In this day and age, where the workforce consists mostly of the millennial generation, focus on work-life balance, along with having their opinions valued in the workplace, has grown exponentially. It is now crucial for companies to understand that employees’ needs and behaviour have shifted rather drastically compared to a decade or two ago. Material remuneration is no longer the only push or pull factor for the rise of the idea of employee experiences. Simply put, jobseekers nowadays focus a lot more on other intangible upsides of a workplace besides just the compensation. Instead, they look at the entire employee journey and overall employee experience.
So, what is employee experience, and why is it important?
Employee experience includes everything an employee learns, does, sees, encounters, and feels from the moment they begin engaging with a company in the recruitment process up until they leave the company. The company’s physical workspace, culture, management, and technology are all key components of the employee experience.
The overall goal of an improved employee experience all points towards factors associated with employee satisfaction, which in turn brings higher efficiency, productivity, crucial talent retention, optimising workplace potential both individually and collectively, and ultimately, success to the business.
Impact of employee experience on your business
Employee experience is one of the best competitive advantages a company can proactively create, and it comes with tremendous benefits to not just the employees but customers and employers, as well. Conversely, neglecting employee experience as a whole and its consequences may have detrimental adverse effects. Here are a few key points of interest regarding how your employee’s experience can impact your business:
- Productivity – unhappy employees tend to be more disengaged and demotivated, costing businesses a fortune by low productivity and profitability and increased absences. In contrast, happy and engaged employees have lower rates of absenteeism; they are more productive and bring other advantages such as improved workplace safety.
- Quality of work – employee satisfaction and happiness levels directly influence their performance, hence the success of both the job and the business as a whole.
- Turnover rates and attracting new talents – Satisfied employees are less likely to leave their current employment for other competitors. Needless to say, the downsides of having a high turnover rate can be enormous and damaging to a company. Successful organisations not only attract top talents but also retain them. Employee journey and experience have also become widely discussed topics on job boards and social media, which allow current and previous employees to leave reviews of their workplace for potential candidates to see. Negative reviews, or the mere fact that a company is constantly hiring, will naturally tarnish the brand’s reputation and deter prospective talents.
- Improved customer relations and experience – employee experience affects all areas of the business, including customer experience. Content employees are more likely to convey better moods and professionalism when interacting with customers. They also tend to be more self-motivated and exhibit greater dedication to their work, such as demonstrating a higher level of understanding of products and services, which in turn enables them to provide better support to customers.
Ways to improve your employee experience
Now that it is obvious why employee experience is important, what should companies do to enhance it? There are a few things companies can start with to strengthen and offer a pleasant employee experience:
Culture – Corporate culture can absolutely make or break its staff. As employees increasingly seek a more holistic approach to work-life balance along with their career progress, leadership and management style of a company should reflect that employees and their opinions are respected and valued. It has become essential for businesses and management to focus on personalising employee experience, creating a balance between the needs of employees and the values of the organisation, and promoting transparency and visibility across the organisation. All of these contribute to a healthy workplace culture, which should display understanding, flexibility, and care for the staff’s physical and mental well-being. Removing redundant bureaucratic activities and information to streamline experiences along with bettering responsiveness can also effectively enhance the employee journey with significant results.
Workspace and environment – employees who are happy with their workspace and work environment will be more productive, concentrate better, and overall happier. Aside from the physical workplace, the increasing reliance on technology sheds light on the importance of effective tools that can assist employees in achieving desirable work goals. Facilitate your staff to spend their time doing their work, not figuring out how to use the technology behind it. Technological issues and subpar equipment can cause employee frustration and reduce productivity. With COVID-19, workspace is now also indicative of the autonomy to work from home, which many consider a factor contributing to a positive employee experience.
Financial wellness – while money is no longer a sole facet, it still plays a vital role in the entire employee experience and should not be put aside. Besides competitive remuneration packages and benefits, employees are also increasingly looking for workplaces where financial wellness is observed, and employees may have greater control over their own finances through tools.
How to Design Your Employee Experience Strategy?
We’ve covered the benefits of providing a positive employee experience, now, let’s dive in further and see how your business can take a strategic approach to design work experience employees will appreciate.
First and foremost, a business should understand what is important to its employees, identify what they consider push factors, and define fitting objectives to mitigate the lows. Engage with your employees in a manner that will get you a true representation of how they feel about the organisation – both the good and bad. From there, once you have collected feedback from your employees, you can move on to identifying the underlying causes of negative employee experience in your organisation and work on eliminating or at least minimising them. Most commonly, these objectives surround, but are not limited to:
- Training of managers on the importance of employee feedback and recognition,
- Empowering employees to give and receive on-the-spot feedback without the fear of repercussion; and
- Implementing new programs to support employees’ physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.
These exercises may benefit from the help of an external consultancy, as employees are more willing to open to an independent organisation, and there would be no pre-existing undertone of prejudice in the process.
More importantly, ensure your employee experience strategy is an ongoing process for continuous improvement instead of a one-off gig. By measuring milestones and accomplishments using key metrics such as overall employee satisfaction, the organisation can then realise the full business case benefits.
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Put stability back into the lives of employees, help them manage their finances better, increase employee satisfaction, and curb turnover rates. Find out more about Links On Demand Pay, and embark on building a strong employee journey and employee experience for your business today!