What is employee experience and how does it affect business performance?
Remember a few years ago, when each company was following the customer-centric approach? Times have now changed, and instead of a customer-obsessed approach, companies are now adopting the “employee-obsessed” approach. Each organization has recognized the importance of employee experience, and its positive impact on the business outcome. It has become a common subject that everyone is discussing. First, you need to understand that employee experience means the collection of experiences an employee goes through during his work period.
In today’s digital age, each employee expects an enjoyable, engaging, and productive work experience. Rather than focusing only on employee culture and engagement, companies now have an integrated focus on the whole employee experience. The elements that create a positive employee experience are diversity, a safe & comfortable workplace, transparency, technology, inclusive culture, and good communication.
You need to understand the importance of employee experience, and its positive effects on the business. When employees are happy and satisfied, they work even harder. A poor employee experience leads to low retention rates and high absenteeism. Read the following blog to learn everything about the employee experience and how you can improve upon it.
Employee Engagement Vs Employee Experience
Employee experience and employee engagement have a symbolic relationship. But there are some notable differences between these terms.
Employee experience is the entire journey of employees with the organization, starting from the time they were approached by the recruiter to their exit interview. From that point, each experience of employees at different stages of their workplace lifecycle accumulates to shape their overall experience. At the same time, employee engagement is the approach of the workplace toward its employees. It is not an event; it is a psychological state built by the environment and culture at the workplace. Studies have shown a direct correlation between employee experience and employee engagement. By improving employees’ experience at your workplace, you can achieve more engaged employees. To put it simply, engagement is the result of a positive employee experience.
What are the key elements of employee experience?
Some components mainly affect the employee experience. Managers need to focus on these core components to attract the top performers and keep them. A productive employee experience will only come when companies start to focus on these key elements. Some key factors that highly impact the employee experience are stated below.
• Team interactions
One of the most common factors that affect an employee’s experience in the workplace is team interactions. Team dynamics have an important role in the work-life of an employee. Positive team dynamics offer an environment of trust. It makes all the members of the team bond well. This makes employees motivated, which results in increased productivity.
• Workplace technology
With the internet becoming the prime factor, providing a touch of technology is important for employees to work in a particular workplace. The business world has completely changed with the advancement in technology. Communicating with your team has become easier than ever with technology. If your company doesn’t have enough tools for your employees, they will automatically contribute less.
• Employee journey
Many stages are included in the employee journey, and HR professionals need to ensure all these levels are hassle-free. For example, a long interview process is always a drawback. Try to design a short interview procedure including only necessary rounds. Opt for virtual interview software to simplify the hiring procedure. After getting onboarded, introduce the employee to every team in the company. HR leaders and managers highly impact the journey of an employee.
• Relationship with the manager
No other relationship affects the employee’s experience as much as one with the manager. According to a study by Gallup, 70% of employee engagement depends upon the manager. Therefore, it is the manager’s responsibility to interact with the team frequently to keep them motivated. Great managers can be coaches or mentors, inspiring them to deliver more productive work. If any employee is struggling at the workplace, it is the manager who should be paying attention to improve upon it..
• Company’s culture
Company culture is another important key factor that highly impacts the employee experience. It connects everyone in the organization together. It is imperative to create an exceptional company culture for a great employee experience. It affects not only employees’ performance but also the level of their engagement. Employee satisfaction is deeply connected with the company’s culture.
Benefits of rich employee experience
With the evolving work culture, employees now want to have purposeful work. They don’t want to join any organization just for the sake of money. They look for a meaningful employee experience. Strengthening the employee experience has countless benefits that lead to higher profits. If employees are happy at their workplace, they invest more of their efforts in their work. Some benefits associated with the positive employee experience are stated below.
1. Enhanced quality of work
More than any skill set, happiness levels influence the success of a job. A good employee experience makes employees more devoted to their work. It results in better productivity. Employees with a happy mindset find different ways to perform their work in a better way.
