Employee experience. It’s such a simple concept that it seems a little strange that businesses around the globe have only started paying attention to it fairly recently. Here’s the gist of the whole thing in a tiny, jargon-free nutshell: when your employees have a positive experience at your place of work they are more likely to enjoy their job, excel in their position, forge fruitful relationships with your clients and stick around to keep doing so. To facilitate this multifaceted good vibe, management has to ensure that employees feel valued and empowered.
Well, in theory yes. On paper, sure. In practice, it’s a whole different kettle of fish. In practice, it can become a bit of a logistical nightmare to keep tabs on the emotional temperature of your employee corps, especially if your crew numbers in the hundreds (or thousands!) and are scattered across continents.
So, what’s a forward-thinking business to do if they want to boost employee experience from the top down in a time when the talent hunt is at an all-time high? Here are a few ways you can start to tailor a positive employee experience at your company today.
Top tips on improving employee experience at your company:
1. Look at employee experience holistically
Keen to polish your employee brand (i.e. the way prospective employees view your enterprise)? First things first - start looking at positive employee experience in a holistic way. After all, the ‘experience’ part of that term refers to the way they perceive their reality and environment throughout the entire employee life cycle. This includes their entire journey with your company - from interviewing and on-boarding, through training and development, all the way to their eventual exit.
When you focus on employee experience, customer experience naturally improves. In previous years, annual engagement surveys were seen as sufficient to smooth the way for happy employees. These days we know that a business requires constant feedback, action and monitoring based on a holistic overview of the employee experience if they want to lay the groundwork for active engagement. The different pieces of the puzzle need to be joined to make up the final picture, and that requires big-picture thinking.
2. Measure & align to improve
The future of work is based largely on our ability to harness technology to streamline processes. These days, the measurement of culture and engagement no longer needs to be subjective or anecdotal - there are ways and means of quantifying ongoing input from your employees to make informed decisions for your enterprise as a whole. The trick lies in interpreting the data you gather and ensuring that there is follow-through at all times. Instead of confining company culture to a blurb on your website, choose to use tools and instil behaviours to measure, align and improve culture every single day.
3. Put someone in charge of employee experience
HR departments have a variety of functions within a company. From day to day, HR functions may include everything from preparing and updating employment records and explaining procedures, to completing and processing new-hire paperwork. In years gone by, many companies used to have a series of HR leaders responsible for various departments, from recruiting and learning, to engagement and reward. These days, we know that it is far more effective to have someone specific responsible for the complete employee experience that spans a worker's entire journey, so there can be a firm grasp of the individual's fit and happiness within a given culture. This way, the odds of someone falling through the cracks are lessened significantly.
4. Know that their space is like
Full-time employees spend a lot of time at your place of work. Their physical environment, as well as the emotional ambience that prevails at your office, has a impact on their health and wellbeing. When last did you spend a day sitting at one of your employees’ desks, with your bum in their chair, feeling the vibe and assessing the general atmosphere in the space where they spend most of their waking hours? Are there flickering lights that could put them on edge, or does it take 30 minutes in a queue to get their lunch warmed up at the sole office microwave? Sometimes you need to go back to grassroots to see the environment and make small changes that can make a huge difference in the day-to-day employee experience.
5. Rethink the scope of reward
Recognition and reward play a vital role in the employee experience. Where the notion of rewards only used to extend to salary, overtime, bonuses, benefits and stock options, it can now also include non-financial incentives like meals, wellness programmes, vacation time and other tailor-made 'carrots' that are designed to focus on employee well-being across the board. Speak to your crew to find out what type of rewards would fire them up, and use that data to inform the reward options you put in place.
6. Choose a seamless engagement platform
If you want to improve experience at the hand of employee engagement, your experience strategy should be tied to a platform that engages employees effortlessly. It shouldn’t be a mind-numbing hassle to get involved with the rest of the team - it should be easy, and fun! Fortunately, there are a variety of app-based solutions that have been created with the express purpose of slotting in with existing company processes, so the whole measurement thing doesn’t become a drag. After all, it would be pretty counterproductive if your efforts to measure employee experience were to negatively affect the very thing you are trying no measure 😉
So there you have it, 6 actionable tips to boosting your employee experience today - what are you waiting for?
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