Use the 'EX Landscape' Model to see where you can make the biggest difference

Lee Smith

27 Jan 2023
Employee Engagement
Employee Experience
Employee experience (EX) is all-encompassing and extends way beyond the realm of any particular team. Re-branding HR, Internal Communication or any other internal function as EX simply won’t cut it. Building more positive workplaces requires multiple skills and numerous areas of expertise – it’s more like a philharmonic orchestra than a four-piece band and the role of the conductor is vital.
At The EX Space we want to help you be that conductor, and in doing so, create more positive experiences for everyone. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge, skills and tools you need to deliver real, tangible change. Which helps remove some of the common roadblocks and to give you to confidence to stand up and make a difference. We know that the challenge of improving EX can be overwhelming; experiences exist at different levels, are diverse in nature, and can be both planned and unplanned.  

That’s why Emma Bridger, one of our founders, developed our 'EX Landscape' model - to help practitioners make sense of EX, and understand where they can contribute and who else they might need to collaborate with to improve EX.

First published in Emma and Belinda Gannaway’s book, Employee Experience by Design (Kogan Page, 2021), it’s a great framework for exploring the various facets of EX – from the intentional to the everyday – and identifying other groups you’ll need to bring with you on the journey.
Wherever you sit inside the organisation and whatever your professional specialism, this model will help you map the EX territory.
For example, you could be an HR practitioner tasked with re-designing a specific process such as performance development.  

Or maybe you’re an HR Director looking at your employee value proposition and how to use this as a blueprint for the overall experience your employees have.   

Perhaps you’re a head of internal comms looking at how the experience of your people supports your company values (or not in many cases!). 

Or you might be an L&D professional who has recognised that line managers make a massive difference to EX and you want to understand how your management development programmes can equip them to facilitate a great experience with their teams.  

You could be an employee engagement professional who needs to understand which experiences have the biggest impact on engagement to enable you to focus on the right things.
The point is that your role, whatever it is, will most likely force you to approach the challenge in a particular way. Tempting you to jump into ‘solution mode’, fixing the things within your remit rather than the things that will have the most impact. This simple model will help you adopt a bird’s eye view of EX, so you have a clear view of the landscape.
We then have what we call 'life-cycle' experiences which are intentional, designed experiences such as onboarding, induction, performance management, exit and more. These 'signature experiences' are more likely to be organisation specific, and align with company culture and values. Again these experiences will be designed and managed by different teams within the organisation depending on the specific experience.

Then there is the ‘everyday EX’, which is where we find practitioners designing experiences that bring to life the company culture, brand and values. For example, the way we are led and managed each day will have a huge impact on how we experience the organisation. Whilst there are sometimes specific teams who will take ownership of the design and implementation of these everyday experiences, they are much more than this. For example, the way a colleague replies to an email, the greeting we receive from the receptionist each morning, being able find information we need for our job. These small micro experiences add up to form our overall EX and some of the responsibility for everyday EX lies with employees themselves.

And finally, we often forget to look the role of our mindset in how we experience our world, and this can have a profound effect on our overall experience. For example, the impact of a negative experience on an optimist may be very different to a pessimist.  Experience is, by definition, a very personal thing and the individual’s own psychology is very much part of the mix.
The principles and frameworks we share in our EX by Design courses work at all of these levels, for all of these experiences, for whichever element of the EX you are focusing on.  

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