The Great Resignation is Not Over. Employers Should Make Employee Experience a Top Priority Right Now, And Here Are 5 Ways To Do It.
As positive employee experience further demonstrates greater business success, perhaps the most pertinent question business leaders should be asking right now is: How can they ensure an exceptional employee experience for positive growth?
Employee experience is critical to business success. While countless companies have prioritized focusing on customer experience, many companies finally realize they can't thrive without prioritizing employee experience. Wise companies know that you cannot separate employee and customer experience. Together, they make up the "total experience" or TX, a strategy that recognizes the importance of intertwining the employee and customer experience for positive growth (but more on this later).
Years of research indicate that happy, engaged and empowered employees are more valuable than their unhappy counterparts. Moreover, the heaviest investors in employee experience are listed 28 times more often in collections of the world's most innovative companies. Not to mention, they are five times more likely to appear in lists of the "Best Places to Work."
Most importantly, a good employee experience leads to better business results. Overall, companies with higher employee engagement are 22% more profitable. Moreover, companies with high employee engagement also scored 21% higher in productivity.
With positive employee experience leading to greater business success, a question all employers should be asking right now is: How can business leaders ensure exceptional employee experience?
Why employee experience is particularly crucial today
Currently, demand for favorable employee experience is higher than ever. In a post-pandemic landscape, we're experiencing the age of the "Great Resignation," which has seen a mass exodus of employees abandoning their old jobs in search of new opportunities. Among the reasons why employees set their sights on new opportunities is that they're seeking more respect and empathy in the workplace.
The rise of remote work has created a lucrative market for employees to find roles in companies all over the world, in addition to the growing freelance and gig economies. Currently, employers are offering higher wages to attract new employees, which means less budget is available for existing workers.
To establish a better employee experience throughout the company, business leaders must take a holistic approach to devise a strategy geared for success.
How management teams can influence employee experience
Management teams are at the heart of any strategy for better employee experience. They're responsible for implementing campaigns for every step of the employee journey, from hiring and onboarding to retention and development.
While there's no one-size-fits-all solution for ensuring exceptional employee experience, there are some steps that can lead you in the right direction.
1. Do a "pulse check" on your employees
Managers must first recognize that employee experience is no longer an off-the-shelf concept. We're living in a world where various employee "personas" are beginning to arise. Some team members work best in a social and collaborative environment, such as a traditional office, while others perform more effectively at home, with greater levels of independence.
Mapping the journeys of individual groups or "segments" of employees on your team and creating a business environment that's flexible and adaptable to their needs is crucial. You may need to implement new work modes for different team members, such as hybrid, remote or other flexible working accommodations.
A good way to gain a deeper understanding of your team's needs is to collect feedback. Surveys, one-on-one interviews, and even anonymous comments from team members can provide a deeper overview of the employee experience, from work processes to company culture.
2. Know your goals for "TX"
Let's return to this idea — or rather, strategy — called Total Experience, or "TX." The concept, championed by Gartner, is arguably the most important focus area for any business geared towards success. This idea revolves around the fact that companies need to balance their strategy on what's good for business, the employee, and the customer, taking all experiences into account.
A good way to start the Total Experience journey is to look at your company's values, mission and vision. What are you trying to achieve as a company, and are your employees and customers excited about it? Think about how everything management does influences the "experience" of your company.
For instance, you could look at how a good user experience with your self-service tools and help desks benefits both customers and employees at the same time. In addition, consider how employee experience influences customer experience. By giving employees more incentives and motivation, the level of customer service, and the overall customer experience, will be enhanced too.
3. Leverage HR teams and HR software
To track and optimize employee experience, companies should consider investing in dedicated professionals and tools. An HR team composed of specialists who can pinpoint trends in employee engagement levels, support teams in onboarding and hiring processes, and deliver regular training is a must-have for businesses looking to retain valued employees. Nearly 33% of global hires look for new jobs within six months of starting a new position simply because the onboarding experience isn't up to scratch.
HR Teams must also be responsible for conducting stay and exit interviews, which provide deeper insights into your employees' experiences and the factors that drive them to stay or leave. A strong HR team will also assist in finding the best development and training programs for your teams.
Remember, while specialist teams are helpful, they'll also need access to the right HR tools. Technology solutions that automatically collect data about employee engagement and performance enable HR teams to discover insights about your organization and make data-driven decisions to optimize employee retention and prevent potential roadblocks.
4. Communicate regularly
Managers need a consistent line of communication with their workforce to ensure exceptional employee experience. Just like in any relationship, communication lays the groundwork for better understandings among staff members and facilitates meaningful changes to workplace culture.
In any work environment, it's important to ensure your employees have smooth channels of communication with their management team and the ability to provide feedback in an efficient and meaningful way. This might mean investing more in collaboration tools, video conferencing software, and messaging apps in a hybrid or remote working situation.
Many tools designed for collaboration, whether for video conferencing or task management, come with specialist apps to help collect employee feedback. You even have the option to make anonymous chat forums, so your employees feel more comfortable sharing their true thoughts and feelings. And remember, collecting feedback isn't enough — you'll also need to act on what you learn.
5. Train management
Managers in the modern work world are dealing with increasingly complex environments, sometimes even with workforces distributed across numerous global locations. As such, they might benefit from additional training to ensure they're instilling the correct levels of motivation and guidance to all employees regardless of their physical location.
Providing extra training for supervisors and managers dealing with remote and hybrid employee environments can ensure they know how to tackle the most common challenges emerging today. There are various management-focused training options that provide mentoring and offer tips on how to enhance leadership skills and connect more meaningfully with subordinates.
Investing in manager development is just as important as investing in training for your employees. The more you enable and empower your leadership professionals, the more they can use their skills to enhance your entire workforce.
Employee experience is key
Companies with high levels of positive employee experience deliver services more efficiently and leave customers feeling happy and more likely to return. The memorable experiences felt not only by customers but also by employees will provide a major boost to your company's long-term success. Not only will your employees be more likely to stick with your organization and perform more productively, but they'll drive better business results, too.
Any business leader hoping to stay ahead of the competition today needs to ensure they're enabling their management staff to foster positive employee experiences.
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