What is an employee experience strategy?
Employee experience is what it feels like to be in an organization. Therefore, the goal of those entrusted with delivering a differentiated employee experience is to create an optimal work environment so everyone can flourish.
The employee experience, or EX, includes the physical workspace, company culture, and access to technology and resources.
Employee interactions are all touchpoints throughout the course of a typical workday, as well as the relationships that impact those interactions.
According to a recent study by IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and Workhuman, the five key components of the employee experience at work are a sense of belonging, purpose, achievement, happiness, and vigor.
Work-life balance and wellbeing, compensation and benefits, workplace culture and processes, the organization’s mission and values, coworker relationships, and relationships with management are factors that impact or enhance the employee experience.
These are merely a few examples: the term “total employee experience” refers to the full life-cycle of employment, from the employee’s onboarding to exit interview, as well as the employee’s holistic relationship with their employer. Employee experience strategy closely monitors each stage of the employee’s development and optimizes all areas to ensure efficient, real-time internal communications and improve employee outcomes to maximize a positive workplace environment.
There are many advantages to improving the employee experience, and they are all linked to increased employee job satisfaction, which boosts employee productivity and company revenue. They consist of the following:
- A motivated and effective team: Disengaged employees results in negative effects on attendance, productivity, and profitability. Employee engagement, on the other hand, increases productivity and has positive effects on retention rates and workplace safety.
- Lower rates of absenteeism. Employee dissatisfaction increases the likelihood that they will miss work, which has a negative impact on morale, productivity, and finances. Absenteeism is lower among contented employees.
- Improved output quality: According to research from Harvard University psychologist and happiness expert Shawn Achor, happiness levels have a greater impact on job success than intelligence or skill set. A "happy" brain creatively visualizes possibilities and has the imagination for positive outcomes.
- Client relations improve: All aspects of the business, including the customer experience, are impacted by the employee experience. In fact, industry insiders link CX directly to EX. When interacting with customers, contented employees exhibit better moods and emotions and relate to client needs. Additionally, they frequently demonstrate a greater commitment to the mission, which allows them to provide better support.
Elements of a comprehensive and integrated EX strategy
Provide meaningful work
Nobody wants to feel that toil away on work devoid of purpose. Although an employee’s overall experience is holistic, the work itself has a significant impact on how they will feel about their tenure with the organization.
With this in mind, a focus on distinct objectives that should be part of your employee experience strategy. Most employees perform better when they are aware of expectations and how their targets fit into the larger objectives of the company. There is an undeniable sense of satisfaction and success when workers can see how their contributions advance the company as a whole, which can help motivate them even more.
Collaborative environments with supportive management
Workplaces used to be top-down organizations in the past. CEOs and managers would direct their employees with little input, but as we are now seeing, involving team members in decision-making promotes a better working environment. It’s crucial to incorporate group decision-making into your company’s employee experience strategy when developing it.
Group collaboration fosters meaningful connections between leaders and their workforce. Employees are given the freedom to contribute their insightful opinions and innovative ideas during this process, which fosters a sense of pride and trust in the company.
Emphasize real time feedback and recognition.
The overall employee experience includes feedback and recognition in significant measure. Businesses that incorporate feedback at every level foster loyalty and trust among senior leadership, team members, and customers.
Focus on personal well-being
To enhance the working environment for employees, organizations must prioritize a healthy work-life balance for their team members through flexible work schedules, vacation policies, hybrid and remote options, or additional benefits like extended health accounts. Businesses that actively exhibit a commitment to their team’s general wellbeing and work-life balance through perks, benefits, and autonomy to find the work-life balance that is best suited to their individual lifestyle.
Check out our blog to learn how to implement an employee wellness program
Tips to improve your employee experience strategy
- Analyze data as well as team feedback. Take each piece of information into account separately and use it to ascertain which aspects of the employee experience still require the most development.
- Employee journey mapping. Make a map of the typical employee journey for the company, including during hiring, training, or advancement. You can determine the areas where you need to invest or put the most effort in order to improve the employee experience by mapping out the journey of your team members.
- Improve the hiring procedure. Candidates' interactions with the company during the recruitment process can shape their initial opinions of the organization and have an impact on their decision to join the workforce. Check to see if you can improve any aspects of your hiring protocol to enhance candidates' first impressions of your company.
