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Employee experience

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Employee-Experience

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What is employee experience?

Employee experience is all about what your employees encounter, observe and feel over their course of employment in an organization. The phrase employee experience has become a giant vortex everything to do with Human Resources!

Your employee experience will impact everything from your organization to your bottom line. If you are going to neglect this you might as well do it on your own peril. Well, I am not trying to be dramatic here, it is for a fact that employee experience impacts, productivity, employee retention, workplace culture and more.

Essentially employee experience refers to everything an employee experience at his/her workplace- their levels of engagement and satisfaction at work is determined by what they experience at the workplace.

One way of understanding employee experience is to understand its counterpart customer experience. If you would like your customers to have an excellent experience with your organization, the same holds true for your employees.

Why understanding employee experience is important?

Every step in the employee life cycle potentially impacts both culture and performance. To make sure there is no gap in the said process, you must ask for employee feedback at regular intervals. This will help organizations in realizing how well they are being able to support their employees.

One of the best examples is the employee onboarding process. This is the milestone in the journey of an employee. It is the starting of everything they are going to experience in the organization.

This is the opportunity for them to mingle and understand the organizational culture, know the people and experiences that will help them take the decision of whether they want to be a part of the organization or not.

What employee experience is not!

Following are the reasons why you should encourage a positive workplace culture:

Before we go any further in this article we ought to know what employee experience is not! Organizations have perceptions, but it is time to get oneself acquainted with the truth. If I say customer experience is the sum of all the interaction a customer has had with the organization, then:

Employee experience is the sum of everything an employee experiences, during the employee life cycle when associated with an organization- every experience from onboarding to employee exit.

Importantly employee experience is not:

  1. Brand new HR system: While HR shapes some of the important interaction, during an employee’s journey in the organization. But employee experience is so much more. So only bringing in new systems and improving the HR experience is not employee experience.
  2. Perks: Feel good factors such as, free gym membership, Friday pizza parties, foosball, ping-pong are just a byproduct by the way. Real employee experience is strategic planning and initiative that goes way beyond all of the above. It is more about what you deliver that what you perceive.
  3. Branding: Many organizations like to go above and beyond. But they need to be careful of not overdoing it. For example, I know a few organizations that have hired external agencies to brand their organization’s reputation. On the contrary employee experience is all about the day-to-day experience an employee has with the organization.
  4. Employees are not customers: Although CX does provide a compelling model for employee experience, it is not for duplication, it is just for reference. Your employees are not your customers so don’t treat them like one. An employee has a different relationship and value proposition with the organization.
  5. Employee engagement levels: Employee engagement is the level of commitment an employee shows towards his or her organizations. Most organizations rely on the yearly employee engagement surveys, however, they tend to forget employee engagement is the end goal of the organization while employee experience is the means to reach that end goal.

Who is responsible for employee experience?

This is quite a fascinating question, the answer to this question is pretty simple. Most if not all people in the organization are responsible for employee experience.

Leadership in an organization has a huge impact on the organization’s environment. They are in a position to influence and provide a positive (or negative) environment. Having said that, remember the top level management are just influencers.

What really matters is how other employees in an organization want the workplace environment to be like. When faced with challenging decisions it is up to the employees to respond or to react. How far are they willing to go to fix an issue. In one or the other employees do influence each other.

Thus, if you need to improve the employee experience in your organization you will most likely need to start with the leadership, they lay the stones for building the foundation of employees need to come first.

3 Tips on improving employee experience

  1. Encourage effective communication: Effective communication is a dialogue, not a monologue. Everyone in the organization needs to know how to connect in terms of communication with each other. For communication to be honest the employee needs to feel safe in the workplace atmosphere. They should know their feedback will not backfire. Give them that confidence and see the difference it can bring about.
  2. Employee experience is a feeling: Don’t make the employee experience a process, it is a feeling and sooner the organizations understand this faster they will be able to give their employees the holistic experience I have been talking about. Interaction with employees should be empathetic and truthful.
  3. Educate the managers: I have discussed previously in this article, leadership and management can set the tone for improving the overall employee experience within the organization. If your managers are not able to provide that experience to the employees they need to be educated and not fired. Train your managers, provide them with avenues to improve the experience every day.

Conclusion

If you want your employees to be vocal provide them the right platform if you want a successful business give employees scope to work by giving them the right direction. How you treat your employees will determine how they will treat your business. Its time to evaluate your employee experience and give it a positive push if needed!