Episode 48 – Anne Bakstad Shares Employee Experience Practices and Insights


This week’s episode shares employee experience insights from Anne Bakstad from Clearworks. Anne is a customer experience expert with over two decades of experience leading operations, customer support, marketing, and IT organizations.  Leveraging her background and knowledge in process reengineering, Anne’s approach allows companies to improve customer experience with a vision towards increasing customer satisfaction but also reducing costs.  Anne has a background and training in organizational development that she leverages to help companies enhance their corporate culture to improve employee experience, drive a culture of customer focus and in turn improve customer experience. She has worked with companies like Malwarebytes, Cisco, Western Union, BlueCross and others on strategic customer experience projects.

Anne emphasizes how the Employee Experience is crucial to the Customer Experience. She feels strongly that talking to employees themselves designs a better employee experience. It can’t be done in a vacuum.

Increasing employee engagement increases employee retention.

Get employee feedback the same way you would from customers – one on one interviews, observations of employees doing their work, focus groups, etc.

Anne shares her guidelines in determining whether or not leadership should be present in the focus group.

She discusses how gathering quotes from employees help to tell the story ways surveys wouldn’t be able to. We can learn from a story about a focus group in which a woman was moved to tears because of the shift in new leadership behaviors. Quotes and stories from employees are the best way to paint the picture for leadership and stakeholders rather than relying on data alone.

You can’t make big improvements or change without doing qualitative research as well. They tell the story better together.

Follow up research to determine if changes make an impact benefit by using quantitative and qualitative focus feedback. Going back out to measure the impact is the only way to ensure changes and transformation are beneficial.

Anne employs creative projects in the workshops and shows the leadership team the projects the groups worked on to give life to the presentation and make it personal.

The point of all of this work is to create change and make improvements. Not following up or using the information shared can erode trust and decrease the likelihood of employee engagement in the future.

Go for the quick hits first because often those make a huge difference and show true intent for change and improvement.

To get in touch with Anne and to learn more about Clearworks, please contact her at… anne@clearworks.net

The links to the resources Anne mentioned are…

This link for free downloads of The Award and Superpower, games that can be played with your teams and as part of ideation sessions


This blog post includes a 5-step approach to improving customer experience through the customer support experience



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