Understanding the Importance of the Employee Experience
Many people think that managing the employee experience is solely the responsibility of HR. In reality, the employee experience is the responsibility of everyone in the organization—from the frontline manager to the CEO. It’s the sum of every aspect of the employee’s interaction with your company, from the application process to the exit interview. A negative employee experience not only leads to unsatisfied employees, but is also the breeding ground for bad business practices and less-than-stellar results.
A positive employee experience happens when employees feel valued, which positively reflects in their work and, ultimately, contributes to the bottom line of the business. Every connection that an employee has with your organization is an opportunity to build trust, establish clear expectations, and communicate honestly.
Find ways to engage with your employees.
There are thousands of opportunities to impact an employee’s experience within your organization. Several ideas include:
- Make new hires feel welcome on their first day
- Establish clarity about job functions and how they impact organizational results
- Communicate performance expectations
- Offer professional development opportunities
- Prioritize career development and growth
- Recognize employees for their contributions and commitment
- Create an organizational culture that supports your mission, values, and vision
- Establish trust through meaningful relationships with peers, managers, and leaders
Pay attention to your workplace environment.
The work environment needs to be conducive to the type of work your employees perform each day. Some employees thrive in creative circles; others need peace and quiet to analyze data or draft documents.
Google popularized the concept of the “open office,” which maximizes space by removing walls and cubicles. But there’s been some backlash against this trend. A 2013 study found that many employees in open offices are frustrated by the frequent distractions. Nearly half of the people surveyed said the lack of sound privacy was a significant problem, and more than 30% complained about the lack of visual privacy.
Companies need to balance the desire to create a collaborative environment and the specific needs of each employee function. Creating an inviting, comfortable, and adaptable workplace environment is a critical part of the employee experience
Technology should support your company culture.
In our day-to-day tasks, we all rely on technology platforms to streamline processes and improve communication. A positive employee experience relies heavily on having the right tools and technology that are required to do the job.
There are several tools that can help:
- Collaboration tools to help employees work smarter, harder, and faster through real-time communication and sharing of information, regardless of their location.
- Recognition software that puts the ability to recognize and reward employees for outstanding efforts at everyone’s fingertips.
- Learning management systems that enable organizations to provide coaching, training and development opportunities to enhance employees’ knowledge and skills on the job and as professionals.
Research again bears this out. One study found that implementations or updates of new technology at work resulted in an increase of 23% of the employees feeling more committed, 20% believing that they could handle multiple responsibilities at a time, and 19% feeling there were improved opportunities for them at their employer. In addition, technology helps employees complete their tasks and improves other areas of the employee experience such as professional development, recognition and improved role clarity. All of this positively impacts employee engagement levels.
The demands on the CEO are numerous and focus rightly needs to be on monitoring business performance and driving results. It might be easy to ignore the discussion about employee experience or employee engagement, but it turns out that those topics may be more correlated to results than you think. It makes sense that the people who work for your organization, who interact with your customers, and who deliver results will work harder when they have a positive employee experience. It might be time to make the investment in their experience to drive those desired results.