Designing meaningful employee experiences step 3: Identify the experience gap

Updated: Jun 4, 2018



Business need to follow a vision of success, but is there a danger of losing sight of what’s actually going on? Nigel Borowski from ME+ minds the gap between the way we want employee experiences to be and the way they really are.


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A top-down view is all well and good, but it can be flawed if not matched with an opposing, bottom-up perspective. Without knowing what’s really going on, there’s no feedback mechanism – no way of learning what works and what doesn’t.


To deliver meaningful employee experiences, you need to identify the ‘experience gap’ – the gap between real experiences and what you hope them to be – (step three in our five steps to designing meaningful employee experiences).


Identifying the gap


Put yourself in the shoes of a new starter following your desired experience vision. Look for ‘moments of truth’ where the real experience doesn’t match your vision. For each moment, brainstorm and capture:

  • What would we want them to do now?

  • Why are they not doing it?

  • What’s causing them to behave as they are?

  • What’s getting in the way?

  • How can we make it easier for them?

  • What support do they need?

Be brutally honest. There’s no value in glossing over issues or viewing things through rose-tinted glasses.


While responsibility for closing the gap ultimately falls to employees, it’s up to the business to trigger a change in behaviour. That means turning your answers to those last two questions into actions you need to take.


Overcoming psychological barriers


We all have pride in our work. We want the people who hired us to like us and think they made the right choice.


After a while, it’s hard to change tack. We’ve set our course. People know how we roll and anything different will raise eyebrows. The job’s hard enough as it is, let’s not rock to boat. Let’s just keep those at the top hearing what they want to hear.


While maybe not always so extreme, these psychological barriers to change are still evident in many discussions we have with employees. While HR professional are often responsible for managing change, they face the same anxieties around changing themselves as everyone else.


Getting started


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For more on employee motivation, we’d also recommend watching author Dan Pink discussing what really motivates workers on YouTube.


This blog post was written by the career experts behind ME+ – the career management app from Telos Partners. Find out more about what ME+ can do for you at me-plus.co.uk.


This is the fourth in our blog series on Designing Meaningful Employee Experiences.

Previous: Step 2: Define the desired experience vision

Next: Step 4: Take action to close the gap