We shared in an earlier article that the employee experience is as follows: “The employee experience is the journey an employee takes with your organization.” It starts as early as attracting employees to the organization and follows the employee through their departure. It likely goes without saying that the better the employee experience, the higher an organization performs!
People and Engagement teams are putting a laser focus on the employee experience because of this direct impact on organizational success. Understandably, employees want to have a positive experience at work given the amount of time spent in the work environment. Organizations who invest in this experience will not only garner loyalty but build an employment brand that will attract employees to the organizations and – most importantly – retain them once they join.
Consider these five opportunities for improving your organization’s employee experience.
1. Invest Time in Understanding the Employee Journey
The employee experience is dependent on understanding what their journey is within your organization. Consider the different points of impact and engagement an employee experiences. Gallup describes a typical journey as:
Are all of these points of engagement operating with maximum effectiveness? Your organization might conduct an employee survey to understand where employees feel well-supported on this journey, and where they’d like to see improvement. Understanding where your gaps are can help you determine where to invest the most time and resources.
2. Request and ACT on Feedback!
Assuming your organization does choose to conduct a survey, it’s critical that survey feedback is reviewed, discussed, and acted upon. There is no easier way to disengage a workforce than to conduct a survey, only to continue on with the status quo. Understand where the pain points are, put together committees to discuss opportunities to improve and communicate how you’re using the survey data to make changes. Your actions will let your employees know you are listening!
3. Invest in Onboarding
Perhaps one of the most defining moments in shaping the employee experience is that of onboarding. Companies who invest in onboarding by ensuring their employees are provided the tools and resources they need to succeed, that they understand their role and broader purpose in the organization, and that they are properly introduced to those with whom they’ll interact will feel a sense of belonging and support from the get-go. Alternatively, employees who are left to their own devices with no dedicated onboarding plan are set up to feel disconnected, disengaged, and confused. Consider our tips for Creating a Successful Onboarding Experience for more ideas!
4. Define and Live Company Values
Many companies have values. Yet, too many of these companies simply allow them to exist as posters on a wall or mantras shared in company meetings. What does it mean to truly live into a company’s values? It means that the values are not only clearly defined, but that are incorporated into the company culture. Leadership and employees alike are held to the standards the values define. Values are screened for during the hiring process. They influence every aspect of decision-making at the leadership level. Employees can feel it when values are a part of the work-life – and they certainly notice when they’re spoken but not lived.
5. Offer Growth Opportunities
One of the most common reasons employees will give when leaving an organization is that they had “nowhere to go”. In other words, their career growth was stalled and they had limited opportunities for advancement both developmentally and financially. Research has found that “only 43% of employees feel that their employers offer good opportunities for growth and development.” Growth can mean many different things and doesn’t always have to mean upward mobility. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to work in a similar role in a different area, receive on-the-job training, or receive compensation opportunities recognizing good work and not just more responsibility. Companies may need to get creative, but growth will need to be a part of the culture to positively impact the employee experience.
The importance of the employee experience will be discussed for years to come. Organizations that choose to improve the lives of their employees deliberately and thoughtfully will undoubtedly reap the benefits of that work. It’s a true win-win – get started today!