7 Key Ingredients To Deliver Exceptional Employee Experience
It is true that the ongoing pandemic is constantly redefining how organizations function, people work; thus, employees' expectations, needs, and preferences constantly evolve. As we begin the journey of 2022, employers across the globe look forward to delivering better service to their employees through continuous improvement. With the emergence of the Omicron variant and the Great Resignation, employee experience is becoming increasingly critical. Since businesses depend heavily on their employees for success, it is crucial to maximize employees' potential; they need to be happy and motivated.
An international survey of employers conducted by Willis Towers Watson in 2021 revealed that more than 92% of them believe that enhancing employee experiences will be a priority for their organizations over the next three years. Moreover, the Great Resignation is also leading organizations to recognize the importance of an excellent employee experience to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse hybrid workforce.
This article will discuss what an employee experience is, what makes an employee experience more critical in 2022 and its key components to deliver an exceptional employee experience.
What is employee experience?
Employee experience can be defined as what employees perceive about their journey -from the time of employment through the time of leaving a company. Employee experience is often influenced by a company's physical space, culture, and technology.
In the employee life cycle, there are four key stages that describe how an employee's experience is shaped:
Hiring is the first step to introducing your company culture and establishing trust with potential employees. A smooth hiring process will determine how your employees feel about your business.
An effective onboarding process is essential to retaining and welcoming new employees. An employee's tenure at your company is determined by how they want to be perceived and how they want to work within the company. In order to successfully onboard your new hire, you must plan and consider their viewpoint.
A new hire's career begins with you and ends when they leave. This process begins when you begin the hiring process and ends when your new employee has been fully settled into their new position. If onboarding goes smoothly, the experience will be more pleasant for everyone involved.
- Training and Retention
A training program can help an organization increase employee retention and reduce turnover. When employees undergo training, they feel that the organization is interested in them and wants them to advance their careers.
Offboarding is the formal process by which an employee separates from the people and the organization. Every organization prioritizes employee experience, so we design an onboarding process that is effective and seamless. Employee onboarding gives them their first impression of the organization and helps them succeed in their roles. However, offboarding leaves the organization's last impression on the employee and prepares them for success following the exit.
Why does employee experience matter more in 2022?
Employee experience is not something that can be built overnight. Having a positive employee experience may help companies retain their employees for a longer period. Happy employees produce their best work than distant and uninterested employees. There are many advantages to employee experience beyond retention, such as empowerment, wellbeing, productivity, culture, change management, and relationships with coworkers etc. As a result of Covid-19, remote and hybrid working, global businesses have changed the way we worked and how we communicate with others.
Thus, today, organizations need to adopt a new approach to the employee experience in line with how their work evolves.
Now that you have gained insight into employee experience and its relevance, let's learn about the factors that drive excellent employee experience. Here are the key ingredients of an outstanding employee experience.
- Workplace technology
Undeniably, technology is an essential part of the workplace today. Technology enables an organization to collect, understand, and act on insights. The world of technology has come a long way, from typing machines to touchscreen laptops. Digitalization is the catalyst that drives most of this change in the business world. Communication between businesses has changed due to the emergence of digital technologies. Undoubtedly, organizations can only succeed if they have a productive workforce. They will be less productive if they lack access to the necessary tools.
The McKinsey study states that employees spend around 2 hours per day collecting information and searching for information to do their routine tasks. Ultimately, this impacts their experience and productivity. Implementing the right technology can solve this problem. A wide range of established and emerging technologies can enhance your employees' efficiency, performance, and safety. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), virtual reality, robotics, augmented reality are such technologies. Research by Accenture shows that human-machine collaboration will increase productivity and revenue by 39% by 2020. These technologies offer tremendous potential to improve the employee experience, automate tedious tasks, and boost productivity.
- Workplace Culture
Establishing a great company culture is key to ensuring a great employee experience. Company culture is what binds all employees of a company together. Positive company culture affects your employees' performance. Similarly, it plays a crucial role in employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction.
So, it is important for organization to maintain a positive culture. It starts with your onboarding process in which you hope to integrate your employees into the corporate culture and ends with your exit interview in which reinforcing those values play an equally important role.
- Training and professional development opportunities
The majority of employees prefer an excellent salary and a good workplace culture. A good company should have more to offer, such as training and development. It is no secret that people love to develop new technologies and skills. The goal of every professional is to be better at what they do, learn new skills, and eventually progress in their careers. They expect their employers to provide them with opportunities to learn new skills.
If you want to create a culture focused on learning and development, you can hold regular lunch and learns, give people an annual learning stipend, plan an in-depth education program for future leaders, or do all of the above.
- A flexible work environment and work-life balance
Experiences don't just impact our employee experience on the job; it's also about how much our work affects us when we're not working. We want a more satisfied, less stressed workforce, and the way to get there is by creating a more balanced work schedule that considers everything else we do outside of work.
- Workplace collaboration
It is crucial to help employees attain success by removing barriers to engagement. Trust and open communication are essential to employee success. The collaboration aims to encourage communication, create a judgment-free work environment, enhance information sharing across the organization, and improve employee productivity.
Collaboration is essentially getting things done and communicating effectively with team members, bosses and clients.
- Educate organizational mission and acknowledge success.
Employees must understand the organization's mission and values and feel valued for their contribution. Feeling welcomed and appreciated is the most critical factor in boosting employee experience; if the employee does not think his or her contributions are valued, employee engagement will be minimal.
- Ask For Feedback
Finding out what your employees feel about your company is very crucial. It can be difficult for employers to ask for feedback. Without it, it might be challenging to identify and fix problems within the journey - and your solutions might not be effective. Employee feedback can be obtained in many different ways. Managers can survey employees in one-on-one meetings or using an online survey. In addition, many employees' engagement and experience platforms provide insight into the success of employee initiatives and how much your staff utilizes specific tools and internal communications.
In the same way, employee feedback isn't a one-time thing. It should be a continuous process that gives you key insights at each touchpoint of the employee journey as part of your employee experience framework.
Conclusion- Redefine employee experience for the post-pandemic era
A great employee experience is essential to all businesses. It is essential to take a strategic, personalized approach to plan and refine your employee experience to understand what your employees expect and want. Though, there are no perfect solutions, but there are ways and means to understand your employees better and adjust their employee journeys accordingly.
In order to elevate your employee experience, you should constantly monitor and measure employee feedback and recognition throughout the hiring process, interviews, even through conversations with employees during their tenure.