, consistent try, and you will see the results this simple gesture can have for the experience of others and your own experience.
- Put and keep your customers at the center. It’s human nature to internalize things, good and bad. It can be challenging to switch from how a tough team meeting impacts the remainder of your day to how the results of that meeting will affect the product, service, and support being provided to your customers.
- Relationships matter. Big and small. Take the time to create meaningful relationships and build bridges, extending your personal and professional circles of trust beyond your initial comfort zone. As noted in a post by author John DiJulius, “The single biggest factor contributing to where you are today remains the relationships you have acquired over your lifetime.”
You must explore, evolve, and feel the experience to succeed. To be the best version of your 8- and 80-year-old self, you must commit to what you want and never stop until you make it happen. You must be an A-player and surround yourself with other A-players, wherever they are from, wherever they may be.
If you focus on being the best and working with the best, you won’t regret your experiences and the ones you create for others, your colleagues, partners, and customers.