What is Employee Experience? The Full Guide to Improve it

Employers are turning their attention toward the employee experience more often lately. They are actively taking steps to ensure that their employees feel good about going to work. This guide gives you details about what it is, why it’s important, and provides suggestions for measuring and improving the employee experience.

What is Employee Experience? Definition:

“What is employee experience?” is not an easy question to answer because it depends on who you ask. From the employee’s point of view, it describes their impressions about what happens to them during their relationship with an employer. From the employer’s point of view, it includes several processes and systems which can be used to optimize the methods employees use to perform their work.

The future of employee experience

Employee experience is evolving from a situation where the company HR department took charge of everything related to rewards (pay and benefits), training and career development, employee engagement, and company culture. Each one of these programs was likely treated as a separate entity, even though it was under the big umbrella of human resources. In a large company, there may have even been separate managers for each of them.

Moving forward, employees are seeking a different experience from their employers. They see their workday as something that is part of their daily life but not their entire life. Prospective employees looking for work are considering how accepting a position will impact their lifestyle. They want to know that the job will offer them meaningful employment, opportunities for growth, and an environment where they will be treated fairly and respectfully.

The employee wants to feel recognized, valued, and appreciated for their work. No one wants to feel invisible on the job or they are “just a number.” Employees also want to be able to trust management and in their authenticity. The work environment needs to be a supportive one or employees will simply move on.

What is the difference between employee engagement and employee experience?

Employee engagement is something that is important to most employers. They spend time and effort organizing gatherings and events that their workers will be interested in. The payoff for employers is that these types of positive employee experiences will lead to better retention rates and a more positive employee experience.

When companies run incentive programs during the year, they would usually consider them to be part of the corporation’s employee engagement program. These programs are used to get employees interested in promoting a new product, improving their performance, or keeping them committed to their work. Generally speaking, the same core group of employees gets involved with them every time, leaving those employees who are disengaged on the sidelines.

Employee experience takes a much more broad view. It looks at the company’s policies, procedures, and business practices from where the employees sit. Employee experience includes a multitude of experiences for employees. Some of them are noteworthy and some of them are trivial. All of them go into the fabric of his relationship with the employer.

The main idea behind employee experience is to make the workplace more responsive to human needs. Instead of the company always being driven by its basic need (to make a profit), by definition, a total employee experience involves many small actions. Each one is designed to engage the employee, as opposed to the company making one or two grand gestures each year.

What does an employee experience manager do?

The role of the employee experience manager is multi-faceted. The person holding this position must have a clear understanding of the relationship between managers and employees as well as be able to create a culture of mutual trust within the company. Accomplishing these two tasks will lead to increased productivity, better quality products and services, higher retention rates, and better quality candidates applying for available positions.

Some of the typical things an employee experience manager would be involved with as part of their duties may include:

Drafting communication methods where employees feel they have a voice
Evaluating management policies and how they affect the employees’ experience
Devising positive suggestions around lifestyle focusing on employees making their physical and mental health a priority
Creating surveys and other methods to measure and evaluate employee engagement with the company

This does not mean that every day at work is going to be easy or fun. There will still be stresses at work, even with the best employee experience manager holding the position. That person’s role is to assist employees in finding ways to access available supports (on and off the job) so they have all the resources to do their work to the best of their ability.

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Why focus on employee experience?

If you are a manager or a business owner, you may be wondering why does employee experience matter? This makes sense. After all, you already have several other problems or issues you need to deal with. The last thing you are looking to put on your (already overflowing) plate is something else that has to be looked after. However, there are some compelling reasons why employee experience management is important.

Reduces employee turnover.

There will always be some employees who leave for family reasons, to return to school, or due to retirement. Engaged employees are less likely to be looking to make a change in their employment situation.

Employees contribute more to the company than the minimum required to collect a paycheck.

Valued employees will put forth a better effort than ones who don’t feel they, and their contributions to the company, are being appreciated.

Productivity increases.

As employees become more emotionally invested in the company, they are likely to find more efficient ways of performing their job duties. As a result, overall employee productivity will likely increase.

Absenteeism levels drop.

A person who is feeling as though he is not valued at work may not feel as though going to work every day is a priority. Once employees feel as though they are part of a team that is working together to achieve goals they will want to come to work.

Employees start sharing their experiences with others.

Today, information about companies can be found on social media and networking sites like LinkedIn. People are curious about which companies would be good to work for and which ones should be avoided. Unfortunately, once a company has developed a not-so-stellar reputation, it can be quite difficult to shed that public image.

Company attracts higher quality candidates.

Once the word is out that the company is a good one to work for, it will attract the attention of stellar candidates. High-quality prospective employees are always interested in the best employers and want to submit their resumes to them for consideration.

