Five Ways To Enhance Your Organization's Employee Experience
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In a social media-driven world, service is everything. That rings true, especially in the hospitality sector. Nowadays, offering impeccable service gets you more than just a few loyal customers. With social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, your business gets likes, followers, positive reviews, and even higher footfall.
The downside, though? The minute your service is anything less than perfect, you might as well file for bankruptcy because consumers aren’t just having it anymore. In a fiercely competitive market like the UAE, we all know that passion for business isn’t enough when it comes to customer service.
Phrases like “the customer is always right” and “listen to your customer” might be pinned up on your business’ bulletin board, but very few employees actually adhere to these basic rules of customer service. While a lot more goes into the formula of success for business ventures, the core will always remain motivated employees. Having an empowered workforce almost always results in satisfied customers, and as such, it's well worth your time to go the extra mile for your business' employees.
According to Glassdoor’s Q3 2015 Employment Confidence survey, nearly four in five (79%) employees would prefer new or additional benefits to a pay increase. From healthcare insurance and pension plans to more vacation days to paid lunches and even gym memberships, at the moment, millennials, which comprise a third of the current workforce, are considering more than just their basic salaries and that mindset is being spread amongst other generations, as well. Companies today need to fight hard to recruit, hire, and retain employees. How do we suggest you do that? Here are a few ideas:
1. Listen to your employees Implement an employee experience program, similar to the one you use with your customers. Listen to your team members by giving them a chance to voice their opinions on their work experience whether in the form of surveys, exit interviews, or company polls. By measuring and analysing data driven from these surveys and taking actionable steps towards enhancing your employee experience, you would soon be able to provide a more personal company culture that encourages growth, prevents burnout, and attracts the right talent.
2. Encourage flexibility Forget about uniforms, working hours, and weekly reports. Focus more on KPIs, results, and output. Flexibility in the workplace allows employees to exhibit individuality, self-expression and increases productivity by removing the pressure of having to “look professional” or seem busy when the boss is around. As we quickly move towards a digital future, telecommuting could be a great asset to your business if applied correctly. Instead of having to let go of well-experienced, retired seniors or exquisite talents who are looking to relocate, working remotely can help you retain your most valuable assets.
3. Promote work-life balance Stress in the workplace is inevitable, especially in the UAE. Luckily, reducing it can be easy and affordable. Discounted gym memberships and barter deals, monthly yoga workshops on-site, hourly 10-minute breaks, or even a healthy canteen can make all the difference. Investing in your employees’ welfare not only increases their productivity but also their efficiency and decreases their chances of taking sick days.
4. Teach don’t preach Everyone wants to learn, grow, and better themselves. The job market in the UAE is ferocious and if you’re not on your toes with world trends, you’ll soon be replaced by someone who is. Offer your employees career guidance, mentorship programs, tuition stipends, and unlimited access to company learning resources. Investing in your employees’ development will push you and them towards success. Keeping your employees engaged by constantly shaking things up prevents burnout and allows for employee growth, retention, and satisfaction.
5. Support their families Never underestimate the power of paid parental leave or a child care facility on-site. Young companies like Facebook, Netflix and Spotify support employee welfare and their families by providing $4000 of “baby cash” for newborns, one-year paid parental leaves, flexible work options for new parents, Spotify even covers costs for egg freezing and fertility assistance. Grand gestures like these create an empathetic, loyal workforce that is emotionally invested in the job and takes the company’s values seriously.
To some employers, these things might seem trivial or too expensive or even unnecessary, but on the long haul, the benefits they reap are far greater than their initial cost. In competitive job markets like the UAE, a little appreciation really does go a long way.