The term “employee experience” has a broad meaning, as it encompasses all the interactions an employee has with an employer.
It is also one of the most valuable investments that managers can make in their workplace.
A strong employee experience strategy, like any other business initiative, is designed to improve an organisation’s overall performance. It influences how someone feels about the company they work for through their tenure and how they speak about it – and recommend it, or not – to others after they leave. And they really influence the bottom line.
1. Deliver excellent internal communication
The key to improving relationships with your employees is the same as in any other relationship – communication.
Good employee communication boosts employee morale, productivity, and satisfaction. Communication is also key for better team collaboration and cooperation. Promoting trust, it enables employees to stay connected to their workplace, understand their organisation’s purpose and strategy, identify its values, and develop a sense of belonging by understanding how they contribute to its wider purpose.
Most HR leaders and business professionals agree that communication is important, but they ultimately spend more time communicating with the media, with stakeholders and with their target audience than with their own employees.
There are many ways to promote communication with your team including:
– organising open team meetings: here team members can discuss various topics, share updates, and collaborate openly.
– setting up regular one-on-ones: this entails having private, focused conversations with team members to provide individual support, feedback, and guidance.
– listening to your team: this includes actively paying attention to their ideas, concerns, and feedback, fostering open communication.
– encouraging feedback: creating an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, opinions, and suggestions without fear of reprisal.
– being appreciative: this means recognising and expressing gratitude for the hard work, contributions, and achievements of your team members.
2. Provide Meaningful Work
According to a study by Deloitte, the ideal organisation will provide its employees with meaningful work by:
– Encouraging autonomy: empower your employees by allowing them to shape their work environment in ways that help them perform at their best. Hire autonomous people, don’t overreact when mistakes are made and give your employees the tools they need to reach their goals.
– Creating small, independent teams: be open to new ideas, recognise and encourage your employees regularly, and give team members the authority to make decisions. If you’re afraid to give employees that kind of authority, consider giving them the training they need to make wise business decisions autonomously.
3. Develop Supportive Managers
Great managers make employees feel supported during day-to-day operations. They set clear and transparent goals for their team and for the organisation so that no one is left in the dark when big-picture decisions are made.
They demonstrate exceptional leadership by establishing unequivocal and transparent objectives not only for their team but also for the entire organisation, ensuring that no one remains uninformed or uncertain when pivotal decisions that impact the broader strategic direction of the company are formulated.
They also provide coaching for employees by offering frequent feedback, encouraging employees to learn from others, and asking them how they can help them achieve their goals.
However, great managers are made, not born. Without investing in manager development, your organisation may find itself lacking the leadership it needs to improve the employee experience.
4. Create a Positive Work Environment
A positive work environment is the result of a combination of factors such as flexibility, inclusivity, diversity.
A flexible work environment allows employees to work in their preferred environment at their preferred hours. Allowing job flexibility has been proven to increase productivity, health and job satisfaction while decreasing stress, costs, and absenteeism.
Flexibility goes hand in hand with diversity and inclusivity. It allows everyone, whatever their age, gender, family status or personal background to find their place and feel welcome and recognised.
Providing unconscious-bias training to all managers and taking measures to mitigate hostile interactions in the workplace are equally beneficial steps.
Finally, developing a culture of recognition is a great way to make employees feel valued while motivating others to achieve similar success. Creating peer-to-peer awards, asking employees to write featured blog posts on the organisation’s website or even sharing their success on corporate social media channels, are excellent ways to showcase employees’ accomplishments and to value them internally at the same time.
5. Offer Growth Opportunities
Most engagement research shows that learning opportunities, professional development, and career progression are among the top drivers of employee satisfaction.
Also, findings suggest that high-performing employees will only remain in jobs that challenge them and provide meaning.
There are many kinds of growth opportunities you can offer employees to improve their experience with your organisation, including:
– Mentoring: this involves partnering with a more experienced colleague or mentor who can provide guidance, advice, and support in your professional growth.
– Leadership development programs: these are structured initiatives aimed at enhancing leadership skills, decision-making, and management abilities.
– Regular training: this involves attending workshops, seminars, or courses to acquire new skills, update existing ones, or stay current with industry trends.
– Career development services: these encompass resources provided by employers to help employees plan and achieve their career goals.
– Tuition reimbursement: this is a benefit where an employer covers or partially covers the cost of an employee’s education or professional development.
– Continuing education courses: these are additional educational opportunities, often in the form of workshops or short-term classes, that help employees stay up-to-date in their field.
Good employees are your greatest investment, and they’re hard to find. When you’ve battled to attract and hire quality people, you don’t want to lose them. Employee churn eats into your HR team’s time and also your business’s bottom line.
Investing in positive employee experience is crucial to creating an engaged workforce who wants to stay with you, and it’s an effective way of reducing staff turnover.