Why the Employee Experience is Important in Winning the War for Talent
Do you think that you need to be a Fortune 500 company to enjoy the benefits cited in the above graph for your small or mid-market sized business?
Did you know that a good employee experience directly affects the success of your company? These days, success is measured by productivity and profitability. Satisfaction, engagement, retention, revenue, work culture, and several other things are affected by employee experience as well!
Recently, a new type of organization has emerged, one that focuses on employee experiences as a way to drive innovation, increase customer satisfaction, find and hire the best people, make work more engaging, and improve overall performance. - The Employee Experience Advantage
Image source: A Complete Guide to Employee Experience
These days, while companies are more focused on customer experience, employee experience has had less attention.
What Is the Employee Experience and Why does it matter?
During the employment life cycle, employees’ interaction with the team, managers, tools, software, facilities, and all other things made available to them at their workplace contribute to the employee experience. In other words, the employee experience is similar to the customer experience except here you have an employee in place of the customer.
To offer a better customer experience, companies provide products or services to meet their customers needs. Similarly, companies try to interpret their employees’ needs and expectations to better design and develop an experience that really takes care of their employees.
80 percent of executives rated the employee experience as very important (42 percent) or important (38 percent) according to the Deloitte University Press research, only 22 percent reported that their companies were excellent at building an employee experience which stands out from the rest. However, the reality could be very different.
Why does Employee Experience matter?
The employee experience matters because it affects several aspects of an organization such as:
- Recruitment: The word get out. If your employees have a good experience with you as an employer, they will tell others, which will lead to higher referrals, faster time to fill, etc. That’s why many employer-review sites such as Glassdoor are more popular. Unfavorable reviews of a company’s employee experience will be likely to hinder its ability to attract good employees.
- Retention: Employee retention is also highly affected by employee experience. Celebrate wins and achievements of your employees. Affirmation and validation contributes significantly to a positive employee experience. A positive employee experience increases retention, and a bad experience reduces it.
- Engagement: A better employee experience results in better employee engagement. Its all about relationships. Forbes sees engagement as: knowing, having mentors, remaining in constant communications, and leveraging your conversations with your employees. When you have more engaged employees, work culture and productivity will also be better.
- Revenue and Profits: A positive employee experience has a positive effect on revenue and profits. According to Sage Human Resource Management, the employee experience leads to a higher return on assets and sales. On the contrary, a negative employee experience affects revenue and profits negatively. Research and experience are evidence that companies which have a strong employee experience are seeing higher revenue and profits as that the companies that don't.
These aspects are just a few examples of how the employee experience can have a positive impact on an organization.
How to Improve the Employee Experience?
Meaningful work, supportive management, positive work environment, growth opportunity, and trust in leadership all contribute to positive employee experience. A closer look at the 4 factors provides a means for concrete steps toward designing a better Employee Experience.
There are many ways to improve the employee experience, and those points below are just a few tips.
- Set Your Priorities: The first thing you need to do before improving your employee experience strategy or building a new one is to ask questions that you want to answer. Setting the priorities will help you to prepare a plan to fix the issue you are facing.
- Empower Leaders and Managers: There’s no need to mention that leaders and managers play a big role in improving the employee experience. Empower them to take suitable actions wherever required to improve it as much as possible on their end. Managers are often the reason why people leave an organization, but they are also the reason why they stay.
- Delivering a Positive Employee Experience: Simply making some standard processes is not all that you need to do to improve the employee experience. Rather, it is a continuous process that needs genuine intentions and good approaches. Doing so will deliver a positive emotional experience, making them feel comfortable in the workplace.
- Collect Employee Feedback: Collect it and collect it regularly. There are many tools out there for collecting employee feedback. One of many easy hacks, such as emojisurvey.com are used to ask employees how the feel at at that moment to get feedback. The best and more personal way to collect feedback is to have regular one-on-one meetings which will help you map the situation in the company. This step may occur in multiple iterations for fine tuning of your Employee Experience.
- Encourage Honest Feedback: Finally, welcome honest feedback from existing employees on their experience in your company. The more honest the feedback you receive, the easier it will be for you to improve the employee experience.
- Tools for the build: Selecting the right tools for the build will make this journey a snap. Here at Head Communications, we offer a number of applications (al-a-carte) or complete end-to-end solution for building maintaining, and evaluating a quality Employee Experience in your company.
A few aspects to consider
Give some consideration to the type of work, the physical workplace environment, and organizational design. Brainstorming on this will may give you really creative ideas on how the employee experience can be provided.
- Type of Work: Consider the type of work in the employee experience. For instance sales consultants and medical teams have different goals and aspirations and are motivated by different things. Here, the gig economy plays a role as far as when and how often the employee is present in the organisation.
- Physical Work Space: teams working indoors in an office building have very different situations than construction teams working at. various sites.
- Organization: Organizational design can play a role in how you design your employee experience. Are your BU's or teams geographically separated or co-located? Can the employee experience be part shared in a team and or individual to a particular employee? Organizations fall along different levels of maturity or focus when it comes to designing employee experiences.
- Technologically emergent
- Physically emergent
- Culturally emergent
Evaluating Performance of the Employee Experience
Evaluating performance give insight into how your employee experience design is for the bottom line. After design and implementation of your employee experience, you can begin to see results using 3 KPI's. According to SAGE you will be able to measure the impact of a talent management solution on your company’s return on employee investment (ROEI) in three areas:
1. Cost Savings: The automation of manual processes saves time, and the increased focus on talent management reduces turnover.
2. Revenue Growth: You will more easily identify the best internal candidates for open leadership jobs and position your company for success.
3. Improved Employee Productivity: Better talent management enables your organization to retain more high performers, thus improving productivity.
Everything you do in your company starts with your employees. Be flexible and think outside the box in your approach. In the study “Employee Experience: The New Human Resource Management Approach,“ Josh Plaskoff writes, “Organizations must reframe their approach to how they relate to their employees. The new multi-generational workplace demands a new way of thinking about human resource management. Putting the employee’s total experience at the center produces a very different approach, beyond increasing perks or ‘funifying’ the workplace, to engaging the employee in the workplace.”
Good employee experience is not created by how good your coffee is, the number of table football, or massage chairs you have. The goal of every company should be to design and build an employee experience that demonstrates care for the employees within the context of their work. They will see that their work is meaningful to the organization and that they have supportive management, a positive work environment, and growth opportunities, and they will trust in leadership. And this will help to create a good employee experience. How you treat them will create a ripple effect throughout the whole company, and if you are not treating them as your most valuable asset, you should start to do that. Some described the employee experience as a future of HR because they understand that it is important to offer a strong employee experience to get the most out of their employees and keep them in the company for a long time.
Investing time and money into a good employee experience is an investment in your company’s future.