Employee Personas Can Build and Strengthen Engaging EX Strategies
Employee engagement leads to stronger company performance. However, the effects on an organization’s bottom line can be detrimental if employers skip a key variable in the engagement formula: understanding the employee.
That’s a crucial finding from a May 9, 2019 Forrester Research report, “Create Employee Personas To Power EX Strategy.” It shines the light on the power of using personas to design engaging work based on better understanding employees’ perspectives, wants and needs.
[Note: Report access requires purchase or subscription.]
According to the report, a well-designed employee experience (EX) makes employees feel more connected to their employers and companies, propelling them to put more time and effort into doing their best work.
It indicates that most employee experiences are not “employee-obsessed.” In fact, this lack of understanding and unmet expectations can lead to an employee exodus as workers head to better opportunities.
To develop outstanding employee experiences, companies should look at creating employee personas. These represent a large segment of employees as a single individual, and illustrate required tasks, goals, motivations, wants, needs and pain points – all from the employees’ perspective.
Citing persona work performed by projekt202, Analyst Angelina Gennis noted in her May 10, 2019 blog article, Employee Personas Strengthen Your EX Strategy, “projekt202 conducted observations and interviews in a client’s fertility clinic to diagram fertility coaches’ workflow. The workflow illustrated how much coaches have on their plates and what led to cumbersome processes that detracted from giving patients the best care. The consultancy conducted employee research and determined key modes that coaches switch between as they navigate their workflow. Submodes, or ‘modes of working,’ further detailed the needs to meet to improve employee experiences.”
The May 9, 2019 report continued, “Then, projekt202 modeled the workflows to correspond to the mode-based personas and identify opportunities for optimization. It has found this to be a repeatable process to determine a plan of action or road map for improved EX.”
The Power of Personas: Research Directly Benefits the End User
Personas’ strengths lie in keeping the focus on real people who exhibit unique sets of characteristics. These behavior-based personas assist projekt202 teams throughout ideation, design and marketing to help teams develop appropriate solutions and messages.
This personas work is a foundational part of projekt202’s unique methodology for helping companies fully understand customers and users in context. It is a valuable resource in projekt202’s Experience Strategy and Insight (ESI) practice, which discovers the patterns and themes that provide actionable, deeper and more valuable perspectives on customers' wants, needs and motivations.
The most meaningful insights for experience strategy are developed with a deep, behavior-based understanding of users or customers. projekt202’s experience strategists observe people in context – where they work, play or live - to understand their goals, needs and aspirations as they go about their daily lives. If a product does not yet exist, this firsthand look helps to identify unmet needs that a product or service may solve.
While personas are a popular technique used by many companies to create archetypal user profiles, projekt202’s personas are far more robust than those created from market research data alone. Well-crafted personas grounded in user observations document much more than simple demographic data. Instead, they uncover and illustrate what drives segments to behave and believe as they do.
projekt202 is the leader in experience-driven software strategy, design and development. We have a unique and established methodology for understanding people in context — we reveal unmet needs — which drives everything we do. This leads to a crisp, clear understanding of the customer, which shapes the design and development of new solutions and experiences. We have the expertise, teams, skills and scale to deliver sophisticated software solutions that improve any and all touchpoints across the user journey.
projekt202 has spent over 15 years bringing to life and to market compelling experiences through our Experience Strategy & Insight, User Experience, Software Development, Marketing & Analytics, and Program Management practices. Our talented team has delivered emotionally-rich and intuitive solutions for global brands and clients such as 7-Eleven, Capital One, Dell, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, Neiman Marcus, Samsung Electronics, and The Container Store, among many others.