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6 Excellent Strategies to Improve Employee Experience

The following are some employee experience ideas to consider:

1. Develop a good onboarding process.

When someone new joins your company, you’ll want the relationship to start on a positive note. It will set the tone for all the interactions he has with fellow employees and managers in the days and weeks to come. You’ll need to have a plan in place to welcome new hires as part of your employee experience framework before you even make a firm offer of employment.

Some things can be done before the new employee even comes to work on the first day to help him get started on the right foot. Send him an e-mail outlining important details such as the office dress code, what items he should bring with him on the first day, who he should report to, his hours of work, etc. On the first day, offer your new employee a tour of your office, including the following:

Bathrooms
Break rooms
Cloakroom
Conference rooms
Employee parking/Entrance
Kitchen area

You’ll also want to provide your new employee with an up-to-date company organizational chart.

2. Provide opportunities for growth and professional development.

Employees appreciate working with a manager who helps them manage their workload and helps them solve work-related problems. They also feel valued when their manager acknowledges their effort when they do good work.

Good managers play an important role in contributing to the company culture. Many companies only offer leadership opportunities for a small number of employees. Investing in communication skills and leadership for all employees is worthwhile since these skills will be even more valuable in the future.

3. Establish mentoring groups.

Small mentoring groups of three or four people from different departments can collaborate to understand what each other’s departments do within the company. When setting up the groups, strive for diversity. Include people of different ages and stages in their career, new hires, and those who have been with the company for some time, employees with children, and those who are not parents, men, and women, and those from different backgrounds.

You’ll also want to mix up people working in different departments so that they can get a different perspective. Place people from marketing and sales with those who work in IT. Add someone who works in accounting or customer service into the mix. All of them work for the same company, and they all have a different perspective.

4. Offer employees benefits they want most.

As a manager, you may think that catered lunches are the perk that is going to appeal to employees most. If you ask employees, you may find that you are spending money on something that is not at the top of their priority list.

According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, when over 3,000 professionals were asked which perks were most important to them, 44% said that health coverage and paid time off were at the top of the list. They stated that these were the things that would keep them with their current employer for five years or more.

5. Establish an atmosphere of trust.

It’s challenging to build positive relationships in the workplace where trust doesn’t exist. Employees need to be able to trust their leaders on the job. They want their managers to be honest when providing feedback and to act as advocates on their behalf. Without an element of trust in place, the employees won’t feel good about their jobs. They simply won’t be able to relax and participate to their full capacity in the workplace. That situation will end up putting both the employee and the employer at a disadvantage.

6. Ask employees for feedback.

The only way to find out how well your employee experience efforts are working for your company is to ask your employees. When used correctly, anonymous employee engagement surveys can help managers find out what is working well at the company and where the company can improve. This can be an important part of your employee experience management toolbox.

When employees are free to share their opinions without their manager knowing their names are attached to them, they will feel free to share their honest opinion about the company. There isn’t any advantage to employees holding back their opinion if something isn’t working well; the company doesn’t have the opportunity to rectify the situation if management is unaware that there is a problem.

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How to Measure Employee Experience?

It’s important to take steps to ensure that your employee experience is a positive one for all your workers. From onboarding new employees, introducing a new manager to the team, to giving an existing employee a promotion, all of these situations have the potential to be positive or negative ones. It all depends on the way they are handled by the company and the support offered along the way.

Employee Experience Survey.

You won’t know how well your employee experience efforts are working unless they are measurable. Rather than conducting an annual survey to ask employees about their satisfaction levels, consider using digital tools to conduct employment experience surveys on demand. That way, the HR department can gather data throughout the year when the employee’s memory is fresh and their feedback would be more detailed.

The HR department can then follow up with a specific action plan that takes into account the employee’s needs. The goal is for the company to understand the employees’ concerns and any barriers which exist preventing the employee from doing his best work. Once the company has identified these barriers, it can offer support to the employee to address these concerns.

Dialogue Between Employer and Employee.

The atmosphere in the company then becomes a dialogue between the employee and the employer. Previously, many employees felt that the conversation between the worker and the company only moved in one direction. The company told the employee how things would work on the job and the employee had two choices, “Take it or leave it.”

Today, that kind of attitude is no longer considered appropriate in a modern workplace. The digital employee experience is a key factor in creating and maintaining a good relationship with an employer. It is just as important as investing in good customer relations for building a successful business in the twenty-first century.

ABOUT THIS ARTICLE

Author

Asya Stamenova
Brand Content Writer

Published on

May 19, 2020

Tags

Intranet

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10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Employee Experience Strategy

The term employee experience has a broad meaning, encompassing all interactions an employee has with an employer. It’s also one of the most valuable investments that you, as a manager, can make. A strong employee experience strategy, like any other business initiative, is designed to improve an organization’s overall performance.

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