2. Improved customer experience
Many experts said that customer experience is the direct outcome of employee experience. As EX affects all areas of business, customer experience is not an exception. Satisfied employees are more proactive and innovative. They do their best to ensure an incredible customer experience. They reflect better emotions and moods while interacting with the customer. If they are happy working in your company, they will listen to customers’ complaints patiently, giving them the support they need.
3. Lower turnover and absenteeism rates
Everyone wants to avoid high turnover rates in their business, and a great employee experience ensures that. Higher turnover rates simply mean a negative impact on customer service. Unhappy or unsatisfied employees are likely to be absent or leave the company. It highly impacts the brand image.
To avoid this, you need to get the best talent in your company. Attract the candidates with the requisite skills, and make them feel the work they are doing is rewarding. With an empathetic culture, workers gain a sense of loyalty toward the company.
4. Better business outcome
In an environment where employee engagement is appreciated, employees feel they are important to the organization. It ultimately leads to excellent business outcomes. The more a company invests in employees, the more they will give in return. If they are satisfied at their workplace, they will give more ideas to managers to improve the company’s performance. If they are not encouraged, they start believing no one will listen to them. Disengaged employees simply focus on passing their day instead of giving any input.
5. Attract top talents
Before any candidate applies to your company, they most likely go through different platforms to research about it. They can even reach out to current or former employees to know everything about the organization. They try to find out how the work culture is and how the organization treats its employees. The top performers will only join your company if it ensures a great employee experience. Attracting and retaining higher-quality candidates is easier with a positive EX.
6. Great peer relationships
Workplace loneliness is a great risk to the employees as well as to the company. A lack of relationships with the team leads to an unhappy environment in the organization. If an organization encourages employee experience, then this problem can be resolved easily.
The family of an employee is their co-workers. So having a satisfying relationship with each employee in your company is essential. Rich employee experience fosters stronger peer relationships. With great relations with co-workers, an employee feels easier to fit into the social network. Having a friend at the workplace makes everyone motivated and happy.
7. Tips to improve the employee experience
Now, you must have discovered the need for a positive employee experience. By focusing on employee experience, leaders can empower teams, improve employee engagement, and create helpful workforce solutions. To design a great experience for employees, HR professionals are required to embrace flexibility. They can use different strategies to improve the employee experience. The following tips will help HR leaders to create an ideal workplace for each employee.
• Simple application process
To start, HR professionals should design a simple and easy application process. Employee experience starts even before joining the organization. Have a hassle-free interview process, and interact with the candidate regarding all the required skills for the job role. An Easy to understand interview process will keep you in the candidate’s good books.
• Great work environment
One of the primary things to improve the employee experience is a positive work environment. Employees spend 8 to 9 hours a day in the workplace, and therefore, it must be enriching and comfortable. Provide them with a clean and comfortable workstation. It motivates them to perform better.
• Conduct employee feedback and surveys
Make sure to conduct employee surveys regularly. It will help you to focus on areas that need improvement. Surveys show employees that you really care about their opinions. Some surveys that can be conducted are-
- Onboarding surveys
- Training feedback surveys
- Pulse surveys
- 360-degree feedback surveys
• Focus on communication
One of the most important and the easiest ways to improve the employee experience is strengthening communication. Having clear communication with everyone reduces the chances of conflicts. They feel happy in a positive environment and give more than their 100%.
• Organize team-building activities
Organizing team-building activities is another way to enhance employee experience. Conduct ice-breaking sessions or some outdoor fun activities to reduce the stress level of employees. These can improve relationships between leaders and encourages teamwork. HR professionals can adopt virtual team-building activities if their employees are working remotely.
Wrapping it up
A good employee experience is beyond performance management and KPIs. It is not about profit and productivity. It is all about employees. If a company supports the employee experience concept, then it can successfully create a work environment where employees will contribute their best. It makes employees happy, and they don’t feel pressurized working in a particular company.