The employee experience is the foundation of any successful organisation. It encompasses every employee interaction with the company, from their first day to their last. Creating a positive employee experience is essential for attracting and retaining top talent, fostering engagement and productivity, and cultivating a company culture that everyone can be proud of.
There are many ways to improve the employee experience, but it starts with understanding what your employees need and want. By taking the time to learn about your employees’ pain points and what makes them happy, you can start making changes that will have a positive impact on your whole organisation.
What is Employee Experience?
The employee experience is the totality of an employee’s journey through an organisation. It encompasses everything from the initial recruitment stages to eventual departure and everything in between.
In other words, employee experience is how employees feel about their job, company, and interactions with the company. Work’s intangible, emotional aspect can’t be measured by numbers alone.
A great workplace experience is positive and engaging at every stage, leaving employees feeling valued, supported, and motivated. It’s about creating a working environment where people can thrive and do their best work.
Many factors contribute to a positive workplace experience, including effective leadership, strong communication, a positive culture, and clear expectations. Creating a great employee experience is an ongoing process that takes a concerted effort from everyone in the organisation.
Why does employee experience matter?
Workplace experience matters because the employees are the corporate ambassadors of the company and interact with customers daily. A positive People experience can enhance employee satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement, improve business performance, enhance business profits and help create a positive company culture.
As the workplace continues to adapt, the importance of employee experience is only growing. A recent study by Gartner found that 64% of organisations believe that employee experience is a top priority. Another Harvard Review found that companies focusing on employee experience outperform those without one by 4.2x times.
How does employee experience impact business performance?
Employee experience refers to how people feel about their jobs and their workplace. It includes job satisfaction, company culture, and work-life balance. A positive employee experience can increase productivity and engagement, improving business performance.
On the other hand, a negative employee experience can have the opposite effect. Unhappy employees or peoples are less likely to be productive or engaged, which can negatively impact business performance.
A Gallup research compared the performance of engaged versus actively disengaged enterprises or work divisions. Those that scored in the top quartile of employee engagement outperformed those on critical performance outcomes such as
- 41% lower absenteeism
- 10% higher customer ratings
- 20% higher sales
- 21% higher profitability
- 17% higher productivity
Incorporating employee experience initiatives into your organisation’s personnel strategy is critical, as these statistics show that engaged employees fuel corporate success.
What are the stages of employee experience?
The stages of employee experience are
- Learning and development
- Performance management
The recruitment stage of employee experience includes everything from the initial job posting to the final onboarding of the new employee. To attract top talent, organisations must ensure that their job postings are clear and concise and that their recruiting process is efficient and fair. Once a candidate has been selected, providing a positive onboarding experience is essential to help the new employee acclimate to the organisation and feel comfortable in their new role.
The onboarding stage of employee experience is orienting and acclimating new employees to their job and workplace. Employees learn about their job duties and responsibilities, company policies and procedures, and workplace culture during this stage. By providing new employees with this information, businesses can help them adjust to their new role and feel more comfortable in their new environment.
Learning and Development
The learning and development stage begins when an employee joins and stays in the company. Employees learn about the organisation’s culture, values, and expectations. They also develop the knowledge needed to be successful in their role. This stage is essential for establishing a productive relationship between employees and their companies.
The performance management stage of employee experience is designed to help employees identify and reach their full potential. This stage includes performance reviews, training and development plans, and career planning. Employers must create a development plan tailored to employees’ needs and goals.
The employee retention stage of employee experience is when an organisation retains employees after they have been hired. This stage begins after the onboarding process is complete and lasts until the employees leave the organisation. The retention stage is essential because, during this time, employees form attachments to the organisation and their coworkers.
These attachments can lead to loyalty and commitment, improving retention rates. Additionally, during this stage, employees learn more about the organisation and their roles within it, which can help them to be more effective in their jobs. Many factors can influence employee retention, such as job satisfaction, pay, benefits, and company culture.
As employees move through their careers, they will inevitably reach a point where they want to leave the company. This could be for various reasons, such as wanting to retire, looking for a new challenge, or simply moving on to something else. Whatever the reason, it’s essential to plan for when employees reach this stage.
The exit stage of employee experience is vital to ensuring a smooth transition for the employee and the company. In this stage, it’s important to end things positively, ensuring that the employee leaves with positive feelings about the company. This can be achieved by providing a severance package, offering outplacement services, and having an exit interview.
What are the critical elements of employee experience?
Creating a positive workplace experience is essential for attracting and retaining top talent and fostering engagement and productivity. There are five critical elements of employee or people experience:
- C-suite accountability
- Physical environment
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
The values, beliefs, and behaviours that comprise an organisation’s fabric are called its culture. It is what distinguishes a firm from the competition. Developing a healthy company culture is critical for recruiting and keeping great employees. The workplace culture is also influential. Employers should create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and respected. They should provide employees opportunities to learn and grow and encourage open communication.
