Employee Experience

8 Reasons why the employee experience should be a top business priority

employee experience

Is your company known as a good place to work? What’s the word out there on the street regarding employee experience at your joint? Do you know?

If you don’t, this would definitely be a good time to make a point of finding out.

See, companies that are known for fostering positive employee experience and offering a happy day-to-day work environment tend to nab the best talent, make a lot of money and offer great customer experience. We’re not just spitballing either, we’ve got some serious stats to back up these sensational claims. 

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

According to the most recent statistics released by employment brand firm Universum SA, South African working professionals and students are prioritising employers who offer security and stability at a time when the economic, political and social landscape is quite daunting. Their findings are based on the input of nearly 23000 working professionals and over 45000 students and one of the major outtakes from the 2019 survey was that SA companies have a serious retention problem. In fact, almost half of the people who were polled were unhappy in their current positions and hoping to switch employers within a year or less. 

Universum SA country manager, Keshia Serage, says that this points to the fact that there is a great need to place focus on understanding employee experience and developing culture and engagement.

At the moment, most employees are changing jobs within the first two years of employment. “The implications of this are that the employer carries the training and development costs to the benefit of other organisations,” said Serage.

Serage says that South Africa's talent pool is currently focussing on the following when they consider potential employers: 

  1. Professional training and development
  2. Leadership opportunities
  3. Inspiring leadership
  4. Ethics in the workplace

Among the South African companies that came out tops in this year's survey were Volkswagen Group South Africa, Sasol Limited, Hilti South Africa, Nestlé, Howden Africa, Hollard, Becton Dickinson, Microsoft, Anglo American Platinum, Takeda and Accenture South Africa. 

Would you like your company to rank up there with these heavyweights? If so, employee experience should definitely become a top business priority at your business for 2019/20 and beyond.

Here are 8 reasons to persuade your team that a top-notch experience strategy is non-negotiable: 

Read more here 👉 The digital employee experience is here! Is your business on board?


1. Happier employees = increased performance

Happy employees are productive employees. We don't need to tell you that productivity is one of the key performance indicators for businesses who stay afloat despite economic challenges. The best way to boost productivity is to foster engagement by means of a sustainable employee experience strategy. 


2. Disengaged employees are expensive

Recent research has shown that approximately one third of South African employees are disengaged for various reasons, with the cost of this disengagement worldwide estimated by Gallup to be at least $4.9 Billion. That’s a lot of money folks! If you want to calculate the cost of disengagement at your company, here is a handy calculator you can try. 


3. Culture isn't static and should be monitored

Company culture plays a major role in the employee experience quotient, and the tricky part is that it is a fluid beast that can change from one day to the next based on a seemingly countless number of variables. This is why it is of vital importance to measure and monitor your company culture if you wish to foster a positive employee experience. 

Read more here 👉 Employee Recognition: The ultimate kickstart for a great company culture


4. Money alone is not a good enough incentive

While the number on the paycheck plays a big role in whether a person will take a job or not, the likelihood that they will stick around and be happy in their work environment is not tied to that number alone. If you want to improve your company’s turnover rate and retain your top talent, you need to think further than rands and cents. 


5. Unhappy workers take sickies

People who are unhappy at their place of work take an average of 15 more days’ sick leave than their happily engaged counterparts. That’s a lot of lost man hours and opportunity for stuff to fall between the cracks right there. 


6. Engaged employees = more $$$

Do you want to boost your company’s bottomline? Start with employee experience. Engaged employees offer better customer service, and better customer service leads to repeat business, positive word of mouth and more money in the long run. 


7. Physical environment plays a huge role

Physical environment plays a big role in overall employee experience. People working in depressing fluorescent-lit spaces with non-ergonomic desks, clunky chairs and a pokey little kitchenette that almost always smells like Dettol are far less likely to come up with innovative solutions and creative business ideas than their counterparts who spend their time in a thoughtfully designed space (or get to do their thing from home!). 


8. Satisfied brains work better

When we are happy and satisfied our brains work better. As such, when your employees are enjoying a positive experience at work, you’ll be getting better work out of them. It’s as simple as that. Check out this TED talk for more insight in the matter. 


Key Takeaways

So, just to sum it all up, by making employee experience a top business priority at your company, you will lay the groundwork for increasing productivity,  improving employee engagement and company culture, providing employees with sustainable incentive, limiting absenteeism, boosting your bottom line, creating a better physical work environment and supercharging your employees’ mental capabilities. That is a whole lot of good stuff right there. 

If you need some help building your recognition program, we have an in-depth 10-step guide to help you build your program from scratch. You can download it here 👇

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