Employee Experience Matters More Than Ever. Here's How to Elevate It.
Employees are the building blocks that help shape an organization and run it effectively, and more productive when happy and motivated.
Employees are the building blocks that help shape an organization and run it effectively. Naturally, the employees' productivity is directly proportional to the productivity of the organization as it is the employees that essentially make up an organization.
This makes it important for an organization to cater to its employees' different needs and provide them with the experience they deserve. Improved employee experience will lead to improved employee productivity, ultimately helping the organization achieve its innate goals and objectives.
However, the need for a better employee experience is more now than it has ever been. Owing to the changing needs of the employees, it takes a lot more than remunerations and promotions to improve the overall employee experience within an organization.
From the relationship they have with their superiors, and the satisfaction they receive, to the organization's support, employee experience includes a wide spectrum of needs to be taken care of by an organization.
The essential employee needs in 2021
The fundamental needs of an employee have gone through a major shift in the last decade. Employees today have more opportunities and have gotten used to working in the digital space. This makes it important for an organization to cater to its employees' changing needs to improve employee experience and retain talent within the company.
Here are some of the essential needs of employees in 2021:
The need for an ideal work-life balance
Overworking is no longer considered a sign of hard work and an incentive to earn more remuneration. Employees today have different hobbies that they want to pursue and spend leisurely time with their loved ones. One of the most important factors that an employee considers before applying for a job in an organization is the work-life balance provided by the company.
The need to work remotely
Lately, this need has graduated to a necessity for most professionals. Even before the Covid situation, employees had started realizing the possibility of working from home, and organizations were convinced that it would not affect their productivity in any way. Especially in Information Technology, where almost all work is done using digital devices, employees can log in to work from any location and work remotely according to their convenience.
The need to collaborate In a virtual workplace
As employees started working remotely, virtual workplaces' trends started gaining popularity in organizations across the board. These platforms allow employees to collaborate with their colleagues and the senior management while working remotely.
This is because employees need to work in an office-like atmosphere where they can interact with their team in real-time despite working from their homes. The prominence of online collaborative platforms like Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet makes this new employee need evident.
The need for personalized employee support
Whether they are working remotely or out of a physical workplace, employees need seamless support whenever they encounter issues while working. Instead of depending on the traditional service desks that would churn out generic information in the name of employee support, employees today need a faster and more personalized alternative to get their queries resolved. Improved employee support directly leads to improved employee experience.
Why has employee experience become more important over time?
Here are some of the key reasons why organizations need to focus on employee experience now more than they ever had to:
Improved employee experience reduces employee turnover
It can be challenging yet extremely imperative for an organization to retain skilled employees. However, if your valuable employees are unhappy with their experience, they will end up putting in their papers.
If you manage to engage your employees better and provide them with a better experience, you will retain your best talent before choosing to switch companies.
Improved employee experience increases productivity and innovation
When an employee enjoys going to work every day and is genuinely motivated to do their job, they will give their very best to the organization they work for. Employees who are content with their jobs have increased productivity, and contribute to the organization's success and well-being with innovative ideas and strategies.
Better employee experience allows you to attract better talent
Any candidate applying for a job in an organization will ask the current and former employees about working there. If your organization's employee experience is positive, it will make deserving and talented candidates apply for jobs in your company.
This will also lead to positive word-of-mouth publicity about the organization's productive work culture, attracting more deserving candidates to join your team.
Better employee experience leads to better customer experience
If the employees are happy and motivated to work in an organization, it will reflect how they interact with their customers. Especially in client-facing jobs, better employee experience and higher employee engagement will allow your employees to take better care of your customers. On the other hand, disinterested employees would hardly care about your customers' experience, putting you at risk of losing them.
Better employee experience results in higher profits
Employees who are happy with their jobs will focus more on their work and provide valuable inputs, which will boost your company's revenue and profits. Investing in improving the overall employee experience within a company is always advisable since you can always expect impressive returns by doing so.
How to elevate employee experience within your organization?
Looking at the importance of the new and evolved notion of employee experience, organizations need to start adopting best practices to ensure that their employees are engaged and motivated to work.
Here are some of the most important ways in which you can elevate employee experience within your organization:
Make the most of online collaborative platforms
Since the pandemic engulfed the world in 2020, organizations worldwide suffered from reduced demand and lack of resources. As physical workplaces started shutting down, working from home was the only feasible alternative that remained to keep businesses running.
However, as more and more organizations started adopting platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, online collaborative platforms' benefits started surfacing. These platforms have provided employees with a virtual workplace, with seamless collaborative functionality.
If you are willing to improve the engagement of employees within your organization, it is important to utilize these collaborative platforms in the interest of your employees, whether you use them as employee service desks, for conducting workshops and webinars, or simply for sharing documents across the organization.
Provide a great onboarding experience to your employees
The first few months of working for an organization for an employee are always critical. It is the organization's responsibility to onboard new employees in a way that makes them look forward to their journey ahead.
AI-based digital employee service desks enable HR departments to automate the onboarding process, sending personalized emails to new hires, welcoming them to the organization. One should highlight the departmental objectives and the experience they are expected to have while working at the company. If you want your employees' experience to be positive from the start, emphasize the onboarding process.
Conduct stay interviews
While exit interviews provide you with the reasons behind employees leaving your organization, they cannot help you make them stay. On the contrary, stay interviews allow you to understand the issues faced by your employees and work towards retaining them within the organization. Ensure that you communicate with your employees regularly to understand their pain points (if any) and take the initiative to resolve them as effectively as possible.
Automate employee support
Today, employees need to get their queries answered quickly without letting their work become affected.
Replace the traditional service desks with the modern AI help desks that completely automate providing employee support from scratch. These platforms use AI chatbots that interact with your employees and provide them with a personalized solution in a matter of seconds. Also, these virtual assistants make the ticketing system invisible, allowing utmost ease of operation for your employees.
Further, AI employee service desks can be used for allowing your employees to train themselves in specific skills.
Focus on the physical and mental well-being of your employees
It is an organization’s responsibility to look after the physical and mental health of its employees. Invest in wellness plans and programs that ensure the physical fitness and mental well-being of your employees. Conduct workshops on mental health and have your employees interact with therapists to understand their work's implications.
Share customer feedback with your employees
Ultimately, the processes carried out by your employees are affecting the services you provide to your customers. It is, therefore, important to share customer feedback with your employees. While negative feedback will make them understand the areas they need to improve, positive feedback will make them feel confident about their work and instrumental in the organization's success.
The final word
Never take employee experience for granted. Whether you need to improve your internal communication structure, take honest feedback, or resort to automated software platforms, always ensure that the employees working for you are happy and motivated.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor