Why Employee Experience Is Important
Did you know that a good employee experience affects the productivity and profitability of your company? In fact, productivity is not the only thing affected by it. Retention, engagement, revenue, work culture, and many other things are affected by the employee experience too!
Many studies show that companies that invest in their employee experience are better places to work and that having a good employee experience leads to higher levels of enthusiasm, engagement, and involvement from the employees of your company. Jacob Morgan’s study shows that companies that invest in an employee experience outperform those that don’t.
Image source: Why the Millions We Spend on Employee Engagement Buy Us So Little.
The whole concept of the employee experience has become quite popular over the past few years. However, it still doesn’t get that same attention as the candidate experience or customer experience. Lots of companies are heavily focusing on how to create a good candidate experience, but they don’t focus as much on the employee experience.
What Is the Employee Experience
A set or spectrum of experiences that employees come to have during their lifecycle in an organization collectively form the employee experience. The employees’ interaction with the team, managers, tools, software, and all other things and facilities made available to them at their workplace are included in the employee experience. To put it another way, you can think of it like the“customer experience. The employee experience is similar to the customer experience except here you have an employee in place of the customer.
To offer a better customer experience, all companies try to design and develop products or services that will make their customers happy if they buy it. Similarly, companies are trying to understand their employees’ expectations and needs so that they can easily design and develop an experience that takes better care of their employees while they are working for the company.
In a study for Deloitte University Press, Josh Bersin, Art Mazor, Jason Flynn, and Veronica Melian found that nearly 80 percent of executives rated the employee experience as very important (42 percent) or important (38 percent), but only 22 percent reported that their companies were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience. However, the reality could be very different.
Why Is the Employee Experience Important
The employee experience affects several aspects of an organization, which is what makes it so important. Below are some of those aspects:
- Recruitment: A good employee experience is shared. If your employees have a good experience with you as an employer, they will share it with their friends, which will lead to higher referrals, faster time to fill, and so on. Also, we all know that many job seekers try to first learn about the employee experience in an organization before applying for a job there. That’s why so many company-review sites such as Glassdoor have emerged. Bad reviews of a company’s employee experience may hinder its ability to attract good employees.
- Engagement: A better employee experience results in better employee engagement. When you have more engaged employees, work culture and productivity will also be better.
- Retention: Employee retention is also highly affected by employee experience. A positive employee experience increases retention, and a bad experience lowers it.
- Revenue and Profits: A positive employee experience has a positive effect on revenue and profits. A study by IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute correlates the employee experience to a higher return on assets and return on sales. Similarly, a negative employee experience affects revenue and profits negatively. Research proves that the companies that have designed and implemented a strong employee experience are seeing higher revenue and profits as that the companies that haven’t done the same.
These aspects are just a few examples of how the employee experience can have a positive impact on an organization.
How to Improve the Employee Experience
Meaningful work, supportive management, positive work environment, growth opportunity, and trust in leadership all contribute to positive employee experience. There are many ways to improve the employee experience, and those points below are just a few tips.
- Set Your Top Priorities: The first thing you need to do before improving your employee experience strategy or building a new one is to ask questions that you want to answer. Setting the priorities will help you to prepare a plan to fix the issue you are facing.
- Empower Leaders and Managers: There’s no need to mention that leaders and managers play a big role in improving the employee experience. Empower them to take suitable actions wherever required to improve it as much as possible on their end. Managers are often the reason why people leave an organization, but they are also the reason why they stay.
- Collect Employee Feedback: Collect it and collect it regularly. There are many tools out there for collecting employee feedback. I recently read about a tool that asks employees to select one of four emojis to show how they feel at that moment. That sounds like an easy hack for getting feedback but it is just another way managers are trying to find shortcuts and make their work easier. The best way to collect feedback is to have regular one-on-one meetings and skip-level meetings, which will help you map the situation in the company.
- Be Genuine in Delivering a Positive Employee Experience: Simply making some standard processes is not everything that you need to do to improve the employee experience. Rather, it is a continuous process that needs genuine intentions and approaches. You should genuinely have empathetic interactions with your employees. Doing so will deliver a positive emotional experience, making them feel comfortable in the workplace.
- Encourage Honest Feedback: Last but not least, welcome honest feedback from existing employees on their experience in your company. The more honest the feedback you receive, the easier it will be for you to improve the employee experience.
Everything you do in your company starts with your employees. How you treat them will create a ripple effect throughout the whole company, and if you are not treating them as your most valuable asset, you should start to do that. Some people describe the employee experience as the future of HR because they understand that it is important to offer a strong employee experience to get the most out of their employees and keep them in the company for a long time.
Don’t focus on the same methods and approaches you already know and are applying. In the study “Employee Experience: The New Human Resource Management Approach,“ Josh Plaskoff writes, “Organizations must reframe their approach to how they relate to their employees. The new multi-generational workplace demands a new way of thinking about human resource management. Putting the employee’s total experience at the center produces a very different approach, beyond increasing perks or ‘funifying’ the workplace, to engaging the employee in the workplace.”
Good employee experience is not created by the number of ping pong tables you have, how good your coffee is, or if you have a massage chair in the office. The goal of every company should be a design an employee experience that demonstrates care for the employees within the context of their work. They will see that their work is meaningful to the organization and that they have supportive management, a positive work environment, and growth opportunities, and they will trust in leadership. And this will help to create a good employee experience.
Investing time and money into a good employee experience is an investment in your company’s future.