The Connection Between Customer Experience and Employee Experience: Live from Paycom and the OKC Thunder

November 21, 2022

On the HR Happy Hour Media Network and in the other work we do at H3 HR Advisors, we have talked quite a bit about the importance of employee experience and how improving employee experience has been one of the main focus areas for HR leaders and for the HR technology industry. Throughout the close to three years of pandemic-related disruption, improving the employee experience has been essential for organizations to survive, adapt, and remain agile in a dynamic market and rapidly changing set of economic conditions. While we generally concentrate on the “people” side of the employee experience conversation, it is important for HR and people leaders to understand the connection and through line from improved employee experience to enhanced and elevated customer experience.

Recently I was able to partner with my friends at Paycom and their partners at the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder for a series of events (webinar, podcast, video interviews, etc.),  where we explored not only ways to improve employee experience and increase employee engagement, but also the connection with customer and fan experience, as evidenced by the award-winning customer experience groups at the Thunder. We were able to spend a couple of days at Paycom’s (expanding) HQ facility, as well as in the corporate offices of the Thunder at Paycom Center meeting and talking with some of the people who drive employee and fan experience in one of the fastest-paced and fun environments we’ve ever been around. What was reinforced in our time with Paycom and the Thunder was the importance of culture, commitment to employee development, and a shared mission to provide customers and fans with unforgettable service and memorable experiences.  And, fortunately for us, we were able to cap off the visit by attending the Thunder’s recent game against the Orlando Magic – a fantastic time and a resounding Thunder win!

We had a busy and enlightening visit out to OKC, and I wanted to collect and share all the activities and content we created in partnership with Paycom and the OKC Thunder here in one place.

First – we did a series of special HR Happy Hour WORK BREAK videos with members of the OKC Thunder staff. First up, I sat down with Caleb Miller to talk about what does in to the training and preparation of the literally hundreds of staff that work hard at Paycom Center on game nights:


Next, we talked with John Leach from the Thunder about the game night, in arena experience. If you have been to an NBA game in the last few years, you will know that it is much more than just the basketball game itself – there are scores of elements and activities to orchestrate and deliver that add up to game night at Paycom Center being really memorable and special.

And in the final part of our three-part series of WORK BREAK videos, Scott Loft joined me to talk about how the Thunder rely on a combination of business intelligence, data, and the personal touch to deliver the kinds of fan experiences that the team is known for, and has won awards from the NBA.

Additionally, the Thunder’s Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Will Syring joined me on the At Work in America Podcast to talk about the importance of creating a memorable customer experience. the connection between Paycom and the OKC Thunder, the importance of community partnerships, creating the vision for the best NBA fan experience, training employees with purpose and direction and more. You can listen to the show with Will here:


Finally, I was joined by friend of the HR Happy Hour show and Paycom’s Tiffany Gamblin for a live HR Happy Hour WORK BREAK show recorded at Paycom HQ. On the show we talked about the busy wind up of 2022, how to help employees stay refreshed and avoiding burnout, some of the community initiatives that Paycom is so well-know for supporting and more. It is always fun and interesting to chat with Tiffany, and thanks to her once again for taking some time.

Our visit out to Oklahoma City to Paycom and to the OKC Thunder was memorable, interesting, and super fun! Many thanks to everyone who made it possible and treated us so well! We can’t wait to come back and experience that famous customer experience again!


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