Exchange Hero EEE JAN 31 2023

Design Thinking for a Holistic Employee Experience - Employee Experience Exchange

Creating and sustaining a positive, consistent employee experience requires an integrated, collaborative enterprise-wide approach, that all starts with an employee-centered design strategy. This type of strategy incorporates experimentation, curiosity, and co-creation. It springs from a mindset of using human-centered design principles. Yet, some professionals say the approach takes too long or feels overwhelming. What does a design mindset look like, and what principles are critical to incorporate for a holistic employee experience? 

Featuring: Christina Chateauvert, Senior Manager, People Experience, Allstate 


Top 4 things we explored.

Design thinking definitions and benefits. Design thinking is an iterative approach to understand, frame, and solve for problems by putting people first. You can use it when a perceived problem is hard to grasp, and it can enhance the effectiveness of employee experiences.

Allstate’s Cross-Functional Approach to Employee Experience. Christina Chateauvert shared the four different ways they looked at an employee’s total experience, their team’s core rules, and design principles.

Mindsets for design thinking. They include empathy, confidence, ambiguity, collaborative, and optimism.

Start with an empathy map. It is a tool that helps teams develop deep, shared understanding and empathy for other people. Empathy improves our understanding, creating solutions that are relevant, resonate, and will more readily be adopted by our employees/leaders.


Questions we heard.

What should we consider when implementing design thinking mindsets? It can be challenging to implement these mindsets if you haven’t adopted the process yet. It will take time, and it helps to have leadership’s support. You’ll see success when people start asking questions like, “What did your employees say when you tested that with them?” rather than, “When is that deliverable due?”.

How do you get stakeholder buy-in? Share your team’s core rules, design principles, and process with the Executive team. Ground your approach in human-centered design principles, as it’s rooted in years of research and data.

How do you identify which stakeholders to involve as participants in the various phases? Think about who matters most; focus on our own employees first and foremost and who else is in the organization and then external. Also consider who can approve it and who might be able to derail the initiative if they didn’t hear about it early enough.

Should we use an external consultant to get started with EE design? You can use both external and internal consultants to help in employee experience design development. When using an internal consultant. It is important to find an objective point of view. Other resources include:

  • IDEO Design Kit
  • Ideoflow by Jeremy Utley and Perry Klebhan
  • Creative Confidence Podcast by IDEO U
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