Historically, organizations have focused their efforts on creating a favorable culture as a means to elevate employee engagement. But, according to Jacob Morgan of The Future Organization for SHRM, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Smart organizations put the spotlight on the employee experience. Developing a great employee experience is contingent upon three factors:
As the lifeline of an organization, technology is vital to success. Technology encompasses the tools employees use to get their work done: computers, laptops, software, mobile devices, apps, internal communications, self-service portals, etc.
2. Physical Workspace
An employee’s physical surroundings are an important part of their impression of the organization: the floor plan, furniture, even the bathroom. It also includes any perks they may access, like a lounge to relax in, cafeteria, a break room, or outdoor space for fresh air.
It’s the most important part of the employee experience and what sets the tone when it comes to crafting a positive one. Culture is your organization’s personality, partly dictated by management, and partly something that develops naturally over time. It stems from the values, attitudes, practices, and mission of the organization.
The Employee Experience is Here to Stay
New HR positions dedicated to enriching the employee experience are popping up on job boards everywhere. A simple search on LinkedIn yields an abundance of listings: Director of Talent Acquisition and the Employee Experience, Employee Experience Coordinator, Employee Experience Officer, Employee Experience Specialist…the list goes on.
Why all the fuss?
A great employee experience can attract and retain top talent, while building a deeply engaged workforce.
An added bonus – your customers get better service. There is a strong correlation between a positive employee experience and a positive customer experience. A study by the Temkins Group showed that companies who excel at customer service have 50% more engaged employees than those who don’t.
3 Ways to Elevate the Employee Experience
Now that you know the benefits of a positive employee experience, here’s how to boost yours:
1. Make a good first impression
The relationship with your organization begins the moment a candidate submits their resume. Applicant tracking software (ATS) streamlines the process, making it faster, easier, and more direct. Once the offer has been accepted, the employee must begin onboarding. Practices like having workspaces ready from day one, assigning buddies to shadow, and scheduling introduction meetings get your employees off to a good start. As for the dreaded paperwork, having cloud-based HR technology means the new employee can access, complete, and electronically sign their forms prior to their first day of work.
2. Make communication a priority
Having a well thought out communication strategy is essential to the employee experience. Employees want to feel connected to the organization and that their voice is being heard. Without proper communication channels, employees find it difficult to stay engaged. Besides practicing transparency, other tactics like holding regular town hall meetings, crafting an internal newsletter, and having an employee portal can elevate communications with employees.
3. Tailor your approach to suit all employees
Jacob Morgan suggests, “Instead of trying to force people to fit into outdated workplace practices, organizations must redesign their workplace practices to fit with their people.” Don’t assume all employees have the same needs and desires. Employees differ in what appeals to them in terms of rewards, compensation, development, and scheduling. Companies should strive to provide a range of experiences that appeal to different employees of various mindsets and not limit opportunities by position or job title.