When it comes to providing great experiences and elevating your brand, your customers might be the primary audience that comes to mind. However, while organizations expand their investment in the customer experience, the employee experience should follow suit. In fact, research shows that there is a direct correlation between customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) and brands can’t improve one without improving the other.
While intranets, portals, and internal communication tools were once notorious for being unused and collecting dust, shifts in embracing a more digital-centric company culture has surfaced new challenges related to employee engagement.
Employees recognize the change that is occurring around them, and with less physical interaction to foster company culture and talent enablement, means that there is a greater need for solutions that enable communication, collaboration, and an overall stronger business-to-employee experience (B2E). Meanwhile, prioritizing the employee experience also has profitable implications, as reports have found organizations with happy and engaged employees have better talent, and better operational, customer, and financial outcomes.
Let’s dive into what B2E is, tools used to enable B2E, and ways organizations can boost employee engagement with a more modernized employee experience.
What’s the difference: B2B, B2C, and B2E
Unlike a business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) model where you’re selling a product or service directly, business-to-employee (B2E) embraces everything that businesses do to reach, influence, and motivate current and potential employees. Thought of more as the strategy and tactics to enable employees, B2E encompasses the tools for employees to easily connect and engage with the organization, including educational and professional development opportunities, monitoring of stocks and benefits management, along with day-to-day communication tools.
Variations in B2E tools
More commonly, “B2E” is used to refer to a company’s intranet, B2E portal, and other systems for communication and sharing within a company. While they all seem synonymous, the focus of each is different.
A company’s intranet is considered a “one-size-fits-all” approach to its communication and engagement as it relates to the organization. These provide more generalized company updates and require more self-exploring to get more relevant information. Meanwhile, a B2E portal prioritizes the individual employee by providing a more personalized experience with customized training, recommended content, departmental news, employee benefits, and more.
Trending lately, most organizations depend on a blend of communicational tools such as Teams, SharePoint, and Zoom, among others to create a more complete employee experience. While these are useful in keeping teams connected, they are limited in the possibilities to personalize the employee experience.
Creating a more modern B2E experience
If remote work has challenged us with anything, it’s the ability to engage and fuel the same level of passion and energy in employees in day-to-day work. Less in-office collaboration and get-togethers means having to be creative in how to keep engagement and enthusiasm high. To combat that, B2E solutions often aim to increase employee efficiency and satisfaction in addition to promoting a sense of unity and unique belonging within the organization.
Here are a few ways to bring marketing, IT, and HR together to modernize your B2E strategy and deliver a more personalized, engaging employee experience:
Surveys: Similar to any other project, start by collecting feedback from the audience you’re looking to tailor the experience to. Make sure to get a healthy balance of “types” of employees represented to accurately reflect the entire company.
Video: Utilize videos to onboard new hires or engage existing employees. Topics may range from demonstrating how to use specific tools to better explaining the company’s core values. Video is an easy and efficient way to share meaningful information in a short, digestible way.
Professional development opportunities: Provide personalized training opportunities that enable employees to keep up on and expand their skillset. Rather than classroom style learning, webinars, podcasts, and how-to videos are some great options for empowering individuals as well as the business.
Employee-segmented news: Provide recommended news and resources based on the different departments and roles in your organization. This allows individual employees to be “in the loop” on information that is most relevant and beneficial to them without having to search for it themselves. (See how we helped AO Smith do the same with its intranet!)
Employee benefits dashboard: Customizable dashboards can provide a more personalized experience just by showcasing what benefits each employee receives. This may include traditional HR elements including health and wellness benefits, vacation and paid time off, stocks and 401k earnings, and more.
Emulate social media platforms: Similar to Facebook and Twitter, encourage employees comment or like company posts and news or share snippets of their workday through their own newsfeed. By allowing individual employees to build their own “profile”, enables a more engaging company community online.
Game-ify the experience: Everyone has a bit of a competitive side. Create a reward or rank system for employees based on their online engagement including posts, comments, likes, shares, and more. This will take some further thinking and potentially specific software, but game-ifying the experience can drive greater adoption of your B2E toolset.
A great work culture is more than a fully stocked fridge, popcorn machines, and great coffee (though, it doesn't hurt!). A good employee experience celebrates the ongoing development and success of employees, not just the company, and fosters a confidence and autonomy in its workforce to carry out their jobs effectively.
When employees are engaged and plugged in, they produce more effective outcomes and deliver a better customer experience. By borrowing common tactics from the customer experience and translating them to your employee engagement solutions, you can create the same engaging, vibrant experiences for your employees.
From compelling personalized training and content to individual news and benefits reporting, providing a strong B2E program or experience will pay dividends in retaining your most important audience – the people that empower your organization.