It’s top priority for a lot of companies, but how many of them get it right? James Scott offers some pointers.
We have heard the term ‘employee experience’ a lot in the past year, especially as many businesses across the world were forced to adapt to a more remote way of working.
But it’s by no means a new term or idea.
There has long been a strong correlation between employee experience and employee engagement, and studies have shown that companies with high engagement are really seeing the benefits that investing in their employees is having on their business performance. So, it’s no surprise that 92% of HR leaders have listed employee experience as one of their top priorities in 2021.
So, what do we mean by employee experience?
The employee experience will vary from company to company, but typically describes every interaction between employer and employee during a term of employment. The employee experience begins at the recruitment stage, and covers every interaction right through to when an employee leaves the business.
What’s the secret to a good employee experience?
There are three basic environments, starting from within, that make up the employee experience:
- Your company culture, mission, values, leadership style and organisational structure. This creates the feeling or impression your employees have about your company when they come to work every day – it can inspire, empower and motivate your team, or stifle, drain and discourage them.
- The tools your employees use to get their work done. With the range of technology now available at our disposal, it has become much easier to digitise and future-proof your employee experience. Give your employees the tools they need to maximise their efficiency and encourage confidence and empowerment within their role.
- A comfortable and quality workspace with access to both privacy and meeting areas. A physical workspace can be set up in the office or at home, but regardless of location, the environment in which employees are expected to be creative and predictive has an enormous impact on their ability to do so.
What are the employee experience touchpoints?
Like any journey, it’s helpful to map out the route and plan for each of the different stages – or touchpoints – that those on the journey will typically encounter.
- Recruitment – The recruitment stage is a great opportunity to get your employees excited about your company from the get-go, so make the application process as clear and straightforward as possible.
- Onboarding – Have you established an efficient and welcoming onboarding process that will set your new employee up for long-term success?
- Development – Offer regular performance reviews and 1:1 sessions. Ask them what they need in terms of support and training. Work with them to set goals and plans to further develop their skills.
- Retention –. People want to know they are making a difference and that their work is feeding into their company’s bigger picture. So, make sure they know how their role contributes to higher-level business objectives and ties in with the company’s vision.
- Offboarding – Nobody ever wants to lose a valuable employee, but sadly it’s often unavoidable and can happen for any number of reasons that are not always under employer’s control. Take time to understand their reasons for leaving and give them the opportunity to give feedback. And remember to thank them for all their efforts and contribution to your company.
Listen and respond to feedback
Employees want to know that their voices are being heard, so keep lines of communication open and make feedback an ongoing part of your employee experience strategy, using regular surveys to get in-depth insights into employee satisfaction and well-being, and identify areas for improvement. Always remember to keep the focus on improving the employee experience and resulting business outcomes.
Feedback you get from the surveys is invaluable, but only if you actually make changes. The final step is to take action by using the survey insights to create a better employee experience that make your workforce want to come into work.
Remember, it is impossible to fix everything at once. Starting with small, manageable changes to begin with is the best approach, and over time these changes will compound into a better overall experience.
There is no end to improving the employee experience, and it is important to remember that it requires ongoing commitment and financial investment. However, the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs and you’ll be rewarded with happier employees, greater productivity and a healthier bottom line.
About the author
James Scott is CEO of Thrive.App