To ensure a positive employee experience, c-suite executives need to be accountable for their actions. This means being transparent with employees, communicating effectively, and responding to feedback. When c-suite executives are responsible, employees feel valued and respected, which leads to increased satisfaction and loyalty.
It has been said that alignment is a crucial element of employee experience. Employees who feel that their personal goals align with their organisation’s goals may be satisfied with their work, stay with their company for extended periods, and be more engaged and productive.
There are a few ways to ensure alignment within your organisation.
- Ensure that your company’s values are clear and that everyone knows them
- Give a chance for employees to provide input on the company’s goals and objectives.
- Finally, creating opportunities for employees to learn more about the company and its goals through training and development programs.
Technology is a crucial element of the employee experience as it helps in enhancing employee productivity and creativity. It also helps in making work easier and faster. Moreover, it allows employees to connect and work together more efficiently. As an employer, it would be adequate to provide employees with the tools they need to be effective and train them on how to use them.
Being a critical element of employee experience, recognition helps employees feel valued and appreciated and can improve morale and motivation. Additionally, recognition can improve job satisfaction and performance and fosters an organisation’s sense of belonging and collegiality.
The benefits of employee recognition are numerous:
- Greater motivation.
- Higher retention rates.
- Reduced turnover.
- Increased productivity.
- Increased engagement.
- Improved communication.
The physical environment
The office layout, furniture, lighting, and temperature all affect how employees feel while working. If the environment is not conducive to productivity, it can harm employee morale and motivation. A study from Cornell University found that employees who had no control over their work environment were less productive and more likely to experience health problems.
To create a productive work environment, employers need to consider the needs of their employees. As an employer, providing your employees with a comfortable workplace and allowing them to customise their workstations to meet their specific needs would be adequate. Also, ensure that the office is well-lit and the temperature is comfortable.
How does employee experience evolve?
As the world of work continues to evolve, so does the employee experience. From how we find and apply for jobs to how we work and collaborate with colleagues, the employee experience is constantly evolving.
As the workforce becomes more global and diverse, the need for a good employee experience is more important than ever. Companies must find ways to attract and retain top talent, and a good employee experience is vital.
So what does the future of the employee experience look like? Here are some trends to watch out for:
Rise of artificial intelligence
AI is starting to transform how we work and will significantly impact the employee experience. AI can help automate repetitive tasks, provide real-time feedback, and give employees personalised career advice.
More flexibility and choice
Employees increasingly seek greater control over their work life. This means more flexible work arrangements, working from home, and being able to choose when and where they work.
Increased focus on wellness
As we become more aware of the importance of taking care of our health, the workplace is starting to reflect this. Companies are offering more wellness programs and benefits, and there is a growing trend toward “wellness at work” initiatives.
Greater use of data
Data is becoming more and more critical in the workplace. Companies are using data to understand what employees want and need and to make better decisions about the workplace.
More emphasis on culture
Culture is becoming more important to employees, and companies are starting to pay more attention to it. They’re ensuring their workplace cultures are attractive to top talent and investing in programs and benefits that make their employees happy.
What are the five pillars of employee experience?
The five pillars of employee experience include
- Learning and development
It is critical to providing a positive employee experience and developing a solid business foundation. Good communication helps build trust and rapport between employees and leadership, creates a positive work environment, and allows for sharing of essential information and feedback.
Furthermore, communication enhances employee productivity by providing clear direction, expectations, and feedback. In sum, communication is a critical piece of the employee experience puzzle and a key pillar of business.
When communication is lacking, the employee experience suffers. Research shows that a lack of communication is one of the leading drivers of employee disengagement. When employees don’t feel like they are in the loop, they become disengaged, and their performance suffers. Furthermore, poor communication can lead to misunderstandings and conflict, damaging relationships and poisoning the work environment.
It is a pillar of employee experience because it can improve workplace communication, performance, and motivation. When employees feel that their work is tailored to their specific needs and preferences, they are more likely to be engaged and productive. Personalisation can build trust and strengthen relationships between employees and their managers.
Some ways that companies can personalise the employee experience include:
- Using data to understand employee preferences and tailor content and communication accordingly
- Providing personalised development and training opportunities
- Fostering a collaborative environment where employees can share ideas and feedback
- Recognising employees for their contributions
- Giving employees the autonomy to customise their workdays
- Allowing employees to wear comfortable clothes or work from home when necessary
- Creating social and networking opportunities that cater to employees’ interests
An organisation’s leadership has a significant impact on employee experience. Leaders set the tone for the company, and their actions (or lack thereof) can make or break an employee’s experience. A good leader will act as a pillar of support for their employees, creating a positive and productive environment. They will also be transparent and communicative, setting clear expectations and providing feedback. On the other hand, a bad leader can create a toxic environment full of fear and anxiety. They may also be micromanagers, excessively critical, or completely uninvolved.
