Employee experience is considered to be the overall experience an employee’s journey has encountered, observed, and felt while being a part of an organization. It encompasses professional and personal relationships an employee builds over the years. So making a good employee experience strategy is important.
A well-crafted implementation of an employee experience strategy can increase productivity, reduce turnover, and create a more engaged workforce. This blog will explore the top 10 ways to perfect your employee experience strategy and create a workplace that fosters employee satisfaction, motivation, and loyalty.
What is employee experience strategy?
Employee experience strategy refers to an organization’s comprehensive plan and approach to enhance and optimize the overall experience of its employees throughout the employee journey with the company. It focuses on creating a positive, productive, and engaging work environment that fosters employee satisfaction, well-being, and productivity.
This strategy takes into account various touchpoints and interactions that employees have with the organization, from the employee recruitment process to onboarding, daily work life, and career development.
Importance of employee experience strategy
If you are serious about employee experience and how to find the perfect employee experience strategy to implement at your workplace, ask the following questions to yourself:
- How do employees view the overall workplace culture?
- Are they happy with the policies and procedures?
- Do they relate to the leadership of the organization?
- Are they engaged enough at the workplace?
- Are they likely to refer their friends and family to the organization?
These experiences shape the health of your organization. If you value customer experience in your organization, then you ought to understand the importance of employee experience because it’s your employees who help you provide the right customer experience to your clients and customers.
These questions will give you that initial push to understand what your employees are feeling and experiencing. These questions are introspective and a good way to start thinking about changing your strategy if needed.
One more question that keeps popping into my mind is, why are so many leaders beginning to take a more holistic approach to the workplace? The answer is simple. Workplaces are more transparent now than ever!
Employers prefer not to hide behind the flashy “stuff” they provide to the employees (like free snacks or Fussball). They want employees to experience a company culture that facilitates professional and personal growth. What happens at a workplace can go public quickly, and potential job seekers are paying attention.
Attracting the right talent is very important. These are the people who are going to stay longer in your organization. It will only help elevate or improve employee retention. Employees who experience good things at work are more likely to recommend the organization as a suitable workplace to their family and friends. In short, the emotional experience of employees can no longer be taken for granted.
So now you must ask yourself, how do I create a stellar organization that provides the most conducive atmosphere for my employees? First of all, you have to provide the same experience to your employees as you may want them to provide to your customers.
This may even require redesigning your company culture, policies, and even the age-old employee strategies that you think are working. This may sound overwhelming to start with. I am here to help. In the next section, I have listed the top 10 ways to perfect an employee experience strategy to help you create a foolproof and lets you enhance employee experience.
Key points of employee experience strategy
A well-designed employee experience strategy aims to align the goals and values of the employees with those of the organization. It recognizes that satisfied and motivated employees are more likely to be loyal and productive, contributing to the company’s success.
Here are some key components and principles often included in employee experience strategies:
- Culture and values: Defining and promoting the company culture and core values to ensure they resonate with how employees feel and guide their behavior and decision-making.
- Employee journey mapping: Create employee journey maps by understanding the different stages of an employee’s lifecycle within the organization, identifying key touchpoints, and ensuring positive experiences at each stage.
- Workplace environment: Creating a physical and virtual work environment that is conducive to productivity, collaboration, and well-being.
- Leadership and management: Developing strong leadership that supports employees, provides regular feedback, and fosters open communication.
- Learning and development: Offering continuous learning and skill development opportunities to help employees feel and grow personally and professionally.
- Work-life balance: Supporting work-life balance initiatives ensures employees can effectively manage their personal and professional responsibilities.
- Recognition and rewards: Implementing recognition programs and performance-based rewards to acknowledge employees’ efforts and contributions.
LEARN ABOUT: Employee Rewards Ideas for Employee Engagement
- Diversity and inclusion: Fostering an inclusive workplace that values diversity and ensures that all employees feel valued and respected.
- Technology and tools: Providing them with the necessary tools and technology to perform their jobs efficiently.
- Wellness and health programs: Offering wellness initiatives to promote physical and mental well-being among employees.
LEARN ABOUT: Employee Wellness
- Employee engagement and feedback: Regularly seeking employee feedback and involving them in decision-making processes to increase employee engagement and sense of ownership.
- Flexibility and remote work: Supporting flexible work arrangements and remote work options when applicable.
Top 10 ways to perfect employee experience strategy
1. Keep job application simple
A common misconception I would like to bust right now is that employee experience begins when your employees walk into your office doors on day one. Delete! This experience begins when they start filling out the job application.
Your employee engagement experience starts with your potential candidates and how satisfied they are with the experience provided to them right from the very beginning. The best way to win over your competition is if you are able to provide these future employees with a flawless application system.
One very important thing that most organizations fail to do is acknowledge the receipt of the job application. Most organizations fail to revert to a candidate if their candidature is not suitable for the advertised position, and this is a big no-no! They need to know if they don’t fit so that they can try elsewhere. Make it simple for them.
2. Hire the right talent
Competition to hire top talent is fierce. As a result, even the applicants are weighing their options, and employee expectations are higher than ever. In this race, it is bound that you will be tense. What if you miss out on hiring the right talent?
One way to attract and hire the right talent is to give them an experience above and beyond their expectations. Once you hire them, make sure your Human Resources team is in touch with them on a regular basis, and make sure their concerns are attended to immediately. Ask what more you can do for them and not vice versa.
