Employee experience (EX) is what your employees encounter, witness, and feel in their tenure in an organization. It impacts everything from your organization to your bottom line. If you are going to neglect this, you might as well do it at your peril. It affects - positively or negatively, depending on what the employees feel - the organization’s employee retention, workplace culture, employee engagement, employee productivity, and employee morale. Good employee experience ensures that the workforce is proactive, aligned with organizational goals, contributes significantly to corporate revenue, stays loyal, and is willing to recommend your organization to their near and dear ones.
One way of understanding E X management is to understand customer experience (CX). If you'd like your customers to have an excellent experience with your company, then the same should be valid for your staff. Employees and customers are equally important.
According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, only 22% of leadership believes their company provides differentiated or excellent employee experience.
EX is critical since it directly affects your HR functions and processes. Below are some key aspects that let you know why it is essential, it helps:
- Improve the feedback mechanism: Every step in the employee life cycle potentially impacts both work culture and employee 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 supporting their employees. Your staff is more than willing to provide feedback if you solicit it.
- Enhance your HR processes: One of the best examples is the employee onboarding process. This is a crucial milestone in the journey of an employee. It is the start of everything they are going to experience in the organization. It is their very first impression of the organization and will influence how they associate with or feel about the organization. This is their first real insight into your company’s workplace culture. This is an opportunity for them to mingle and understand the organizational culture, know the people and experiences that will help them decide whether they want to be a part of the organization or not.
- Develop cross-collaboration: An employee over their tenure with an organization interacts and works with a lot of functions, teams, and colleagues. Every team member and activity contribute to something or the other to that employee experience. It can be good or bad, but it does influence the employee experience. It is cumulative of all these interactions and collaborations. Being mindful of this helps team interaction, team management, and making efforts to improve it.
- Update management team: Leadership of a company has a massive impact on the environment. They influence and help build a positive (or negative) environment. The top-level management are influencers but, even they need to be aware of any issues or grievances to fix or improve. If they have access to relevant data, they can suggest and implement improvements. Thus, if you need to enhance E X management in your organization, you will most likely need to start with the leadership, they lay the stones for building the foundation of employees that need to come first.
Your organization needs to have a holistic approach to enhance employee experience, irrespective of the size of the organization, nature of the business, etc. Let’s look at a few key ways you can improve your staff experience.
- 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, the employees need to feel safe at work. They should know their feedback will not backfire. Ensure them of that and notice the difference it brings about. There needs to be a common channel for all employees to convey their thoughts, grievances, etc. If your organization does not have one, you need to create one and make it accessible to all. Listen to them, act on it, give them the confidence that their feedback is not going unheard. This will provide you with some profound insights into what they are thinking.
- Workforce experience is a feeling: Don’t make the staff experience a rigid process; it needs empathy, and the sooner companies understand this, the sooner they will be able to give their staff the experience I've been speaking about. Interaction with employees should be truthful and empathetic. All employees, junior/senior, payroll/contract, etc. have been through similar stages and experiences, leverage those to make your employee experience more effective, enriching, and memorable.
- Educate the managers: If your managers are not able to provide that experience to the employees, you need to educate them. Train your managers, provide them with avenues to improve the staff experience every day. You may open up a forum where they can interact with employees in groups or one-on-one. This will let them connect with employees directly, make the employees happy, and also give you points and ideas to improve EX.
Here are some additional pointers that you can use to boost your EX positively.
More and more organizations are now realizing the importance and ease of employee experience surveys and adopting them for collecting and analyzing data. Here are some benefits of using staff surveys in your company.
- Ease-of-use: Employee surveys can come in handy in collecting data for EX; the employee feedback is genuine, real-time, and can help in improving your existing workforce experience.
- Analytics: Employee surveys are hassle-free and straightforward to conduct, and the analytics on some of the survey tools are very detailed and helpful. These survey platforms let you create dashboards, share it with other managers, teams, aiding the process of making informed HR decisions.
- Informed decisions: With data from these employee review software, you can make necessary and relevant changes to your existing HR processes and improve EX management.
- Branding: Survey portals can be customized to suit/match your branding colors and themes. This is important and ensures more responses from employees. Also, customizing things at their end gives them the freedom to experiment and keeps them engaged.
Having an employee experience program is a great idea; we believe more organizations should have them. Here are a few things you might want to consider before setting up an employee experience program:
- Build a team: Not only does it make things easier, but it also brings in fresh perspectives from team members. With a group, it becomes easier to coordinate, manage, and implement activities.
- Be receptive:Meet with employees, solicit feedback, listen to their issues, concerns, ideas, and act on them. If you are open to ideas and suggestions, employees will be happy to relay their ideas and grievances. Keep an open mind, that's all you need to do.
- Management buy-in: Before you design and implement a program, you need to make sure that the management team is aware and has bought-in the idea. You need their approval and ideas to make it a success, or it may become a futile exercise.
- Employee surveys: You need to get an employee survey tool and start using it. You can use it for pretty much everything, soliciting program ideas, designing the program, implementation, feedback on the program, etc.
Organizations need to realize and understand that good and effective employee experience is not the responsibility of HR managers alone. An employee interacts and works with several colleagues and functions over their tenure in an organization. They have an equal amount of impact on the employee experience.
Here are some additional ideas and key tips to improve your organization’s employee experience.
You must be wondering why employee experience design is important? An employee goes through a lot of experiences from the time they interview for a role to the time they leave the organization.
These experiences influence their intent to stay, their productivity, engagement, and if they would recommend their friends and family to the organization. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure you have an employee experience design that works for all your employees and ticks all the right/positive boxes in the employees’ list. You need to keep the following things in mind:
- Build a team: Needless to say, everyone is responsible for ensuring a positive EX. You need to involve as many people as you can, especially the managers, HODs, and your executive team. HR can spearhead the activity, but everyone needs to participate.
- Manage goals effectively:Goals management is crucial for all employees alike and managers need to give it the same importance. Managers need to help their team members achieve the set goals, give regular feedback, and set new goals at regular intervals.
- Encourage frequent communication:You need to establish multiple communication channels in your organization, monitor them and respond to inputs you get via them. You need to take appropriate actions based on the feedback, ideas you get from the channels; this encourages employees to voice their opinions.
- Gather feedback: Meet employees, have one-on-ones, conduct surveys to gather regular feedback. This is crucial to understand the happenings in your organization. This is imperative to check if any processes need fixes and make changes wherever necessary.
- Keep it simple: You do not need fancy tools nor fancy programs to ensure good EX. It has to be simple and empathetic and your employees will be happy and committed.
Why don’t you refer to our recent blog ‘Key tips to help you build an effective EX design for your organization’ where we talk about this in great detail.
If you want your employees to be vocal, provide them the right platform. If you want a successful business, give employees the scope to work by giving them the right direction. How you treat your employees will determine how they will treat your business.
It's time to evaluate your staff experience and give it a positive push if needed! Positive employee experience will change the way your employees, prospective employees, and customers see the organization, and that’s a definite step in making your organization a great place to work. One must not forget that great employee experience should and does contribute to your organization’s business. Improving employee experience does translate into improved organizational performance and business revenue.