The world is changing, companies are changing, and employees’ needs are changing. The Covid-19 pandemic has tested businesses and the workforce in ways they never imagined, and with remote work on the rise, HR teams are focusing more on the importance of employee experience (EX).
What is employee experience?
Gallup defines employee experience as the journey an employee follows in an organization. It includes every interaction that occurs along the lifecycle of the employee, and the experiences that involve the employee’s role, workspace, manager, and wellbeing.
Employee experience begins with the first engagement and ends when employees exit the company. It is affected by factors such as physical environment, tools, technologies, communication, management, and compensation.
Why is employee experience important?
As remote work becomes the norm, companies are starting to realize that employee experience is a strategic approach that has great impact on their business. A positive employee experience ultimately affects the customer experience and generates a higher return of investment (ROI), and provides many other benefits as well.
Benefits of investing in employee experience
IBM analyzed the importance of employee experience and found that it is associated with business and worker performance. According to this study, employee experience creates opportunities for meaningful work, growth, trust, and work-life balance, which leads to enhanced performance.
When the employee experience is good, employees are more likely to enjoy their jobs, leading to greater productivity. Employee experience is deeply related to wellbeing.
According to Deloitte’s 2020 Human Capital trends, fostering a work culture with an emphasis on employee wellbeing not only yields increased productivity but higher levels of performance.
For example, employee-focused work cultures throughout Luxembourg — the most productive country in the world — show how employee experience and satisfaction go hand in hand with productivity.
A good employee experience is key to engagement. When companies understand their employees and design experiences with and for them, this helps to keep their teams engaged.
According to a study by Mckinsey, workers who enjoy their jobs and their workplaces have four times higher engagement.
Better employee retention
Satisfied workers are less likely to leave a company. Retaining employees is a cost-effective strategy. As a matter of fact, handling the turnover of one employee can cost 1.5–2 times that employee’s annual salary. Therefore, providing an outstanding employee experience can help prevent employees from leaving.
According to Jacob Morgan’s employee experience index, companies that invest in EX are more likely to make it into:
- Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work
- LinkedIn’s list of Most In-Demand Employers
- Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies
- The American Customer Satisfaction Index
As mentioned previously, employee experience has a direct impact on employee engagement. And even though they are two different concepts, they are often confused.
What is the difference between employee experience and employee engagement?
Employee experience is the journey employees follow in an organization, while employee engagement is the set of needs that must be met for employees to work effectively.
Here are eight ways to enhance the remote employee experience:
#1: Design an employee journey map.
An employee journey map is the best way to visualize your employees’ lifecycle within the organization. It allows you to identify potential downsides and opportunities, and to define clear strategies to implement in each stage of the journey.
#2: Improve internal communication.
Internal communication is crucial for companies to operate efficiently. Employers should encourage employees to have an open communication with other team members and managers to create strong relationships and build trust.
Employers should also make sure to provide the proper tools to make this communication easier and effective.
How can companies improve internal communication?
- Invite your employees to share their ideas, participate in surveys, and encourage them to take part in company meetings.
- Implement training programs to share the company dynamics, protocols, and processes.
- Provide employees with the right communication tools, such as instant messaging and videoconferencing software, file sharing applications, and project management tools.
#3: Pay attention to employee feedback.
If your company promotes employee participation and invites them to provide feedback, you should carefully consider it, and, most importantly, act upon that feedback. Ignoring what employees have to say can backfire and generate a loss of trust.
What to do with employee feedback:
- Understand their needs and concerns.
- Create action plans to implement changes.
- Track their progress.
#4: Invest in employee wellbeing.
Well-being comprises physical, mental, and emotional health and wellness, and it has a direct impact on employees’ performance and productivity.
Stressed and unhappy employees are likely to burn out faster and leave, but they are also at a higher risk of contracting illnesses. All of this combined with absenteeism, healthcare costs, and decreased productivity can increase your company’s expenses.
How to invest in employee wellbeing:
- Create wellness programs that encourage physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Ensure employees are taking time off and breaks.
- Promote workplace flexibility.
- Offer unique perks: therapy, gym discounts, or unlimited vacation.
#5: Offer career development opportunities.
Potential for growth is the greatest contributor to satisfaction. Employees are willing to stay longer with a company that offers career development opportunities and cares for their professional growth.
How to offer career development opportunities:
- Identify employees who are ready for new opportunities.
- Design personalized career paths and programs.
- Offer trainings and programs to improve your employees’ skills.
#6: Avoid information overload.
Information overload is “the excess of information available to a person aiming to complete a task or make a decision.”
Sharing irrelevant information has a negative effect on employees, as it can cause confusion and prevent them from taking action. Employers should understand that too much information is frustrating and a waste of time, and it can ultimately damage employee experience.
How to avoid information overload:
- Ensure employees receive relevant news and content.
- Personalize information based on roles and functions.
- Provide clear information and detail on what actions should be taken, whether this includes completing a task, answering a survey, etc.
#7: Promote remote team building activities.
While team building activities have a positive effect on workers, they are also an important part of managing and developing teams.
According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, social experiences in the workplace are closely linked to employee performance. “Social time turns out to be deeply critical to team performance, often accounting for more than 50% of positive changes in communication patterns, even in a setting as efficiency-focused as a call center.”
How to promote remote team building activities:
- Define a strategy and schedule activities.
- Set common team goals and provide rewards.
- Use online applications and games in your meetings.
#8: Audit compensation frequently.
You can’t provide a good employee experience without offering employees fair and competitive compensation.
According to Jobvite, 19 percent of workers reported compensation as the top factor for job hopping. Therefore, it is important to constantly audit compensation to ensure it is equative.
How to audit compensation:
- Establish pay programs.
- Compare your compensation to current market rates.
- Close the pay gap between genders.
- Ensure you provide rewards for achievement.
A positive employee experience will impact many aspects of your organization. So, if you want happy and satisfied employees who will take your company to new heights, invest in these strategies, as a fundamental part of your business growth plan.