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The Super-Experience: What Will Attract And Retain Talent In The Workplace?

Our partners Worktech Academy have released their latest insight on the super experience.

Super experience in the workplace is something that is close to my heart; I have been introducing the concept to our clients and developing strategies with them to create the best possible version of their workplace for some time.

Work has to be meaningful, fun, rewarding and inspiring. We need a good reason to get out of bed in the morning, it can’t be all about money. What if you could leave work in a better place than you went in in the morning? Now here’s the utopia.

In the war for talent, leading companies are now setting their sights on creating ever more ambitious and innovative employee experiences.

Why has employee experience risen so fast up the business agenda, and how are new experiences are driving change in the global workplace? According to a new report from Australian developer Mirvac with WORKTECH Academy, large global organisations are considering experience design in a new light, as they face the challenges of talent attraction and retention, sparking innovation, improving employee wellbeing, driving up productivity and supporting learners in the workplace. Amid these drivers, the ‘war for talent’ emerges as a dominant consideration. As the ante is upped in providing more and better workplace experiences, so we are moving from the era of user-experience (UX) to super-experience (SX). This is defined as a heightened experience that is of superior quality, originality and impact, which stretches beyond clarity, logic and optimisation to embrace intrigue, curiosity and empathy, combining physical and digital elements. Such a shift in experience design will require the property sector to keep an open mind on introducing new skills and technologies from theatre, arts, hospitality, retail and behavioural science.

Tips on activating super-experiences:

  • Take a people-first approach with empathic and humancentric values
  • HR, IT and facilities should work much closer together to create experiences
  • New skills and technologies should be introduced in the property sector
  • Offer a flexible portfolio of experiences
  • Curation is all about service and training – but know the limits

The Super-Experience: three models for talent development

  1. Awe-inspiring experiences

A body of scientific research supports the idea that creating a sense of awe has many benefits in the workplace, as an array of new sound, light, AV and sensor technologies bring theatrical practices and sensations to the office. Example: Salesforce in San Francisco has installed a large digital wall in its lobby that can display the Californian Redwood National Forest in high resolution and mimic a convincing waterfall. The creation is empathetic to the mood and energy of the office. The company has also adopted the Hawaiian concept of Ohana, meaning family in Hawaiian, into the workplace design. Mindfulness areas are on each floor and there is an emphasis on natural materials and residential-style finishes.

  1. Curated Experiences

Curated experiences creatively cluster people in ‘experience guilds’ according to skill, outlook and specialism, or engineer serendipitous ‘bump’ encounters. The success of the coworking movement in managing experience and selling a service rather than space is a key part of this trend. Example: The Wing is a coworking space designed specifically for entrepreneurial women. This is an empathic community which focuses on empowering women and creating an experience where members feel completely comfortable to share ideas and have open conversations. Amenities chosen are women centric, including childcare facilities, beauty rooms, and meeting rooms for events. 

  1. Learning Experiences

Dynamic social experiences which support learning inside organisations are emerging at a time when employees are required to update their skills and knowledge constantly amid rapid technological change. Experience designer Dr Nelly Ben Hayoun worked with NASA to develop world’s first International Space Orchestra, curating an experience which challenged space scientists to think differently and learn something new. NASA employees were invited to join the orchestra to coax them out of their usual thinking patterns through music and performance.

Expectations on our workplaces are ever increasing. New roles have emerged on the back on the super experience concept and some companies now employ Head of Workplace Experience. The utopia is for everyone to love work, b Expectations on our workplaces are ever increasing. ut the closest you can get is a workplace you enjoy coming to.

By Leeson Medhurst, 360 Workplace Director 

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