3. Know your “WHY”
Simon Sinek is inspiring great leaders to think differently. In his legendary TED talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, he discussed what differentiates organizations that are inspired from those that are not.
According to Sinek, organizations that know their “why” lead from the front, and when your leadership is inspired enough, it is the same energy that penetrates within the organization, right from the mailroom to the CEO’s chamber.
Paychecks, simple perks, or free snacks do not inspire top talent. They need inspired leadership. So don’t hold back from experiencing and expressing your why. Tout your organization’s mission and inspire confidence amongst your employees.
4. Amazing onboarding experience
Research has shown that an amazing onboarding experience significantly increases employee engagement and employee retention strategy. If you want your new employees to achieve long-term success in your organization, give them an amazing experience right from the beginning.
You need to talk openly about the organization’s culture, the unspoken rules, and the associations he/she needs to make. Here are a few things you can do to make new employees comfortable early on:
- Share with them login credentials, and make sure their desk is set up in advance.
- Brief them about the company’s history, and ensure they understand the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.
- Introduce your new hire to his/her teammates, and organize an ice-breaking session if that helps.
- Set the tone right from day one. They need to know what is expected of them.
- Make sure to arrange a one-on-one meeting with the manager so his/her KRA and responsibilities are clear.
5. Celebrate your employees
Your employees are your assets. Take some time to acknowledge their hard work and the efforts they put in regularly to ensure the organization achieves success year after year. In some organizations, they get together on Fridays to give a shoutout to an employee who has been exceptional with work over that particular week.
Some might argue and say it is an extravagant use of the organization’s time and resources. But I feel a little good deed can take you far. Your employees value the simplest gesture. It doesn’t have to be as grand as buying them a new car (although I know organizations that go that extra mile). A simple trophy or winner badge handed to them will make their day.
6. Get frequent employee feedback
When working on improving employee experience, you must know the greatest resource we are talking about here are the employees. Take frequent employee feedback, asking them what is working and what’s not.
Keep a tab on the pulse of the organization, and see how your organization is evolving. Meet with your employees outside the office’s four walls, and encourage your managers to talk to them more formally. Give your employees the confidence their feedback is valuable and will not be used against them.
7. Implement feedback
Collecting feedback is not enough. You need to be intentional about it. Sometimes implement an employee experience to improve upon the things your company is already doing well. On other days it is about addressing issues or redesigning the experience altogether.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you implement the feedback. Don’t just collect feedback because other organizations are doing it. Remember, no two organizations can be identical. You will need to do things differently for your organization to succeed.
8. Communicate (regularly)
Nobody likes to keep speculating. As an organization, your first step to achieving effective communication is communicating on a regular basis. There are many tools in the market that facilitate business communication.
Invest in some of these good tools and software, which will enable you to communicate with the entire organization regularly. Make your managers responsible, ask them to speak to their teams, and email company information. If you are multi-locational, conduct weekly meetings involving the entire organization.
According to a study conducted by Gallup, nearly 60% of employees said they need feedback on a regular basis to help them improve their working style. Millennials look forward to feedback, Be transparent with your employees.
There is a difference between constructive feedback and criticism, as rightly pointed by Dale Carnegie. Be clear on what basis and attribute their performance will be evaluated and whether their progress is where it is supposed to be.
10. Be flexible
There is nothing more putting off than a micromanaging manager. Give your employees the liberty to think out of the box. Trust them. If they need to work from home, give them that option or let them sit wherever they want within the office space.
LEARN ABOUT: Employee Trust
This facilitates a happy and positive atmosphere at work and brings more autonomy to the workplace. Your employees start owning up to things, and this ultimately leads to employee loyalty.
5 challenges organizations face when building an employee experience strategy
Almost all organizations face difficulties in developing employee experience programs. The following five obstacles can cause an employee’s project failure. Building an effective positive employee experience strategy is crucial for organizations to attract, engage, and retain top talent. However, several challenges can arise during the process.
Here are five common challenges organizations may face when developing positive employee experience strategies:
Limited understanding of employee needs
Organizations may struggle to accurately identify and understand their employees’ diverse needs and preferences, decreasing employee retention. Each employee has unique motivations, work styles, and aspirations, making it essential to gather comprehensive data and feedback to design a strategy that caters to various employee segments.
Silos and lack of collaboration
Different departments within an organization often operate in silos, leading to a fragmented employee experience. Lack of collaboration between HR, IT, management, and other relevant teams can hinder the seamless integration of various elements in the strategy and result in inconsistent experiences.
Resistance to change
Introducing a new employee experience strategy may encounter resistance from employees and leaders accustomed to traditional operating methods. Change management and effective communication are vital to address concerns and encourage buy-in from all stakeholders.
Building and implementing a robust, effective employee experience strategy requires investment in time, effort, and resources. Small or financially constrained organizations may find it challenging to allocate sufficient resources for initiatives such as training programs, technological upgrades, or wellness initiatives.
Measuring and monitoring effectiveness
Evaluating the success of a strong employee experience strategy can be difficult without the right metrics and tools in place. Organizations need to establish clear and measurable objectives to gauge the impact of the strategy on employee engagement, retention, productivity, and overall business performance.
A successful employee experience strategy requires a holistic approach that encompasses every aspect of an employee’s journey within the organization. Organizations can create a thriving workplace culture that attracts and retains top talent by prioritizing employee well-being, professional growth, and a positive work environment.
Remember, the key to perfecting your employee experience strategy lies in continuous improvement and adaptation to meet the ever-evolving needs of your employees and the organization as a whole.