- Create comprehensive onboarding processes. Make sure your onboarding processes set your employees up for success in their new roles. Spend some time analyzing your current onboarding procedure to see if there are any areas that you could improve. Make sure that it provides employees with essential information about both the company as a whole and the responsibilities associated with their new role.
- Make the workplace better. Consider how you could improve the workspaces for your employees or the overall business environment to promote productivity. This could entail cozy furniture, ergonomic tools, or bigger workstations.
- Improve the technology. Upgrade outdated or mediocre equipment that may be causing your staff frustration or to work less efficiently. Analyze the extent to which your current technology infrastructure enables employees to perform their jobs and identify any pain points, friction, or areas for improvement.
- Think about the tactics that other businesses employ. Investigate the steps that organizations take to provide excellent employee experiences. You can get practical and helpful ideas for enhancing your strategy by researching how similar businesses enhance and maximize their employee experience.
Visualizing your employee experience strategy
Employee recognition mechanisms
Employee recognition entails regularly thanking your staff for their efforts, successes, or other aspects of their work performance, and should be part of your strategy. The overall experience of an employee may depend on how valued they feel. You can acknowledge your staff members informally or publicly using tools like an employee message board or a company newsletter.
Consider developing an incentive program that provides benefits like additional PTO or catered meals to employees who perform exceptionally well on the job.
Learn more about how rewards and recognition can improve engagement
Open lines of communication
It is possible to ensure that potential issues are resolved quickly by maintaining open lines of communication with employees, human resources personnel, and supervisors; a vital component of an employee experience strategy. When an employee has a query or a concern, encourage them to get in touch with you, another human resources specialist, or their designated supervisor.
Ensure that employees are aware of the most effective methods for delivering different kinds of information. For employees who have more specific inquiries, you might, for instance, use a different communication channel like email.
Some companies give employees the choice to take part in mentorship programs that pair junior employees with professionals with more experience in the same position or industry. This kind of mentoring program can give more recent hires insights into how to advance their careers or enhance their skill set.
Other organizations favor creating small mentoring groups of three to four individuals from various departments or fields. The main benefits of this kind of mentoring program are that it helps businesses build cross-functional teams and enhances corporate cultures. Regardless of the format you choose, it should be included in your overall employee experience strategy.
Opportunities for career development
Opportunities for career development give workers the chance to develop their skills, acquire useful professional experience, broaden their industry knowledge, or advance their careers. These experiences can often renew industry insights and inspire your team to create new solutions to current challenges. Therefore, incorporating career development into your employee experience strategy is essential.
Team building outings
Team building can include on site simple games or challenges or off-site activities or outings that allow workers to deepen their understanding and forge better work relationships with colleagues. Team building can help employees develop skills they need for daily tasks. It should be part of the employee experience strategy because it fosters collaboration, communication, and a positive work culture, which can improve overall employee experience and engagement.
For instance, if you want your team to stretch their creative approaches to challenges, choose an activity that inspires them to think creatively in a way that they might not naturally do while carrying out their regular duties.
Employees who are departing the company have exit interviews with their managers or supervisors. They give employees the chance to talk about improvements they believe could help the business as a whole.
You might think about sending your current employees to more conventions or developing an internal training program, for instance, if a departing employee mentions opportunities for career development during their exit interview. Exit interviews should be incorporated into the employee experience strategy because they provide valuable insights into the reasons why employees leave an organization.
Compensation packages may help organizations lower their turnover rates and improve the employee experience. Most compensation packages include benefits like paid time off or insurance policies in addition to the salary. Some businesses opt to combine various forms of compensation. For instance, they might combine different types of policies with dental and disability insurance. The topic of compensation should be included in the employee experience strategy because it is a critical factor in job satisfaction and employee retention. Employees who feel fairly compensated for their work are more likely committed to their organization and thus more engaged and motivated.
An employee experience strategy is essential because it helps organizations create a positive and engaging workplace culture. As a result, it can improve job satisfaction, increase employee engagement, and ultimately drive better business outcomes. As we’ve seen, employee experience benefits your entire company, from recruitment to the bottom line. EX helps to connect the dots between the satisfaction of your entire team and increased output and financial success for your company.
When your employees are happy, they put in more effort, stay later, and refer great talent. Harvard Business Review also reports that businesses dedicated to long-term investments in EX are four times more profitable than those that do not, proving that it pays dividends to invest in your people!