3 Steps to Create a Better Employee Experience

3 Steps to Create a Better Employee Experience
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Defining the Employee Experience
The employee experience represents the totality of an employee’s perceptions of their employer — from initial brand perceptions during the recruiting process through to becoming an alumnus.  To create a better employee experience, leaders need to address how employees encounter, feel, and observe multiple employee touchpoints such as:

The Benefits of a Positive Employee Experience
How employees experience their jobs on a day-to-day basis has a direct impact on organizational health and performance.  Recent research by McKinsey found that employees who have positive employee experience were 8 times more likely to stay and 4 times more committed to the company than those with a negative experience.

A vibrant, positive, and aligned employee experience can help to build employee engagement, performance, retention, and advocacy.  Building an engaged and empowered workforce means taking an intentional and proactive approach to how your organization designs its employee experience.  You will know you are on the right track when candidates and employees have an aligned and meaningful sense of expectations about where and why they work.

Smart talent leaders, especially in highly competitive markets for talent, purposefully empower and engage employees through meaningful employee experiences that align with their business and people strategies and with their desired workplace culture.  Because an employees’ experience is in constant flux, effective employee experiences are consistently monitored and improved.

Employee Experience and Engagement
Employee experience and employee engagement are intricately connected.  Companies that consider people as their greatest asset recognize that the employee experience is a major component of employee engagement and retention. And these same companies understand that the strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel toward their places of work impacts the ability to move the company’s strategy forward.

Our employee engagement survey data found that engaged employees drive 8% greater performance, 12% higher customer satisfaction, and 51% less voluntary turnover.

However, in spite of extensive efforts to improve the employee experience, almost half of the employees in a recent Gartner study reported that they were largely dissatisfied. Companies that want to win the war for talent will have to find ways to buck this trend.

Shaping the Employee Experience
Simply investing in the tactics of the employee experience loses effectiveness over time. When something is new, it stands out.  When the novelty wears off, however, its hold on our attention weakens and we move on to something else.

For example, the value of adding a pool table or expanding parental leave not only declines over time, but it can also raise employee expectations for perks that have a declining return on employee experience investment.

Your efforts to shape the experience will have a greater impact if, instead, you focus on improving employees’ feelings. When done the right way, the benefits are real: employees are more likely to stay, to expend greater discretionary effort, and to perform at higher levels.

3 Steps to a More Positive Employee Experience

  1. Find Out What Matters Most
    Too many companies mistakenly implement a one-size-fits all approach when it comes to the employee experience. While initiatives must certainly be able to scale, the best employee experiences are tailored to each individual employee as much as possible.  That means gathering feedback to identify and balance current, future, company-wide, and individual needs.

    Every company and every employee are different.  Find out what employees really want that would enhance their experience of working at your specific company. What are their top priorities?

    — Faster career growth?
    — Better work/life balance?
    — Access to stretch assignments?
    — More opportunities for learning?

    And, if provided, how will they feel about the company and their job day-to-day?

  2. Actively Engage Employees in the Design and Implementation of the Employee Experience
    From our perspective, the best way to create a better employee experience is to actively involve employees in creating and maintaining it. How can employees create their own more positive experience on the job? Give them the context, boundaries, information, and support they need to personalize their experiences.
  3. Reinforce the Positive and Adjust the Employee Experience as You Go
    Manage employee experience perceptions by reinforcing positive memories and reframing any negatives. Consistently monitor and adjust the employee experience based upon employee feedback and ever-shifting strategies and cultural norms. Then share all the steps the organization has taken to improve the work experience in ways that employees value.

The Bottom Line
If you take care of your employees, pay attention to how they want to experience their working day, and put systems in place to help them feel more satisfied with their job and its possibilities, they will take care of your business.

To learn more about how to create a better employee experience, download The Top 6 Forces Driving Employee Engagement and Strategies to Move the Engagement Needle

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