Organisations that intend to attract, develop, and retain competent and reliable employees need to come up with a good employee experience strategy. Work is no longer considered to be merely a desk-bound, 9 to 5 job that provides an earning. People want to take on a meaningful role that aligns with their beliefs and values.
Highly engaged employees, in turn, create a better customer experience, helping drive positive business outcomes.
All in all, organisations need to pull out the stops for their top talent at every stage of their interaction together.
What is Employee Experience
It is the journey that employees take over the duration of their tenure at an organisation. It involves three distinct aspects, namely the cultural environment, the technological environment, and the physical environment.
The cultural environment pertains to the organizational structure and the benefits and compensation that employees receive. It also includes employee sentiment and how they feel when they are inside the organisation as this determines their emotional well-being at work.
The technological environment relates to the tools and devices that employees need to complete the tasks assigned to them. This can include desktop computers, mobile phones, and the user interface.
The physical environment refers to anything that can be touched, seen, tasted, or heard at the organisation such as chairs, desks, snacks, tea, and artworks. The physical environment is particularly important and it should contribute to the well-being of the employees as they typically spend a great deal of time inside the organisation.
Why Does It Matter
According to a worldwide survey conducted by Deloitte in 2017, 80% of executives rated employee experience as very important or important. However, 59% of the respondents claimed they were not ready or only somewhat ready to tackle the challenges associated with the experience of employees. This means that, while organisations realise the value of implementing a positive and engaging employee experience, they haven’t quite yet uncovered how to bring all the elements together.
Ultimately, an enjoyable working experience is crucial as it leads to longer retention time, enhanced productivity, and job satisfaction.
Longer Retention Time
When an employee leaves an organisation, there is a loss in productivity. Other team members’ work is also affected, and the organisation needs to spend money on:
- re-advertising the job
- recruitment budget
- candidate interview and testing
Employees who experience a lack of belonging from an early stage are three times more likely to leave the organisation within six months of their tenure.
An engaged workforce is a productive workforce. Statistics show that organisations which have a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity. In this case, experience has a direct correlation with engagement, as happy employees have greater job satisfaction and are more likely to put extra effort into their work performance.
Job satisfaction is an important aspect of the working experience of the employee. A recent survey conducted by SHRM has revealed that the major cause of job satisfaction is respect. This criterion is more important to women, with 72% of women claiming that respect is essential to job satisfaction. On the other hand, 65% of men claimed that respect contributes to job satisfaction.
The major milestones contributing to the employee experience include the following:
Part of the experience starts before joining an organisation. An application process which gives a good impression needs to have the following criteria:
- it needs to be easy to understand – a hassle-free application
- it should make the interaction between the job seeker and the organisation easy
- it needs to have a mobile-friendly interface
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are being used in the interview process to assess a candidate’s soft skills from their voice or language. Video interviews are also being used when the candidate lives in a different part of the world. Candidates can receive an excellent experience during the interview process when the right tools are used.
An offer which attracts a potential employee can have the following criteria:
- good salary
- adequate leave for vacation and sickness
- medical insurance plans
- pension contributions
- company benefits such as laptops, phones or cars
- additional benefits such as daycare, travel allowances, and gym membership
Induction and Onboarding
A new job is often accompanied by fear and uncertainty. Induction is meant to enable new employees to get up and running smoothly and it can determine employees’ tenure within the organisation.
New employees must be made to feel welcome. They can be assigned a buddy who can help them understand their work better and allow them to communicate easily with other people in the organisation.
Actively Engaging With The Workforce
When an employee is a contributing member of the workforce, their experience is shaped by their manager, the company culture, their connection with the ‘mission’, and whether or not they can advance in their career.
When these factors align, the workforce is engaged and motivated to achieve business outcomes.
Becoming Part Of The Alumni
No matter how great an organisation is, most employees tend to leave at some point. When this happens, it is crucial for organisations to stay connected with their top talent. In the digital age, their reviews are key to attracting new employees. Alumni can also be a valuable source of industry connections, go onto become customers, and even provide candidate referrals.
Taking A Holistic Approach To The Experience
In conclusion, a holistic approach is crucial to ensure a good employee experience. This experience starts at the application stage when potential employees interact with the organisation via the job portal and continues even after they leave the organisation and become alumni. It matters because, not only can it be a lengthy and costly process to replace employees who have a poor experience, but also engaged and happy employees perform better for the organisation.