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May 19, 2016

Optimized Employee Experience has Direct Effect on UX #ConvCon Keynote

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Mona Patel is the author of “Reframe: Shift the Way You Work, Innovate, and Think.” When she arrived here at Conversion Conference she was struck by the attendees, finding it amazing how much time we spend working to understand our customers. She has a background in design and UX so optimizing the user experience and meeting customers’ needs is what she thinks about.

But Patel wonders if we ever take that lens and point it inward. She wants to enable businesses so that employees feel optimized and fulfilled. Why? Employees are a big part of customer service. The way employees interact with your customers are going to affect your customer experience.

Mona Patel at Conversion Conference 2016

In 2009 she started her own company of one. She had clients and then she got pregnant. She decided to hire people to take care of her clients while she was on maternity leave. She wanted to design a hiring process that would match the customer experience she wanted. Patel started thinking about how to create a platform where she took talented people and made sure they were optimized to bring their best work to the marketplace.

This brought her to thinking about EX – employee experience. Where would you rank how optimized you feel at work? If you’re an entrepreneur or company of one, where would someone you hire rank their optimization of employee experience? Where would you rank your work experience? If you’re not a 10, write down the reasons your work is not optimized – areas where you could see improving.

If you wrote some things down, there’s good news. These are probably excuses. We can fix excuses. She’ll cover the excuses here. The fixes are in her book.

The BS Excuse Personas

She tells a story of a visit she made to a CEO. When she arrived she was pointed to the fourth floor. Turns out that was the gym and she actually is made to take a physical test before she could see the CEO. Does a test like this work? Who knows! Is there any data to support it?

Persona #1: The Brat

A brat is a person who judges an idea before they have data. They don’t listen to the data or the facts. They already know. We see this come up as “this is never going to work.” It comes up in design and in the workplace. This is one of the most common excuse personas we see in the design world.

Persona #2: The Bullied

A bullied persona is the one who thinks they’re a victim. They aren’t going to do anything because someone’s holding them down.

Persona #3: The Bottlenecker

The bottlenecker requires that all ideas go through them before they’re implemented. He or she will stick themselves into a process where they don’t need to be. A bottlenecker likes to be busy, but because they’re so busy, they don’t take action on plans to improve.

Persona #4: The Scaffolder

The scaffolder is the persona who builds up an idea so big that they make an excuse that something can’t be done. A larger topic — baby boomers or the economy — might be the excuse for something in the way of actually making changes.

Persona #5: The Square

The square loves the lines in the box to explain why they can’t come up with better ideas and can’t make changes. In design work we might hear that the technology doesn’t support it or there are regulations. Their excuses are actual facts that might exist but which really shouldn’t have anything to do with making changes. Look at your business from a design lens; that forces you to start from a blank slate and create.

Persona #6: The Sheep

The sheep has a herd mentality. This person has to do what everyone else is doing. They think things like, “I’m not happy at my job but no one else is either, and it won’t be better anywhere else.” If you feel like this, you might be right — but you’re not going to feel like a 10 on your satisfaction rating scale. You need to stop worrying about being right.

Persona #7: The Blamer

The blamer is going to say “It’s not me. It’s you.” It’s always something else. The blaming prevents you from having to solve the problem.

Persona #8: The Blamer

The slacker is the passenger in the car. They’re definitely not driving. And you may want to ask yourself if it’s preventing you from being happy.

Stop the Excuses

Do you relate to any of these personas? Do you work with anyone who manifests some of these traits? Stop the excuses. What’s holding you back?

Think about what you need to do to move your numbers up and get to the ten on the job satisfaction scale. Don’t let the BS excuses keep you down. If you start thinking “yeah but” then think about it – you’re bringing up excuses again.

Touché, Mona.

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One response to “Optimized Employee Experience has Direct Effect on UX #ConvCon Keynote”

  1. nandu web writes:

    Good summary..Thank you for sharing this information!!

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