As cliché as it is, people are at the core of every business. Without them, it would be almost impossible to keep your business up and running. This means that prioritising the employee experience is crucial for any company.
As the often-quoted Dan Pink says “talented people need organisations less than organisations need talented people.”
For years, companies have invested in areas such as employee satisfaction. But the results are disappointing. In fact, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report, only 33 percent of employees said they felt engaged at work.
Instead, companies need to look at the whole journey from beginning to end, not just one aspect if they want to get the best out of their people.
Let’s dive straight in and look at what the employee experience is and how you can improve it in your business.
What exactly is employee experience?
What it’s not, is employee engagement or satisfaction. Also, it is not office perks like having a ping pong table or kombucha on tap.
In reality, it’s more closely comparable with the customer experience. Your time at work is a journey made up of multiple interactions. The ‘experience’ is the sum of all these moments—starting from the moment you first send in your application and ending when you leave.
At its heart, it’s a measure of how an employee feels about working for your company. Underpinning it are three core pillars often referred to as the Employee Experience Equation. These are:
- The culture of your business.
- The physical environment you work in.
- The technology you use.
If any of the above are neglected or start to fail, your employee experience will suffer. So, getting the balance right is imperative for any business who values their workforce and wants to grow.
Why is it essential to your business?
The modern workplace is a far cry from what it was even just a decade ago. The idea of having a job for life is firmly buried in the past. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employee Tenure Report, the average time spent working for a single employer is only 2.8 years for workers aged 25 to 34. The implication of this is two-fold: companies need to spend more money on recruitment, and high turnover is disruptive to staff morale and culture.
Moreover, how we work and what we expect from our jobs is changing too. Gone is the attitude that work is just something you have to do while counting down the days until the weekend. Today’s employees want their experience at work to mirror their consumer experience. As in many ways, they are customers of the institution they work for.
For businesses, the benefits of having a stellar employee experience include higher levels of satisfaction, increased productivity and more loyal employees.
But, don’t take our word for it. Evidence shows there’s a direct correlation between companies that score highly for their employee experience and their yearly revenue growth. A study found that companies that improve their employee-written Glassdoor ratings significantly outperform companies with declining ratings.
Step-by-Step Guide to Optimise your Employee Experience
As already mentioned, today’s employees are less reliant on their employer. So, if you want to excel as a business, you need your employees to want to work for you.
Step 1: Get your onboarding process right
The first day at work is a critical moment in the employee journey. This is your opportunity to make a good impression and set the tone. Research shows that organisations with a clearly prepared onboarding process enjoy a staggering 82 percent higher new employee retention, and a 70 percent increase in productivity.
Even a small change can produce significant results. For example, Google recently introduced a ‘just in time’ checklist for managers to complete, which resulted in a 25 percent improvement in onboarding results.
Here are a few ideas on how you can make your onboarding process better:
- Encourage open dialogue.
- Provide clear policy outlines and training on everything from insurance to benefits.
- Create an induction component focussing on the company culture.
Step 2: Make communication frequent and transparent
Internal communication is the lifeblood of your business and should enjoy the same level of investment as your external messaging. Yet, in a recent Gallup study, over two-thirds of employees said they felt they were missing out on vital company information regularly leaving them feeling disempowered.
By listening to your employees and fostering an open and transparent work environment, you help them feel excited about working for you. As a result, your bottom line benefits too. For instance, when Campbells, the traditional soup company, restructured their business to prioritise the employee experience, they saw an increase of 30 percent in the value of the stock.
Here are our top tips to help you boost your internal communications:
- Develop a communication strategy.
- Identify the right communication mechanisms. Data shows that employees are spending more time using mobile apps than reading emails. For example, by installing a mobile HR platform, your employees can access communications tools 24/7 like on-demand video learning, meeting reminders and real-time two-way communication.
- Make it fun and entertaining.
Step 3: Recognise and Reward
Saying well done can seriously go a long way in supporting employee well-being and engagement. In fact, research shows that an astonishing 79 percent of employees cite a lack of appreciation as the main reason for quitting. Successful businesses know how to show their appreciation for good work. For example, O.C. Tanner, who has twice made it on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, has a recognition programme with reward initiatives, trophies and gift cards.
If you want to foster a culture of recognition to re-engage your employee, try some of these ideas.
- Use social media to share success stories.
- Hold regular in-impromptu shout-outs.
- Have your CEO announce achievements at employee gatherings.
Step 4: Commit to learning and development
Providing training and clear career progression is essential if you want your employees to stay. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report found that 93 percent of employees said they would remain working for a company for longer if it invested in their development.
For instance, thanks to investing $50 million in employee training, the well-known grocery store chain Wegmans, is regularly recognised as a top place to work.
Check out these three tips to make your learning and development programme sing:
- Talk to your employees about their training and development needs.
- Integrate your learning programme into your company culture.
- Help employees see how training activities directly impact on their career trajectory.
Step 5: Refocus your HR function
Thanks to emerging technologies, like automation, analytics and AI, many traditional HR functions can be made more agile and simple. Moreover, HR software is integral to creating a holistic employee experience. By removing routine process-based tasks, HR is free to focus on strategies to support employees to be more engaged and productive.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Use technology to help predict what employees want and need so you can address potential issues early.
- Apply HR software to manage your employee information.
- Access analytics to help create a more nurturing organisation by knowing when and how to interact with employees and offer a personalised experience.
Step 6: Foster a positive culture
Employees want to have meaning in their work. This means showing your employees that you care and value them. For instance, at retail coop REI, employees receive two extra days holiday each year called ‘Yay’ days.
Here are some other ways you can encourage a more positive working culture.
- Provide your employees with the right tools to do their job. This includes desk space, a computer but also the right software, so they’re empowered to deliver on their objectives.
- Connect individual job functions to the organization’s overall purpose and goals.
- Prioritise diversity and inclusion both in your recruitment process and in the working environment.
It’s clear that HR should play a central role in leading the employee experience. Enabled by technology, they are best placed to manage and oversee the employee journey.
Get started on cloud-based HR with JustLogin
JustLogin is a suite of cloud-based HR applications that helps small to mid-sized businesses automate their payroll, leave, attendance, and expense claims. We’ve helped thousands of businesses achieve increased productivity and better employee experience – no matter if they are working from an office, at a restaurant, in a retail shop, at a warehouse facility, or of course, even working from home. Give JustLogin a try today at justlogin.com/free-trial.
For happy HR, bosses and employees, you want a platform that can help your team remain productive and focused, while providing excellent employee experiences that impresses and retains talent. JustLogin is the HR employee experience platform that delivers both through a comprehensive suite of HR applications.