Why Does Employee Experience Matter More Now, And How To Elevate It?
An employee is a valuable asset for an organization. Employees are the building blocks that help an entrepreneur shape an organization and run it effectively. Naturally, the productivity of the employees 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 the different needs of its employees 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. Earlier, superior employee experience was limited to higher salaries and promotions. In 2021, things are not the same anymore. 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.
Right from the relationship they have with their superiors and the satisfaction they receive to the support provided by the organization, 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 the changing needs of its employees 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 takes into consideration before applying for a job in an organization is the work-life balance provided by the company.
The Need For A Flexible Work Environment
Employees in several organizations are slowly moving away from the stringent 9-to-5 work environment. Especially in the creative fields, employees prefer flexible working hours (which may be more or less than the stipulated work hours). The focus has now shifted from having full attendance to get the work done in whatever way that suits an employee.
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 of the fact that it will not affect their productivity in any way. Especially in the field of 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, the trend of virtual workplaces 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 despite working from their homes, employees need to work in an office-like atmosphere where they can interact with their team in real-time. 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 our 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 is always difficult yet very important to retain skilled employees within an organization. However, if your valuable employees are not happy with their experience of working in your organization, they will end up putting in their papers. As discussed earlier, employees in 2021 do not limit their definition of employee experience to remuneration and job promotions.
If you manage to engage your employees better and provide them with a better experience, you will be able to retain your best talent before they choose to switch companies.
Improved Employee Experience Increases Productivity And Innovation
If an employee is happy to go to work every day and is genuinely driven to doing their job, they will give their best to the organization they work in, leading to an increase in the productivity of the employee as well as that of the organization.
Also, employees who are happy and satisfied with their work will find innovative ways of getting work done and contribute to the well-being of the organization by giving 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 the experience of working in the concerned organization. If the employee experience within your organization 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 productive work culture within the organization, 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 in the manner in which they interact with their customers. Especially in the case of 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 the customers’ experience, putting you at the risk of losing them.
Better Employee Experience Results In Higher Profits
Employees who are happy with their jobs will concentrate more on their work without getting distracted and provide valuable inputs for the same. If your employees work harder and get more productive, your organization is likely to generate more revenue and earn more profits. It is, therefore, always advisable to invest in improving the overall employee experience within your organization as you can always expect impressive returns out of the same.
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 the 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:
Map The Journeys Of Your Employees
Employee journey mapping allows you to have a look at the experience an employee goes through from the day they were recruited. It helps you understand the individual journey taken by every employee, the factors that motivate them, the triggers that put them off, their pain points, and their engagement at different stages of their journey as an employee.
Taking regular employee engagement surveys shows you the stage at which every employee is, helping you work towards ensuring their well-being, willingness to work, and overall engagement towards their job.
Leverage Internal Communication
It is important to understand that internal communication is more than one-way dissemination of information within an organization. In order to improve employee experience, make sure that your company culture involves smooth and transparent internal communication.
Inculcate the culture of regular exchange of ideas and working towards achieving common goals. Make your employees feel as if they are a part of a big family and their actions have a larger impact on the success of the organization. Normalize grievance redressals and create an environment where your employees can openly talk about things that bother them.
Such a cohesive work atmosphere will make your employees feel at home, ultimately leading to improved employee experience.
Make The Most Of Online Collaborative Platforms
Since the pandemic engulfed the world in 2020, organizations across the world 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, the benefits of online collaborative platforms 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 responsibility of the organization to onboard new employees in a way that makes them look forward to their journey ahead.
AI-based modern employee service desks allow the HR department to automate the onboarding process by sending personalized emails to the new employees, welcoming them to the organization. Have separate orientation programs for different departments, letting the new employees in on the objectives they are expected to achieve and the experience they are going to have working with the organization. If you want the experience of your employees to be positive since day one, always focus on 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 back. On the contrary, stay interviews allow you to understand the issues faced by your working employees and work towards retaining them within the organization. Make sure that you communicate with your employees on a regular basis to understand their pain points (if any) and taking the initiative to resolve them as effectively as possible.
Automate Employee Support
Poor and unorganized employee support often results in a reduction in employee engagement. Today, employees need to get their queries answered quickly without letting their work gets affected.
Replace the traditional service desks with the modern AI help desks that completely automate the process of providing employee support from scratch. These platforms make use of 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 to your employees.
Further, AI employee service desks can be used for allowing your employees to train themselves in specific skills. Once your employees start getting increasingly self-reliant, they will be motivated to work harder and go for the targets they are expected to achieve.
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 schemes 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 the implications of mental health on their work.
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 at, positive feedback will make them feel confident about their work and instrumental in the success of the organization they work in.
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 make sure that the employees working for you are happy and motivated.