When a new employee joins your company, their decision is often based on more than just their pay. Potential candidates evaluate all aspects of the employee experience, from the vibe in the workplace, to leadership styles, to what current employees says about the company.
Learn how internal communications plays a part building an impactful employee experience.
More and more, companies are realizing that employee experience is a key ingredient for positive business outcomes. But first, you really need to understand the elements that define the employee experience.
What Is Employee Experience?
Employee experience is the sum of all of the moments of an employee’s journey with your company, from recruiting through departure. It’s how an employee feels about the company, their manager, the environment, and their colleagues. It is how they feel about the work they do and where they do it. It’s how employees engage with their peers, their managers, and their work. It’s the opportunity for growth.
The employee experience definition is more than just the period of time that someone works at your company. It starts before that person is even hired. As a business leader, make sure to optimize every touchpoint of the employee journey, including:
- Recruiting: Word gets around when people love where they work. A company with a good employee experience attracts more top talent. This is also the first touchpoint a potential worker has with your company.
- Hiring: The process of offering and accepting a job is the second touchpoint of the employee journey. An efficient, easy sign-on can solidify their decision to come aboard.
- Onboarding: The employee onboarding experience is critical in the first few months of the employee journey—the highest percentage of people leave jobs within the first three months of starting.
- Working: As your employees settle into their work routine, their day to day encounters, interactions, and overall feeling about their job will define their experience.
- Growth: As your employee moves through your organization, they’ll acquire new experiences on their collective journey.
- Departure: This is the last touchpoint between employee and company. It often influences the residual feelings an employee has when they leave.
Pro tip: Employees want to work for companies with innovative workplace technology. Use your employee communications app in your recruiting efforts.
Assess Your Employee Experience
We’ve all heard about the great perks at Google that make it one of the most competitive places to land a job. No, it’s not just about the free lunches or on-site yoga (though those definitely help.) It’s about the social-emotional perks, like collaborative workspaces, room for career growth, and autonomy.
Discover how Wireless Vision uses an employee app to enhance the employee experience for their sales associates
It’s important to know what your employee experience is like at your organization. Do your employees like working at your company? If you’re not sure, look at your operational statistics. Here are the warning signs that your employee experience needs work:
- High turnover
- Low productivity, engagement, and business performance
From adopting technology that improves internal communications to redesigning policies for a better work-life balance, there are different areas of the employee journey that you can improve to make sure your employee experience is the best that it can be.
Best Employee Experience Management: Give Workers What They Want
First, you need to understand what today’s employee wants out of a job. There’s a changing of the guard in the workforce—Millennials are 92-million strong in the United States alone, and they are now the majority of the workforce. Generation Z is close behind.
These generations are professionally fluid, and more likely to leave a job than their predecessors. They know what they want in a company and a career, and realize their time is too valuable to waste someplace that doesn’t feel right. They’re changing the employee experience game for the rest of the workforce.
Here are some of the most-desired job perks employees want.
- A better work-life balance
- Meaningful work
- Good communication with managers
- To be recognized, valued, and heard in their company
- Opportunities for growth
Business leaders can give their employees the experience they want (and deserve) by focusing on three areas.
- Culture: A company’s culture is its unique personality, created by the values, beliefs, and behaviors of every person in the organization. Culture sets a tone for work and creates the social and emotional environment for employees.
- Workspace: The physical space where employees work is another critical element of experience. Companies need to create a welcoming, comfortable, and safe area for every employee. This includes both desk-based workers and frontline workers who move around a larger footprint of your facility.
- Technology: A company needs to give employees the most innovative, relevant tools to perform their jobs. Employees today are 450% more likely to leave a job that doesn’t offer the digital tools to support them. And it’s much more than email. In fact, more than three-quarters of companies believe email is not the most effective communication method. Companies are now transitioning to mobile-first workplace apps that can reach non-desk workers as well as desk-based workers equally.
Pro tip: Use a mobile-first digital workplace to include every employee at all levels of the company.
Why Is Employee Experience Important?
People spend on average one-third of their lives at work, which equates to roughly 90,000 hours. To make every single one of those hours as productive as possible, leaders need to make sure employees enjoy being there.
The benefits of happy employees reverberate throughout a company. IBM published a paper entitled “The Financial Impact of a Positive Employee Experience” which found that companies ranked in the top quarter of employee experience see outbound sales numbers that are twice that of companies in the bottom quarter.
Here are a few other reasons why employee experience is important in creating a successful business.
- Great EX is the best recruiting tool. When a company is great to work for, they don’t have to talk about it to attract talent. Their employees do that for them. Glassdoor’s website is filled with employee reviews and is a growing resource for jobseekers before they make an employment decision. Happy workers are brand ambassadors for your company and spread the word, making it easy to attract talent.
- Employees stay longer. Companies with a solid employee experience strategy have higher retention rates than their competitors. Replacing a worker is expensive. It’s a better financial move to invest in experience rather than replacing unhappy employees.
- Customers are happier when employees are happy. When employees are happy, secure, and motivated, they deliver better customer service. Businesses that recognize the direct link between customer experience and employee engagement have higher profits.
- Engaged employees are more inspired to create. Unfulfilled employees simply go through the motions at work. When they’re engaged and invested in their jobs they collaborate more and generate ideas leading to greater innovation and output. A great employee experience shows in your product.
5 Ways to Create a Winning Employee Experience Strategy
Employee experience is an evolving business element. But it always puts employees first in the office equation. Here are the top five ways to create an employee experience that delivers results.
- Strengthen your workplace technology portfolio. From software to computers to tablets, equip employees with digital tools that support the unique roles of every employee persona. At the top of that list should be communications technology. Find a workforce management app that creates two-way, transparent communication in your organization. Employees who have a channel to contribute at work are more engaged.
- Build a diverse team. Statistically speaking, diverse teams have greater rates of innovation, lower turnover, and higher profits. But diversity also contributes to the overall employee experience in a company. People thrive when they work in a team of people different from themselves. Job candidates factor in the diversity of a company before they accept a job. Recruit a diverse team and support their work by including them in communication tools that have translation features so every employee can feel connected.
- Map the employee experience journey. Employee experience journey mapping is a way to identify and optimize every significant moment in an employee’s life cycle. Divide your employees by persona—each team will have different needs to keep them engaged. Find the weak spots in the employee life cycle by using your employee app to send out an employee experience survey, compile data from exit interviews, and review your analytics dashboard to see where you can improve engagement.
- Designate an employee experience specialist on your team. Employee experience is an important part of a company’s business strategy and needs a dedicated manager. Designate an employee experience specialist, like someone from your HR or People Operations team, to keep their finger on the pulse of employee engagement. They can track engagement analytics on the dashboard of the digital workplace, send out surveys to employees, and design data-driven strategies for employees to have a better experience.
- Have great managers. Employees often cite poor communication with their direct manager as a reason for being disengaged at work. Strengthen that bond by creating a strong, engaged team of managers who know how to effectively communicate with their teams. And remember to recruit those managers from within—creating opportunities for growth are the perfect way to improve employee experience.