Wellbeing, health, and safety
Employees are the most critical asset to any organisation. Their safety, health, and well-being should always be a top priority. A company that prioritises the health and safety of its employees creates a safe and healthy work environment and positively impacts the employee experience.
Health and safety programs help to create a culture of care within an organisation. When employees feel cared for, they are more engaged and productive. Furthermore, happy and healthy employees will be more willing to stay with a firm, resulting in reduced turnover rates.
There are many ways to promote employee wellbeing, but some common well-being health and safety initiatives include:
- Providing on-site health screenings
- Offering wellness classes and programs
- Implementing ergonomic workstation set-ups
- Encouraging physical activity
Learning and development – Organisations are composed of people, so it is no surprise that employee experience (EX) is a top priority for many companies. To create a positive work experience, it is critical to focus on all
parts of the employee journey, from recruiting to retirement. Learning and development (L&D) is just one piece of the puzzle, but it is crucial. L&D increases employees’ engagement and efficiency, advancing their careers and increasing retention and loyalty to the organisation. In short, L&D is vital to EX and should be given the attention it deserves.
A framework for getting started with employee experience
Understand the impact of people’s experience
For any employee experience initiative to succeed, everyone involved must be well-versed in what workplace experience means, what it can achieve and why it matters. An aspect of employee experience that needs to be clarified is its relationship to employee engagement. The two terms are interchangeably used often, but there’s a vast difference.
Engagement is how connected the employee feels to your organisation emotionally and mentally, while employee experience is how an employee feels to engage with your organisation. Employee engagement practices are reactive, while employee experience is proactive.
Discover what truly matters to employees to improve the workplace experience
If you genuinely want to know what matters to your employees, consider the four Ds of the UK Design Council.
Discovering requires gathering information about the employees’ needs, wants, and expectations.
A new employee may be pleased with the quick and easy recruiting procedure. However, being employed by a firm that recognises what he does best and being chosen for the job he is naturally gifted in boosts confidence and success.
Defining the ideal employee experience Defining your ideal employee experience is creating one that will empower employees with the things they need to perform at their best. Try to build a cross-functional task force to process the
information gathered, narrowing it down to critical elements, obtaining employee feedback, and ensuring that the employees embrace your plan and like the solutions you provide. Once you finalise your work, please share it with everyone in your company.
Develop and deliver a great employee experience
Start by assessing your current employee experience compared to what you want it to be and focus on the most significant opportunities to close the gap.
Consider various solutions. For instance, you can Google for your employees’ best practices, case studies, and crowd-sourced ideas. Once you have settled on the solution, validate the answers you found to have the desired results.
Incorporate the right technology
Enable tools to make your ideal employee experience a successful one. Employee self-service portals can give employees quick and easy access to the information and tools they need when they need them. This can improve the employee experience by reducing their time searching for information or contacting the HR department.
Mobile apps make it easier for employees to stay connected with the organisation and up-to-date on company news and information. Likewise, collaboration tools, such as chat or video conferencing, can help employees to connect and work together more effectively.
Focus on human experiences over processes
The majority of initiatives are centred on process improvement and transactional human care. But emphasising human behaviour insights brings out the best in people and helps optimise business performance.
For instance, employees may know your company’s mission, but when they understand your contribution to the mission, they work with a new zeal, and it becomes an experience that fosters their long-term commitment.
When an employee has an excellent manager, it’s good, but when they have a manager who cares for them and knows how to guide them, it’s an experience that enhances productivity and passion. Focusing on experiences rather than procedures can result in intuitive and adaptive actions centred on what is most important to people and your company goals.
How to develop a strong employee experience strategy
Every organisation should consider three critical phases when developing an employee experience strategy.
- Aligning your employee experience with your purpose, brand, and culture.
- Focusing on the essential stages of the employee life cycle.
- Remembering the core needs at the heart of every step of the employee life cycle.
Align your employee experience with the purpose, brand, and culture
The employee life cycle experience should be uniquely built to reflect your company’s purpose, employer branding, and workplace culture. For example, if you are a company promoting customer-centric culture, it must be experienced by employees in your hiring process, onboarding process, and performance review.
Executing every employee life cycle per your company identity helps create a unique and substantial work experience.
Concentrate on the critical stages of the employee life cycle.
The employee experience cycle is a model that outlines the stages of employee experience. It begins with recruitment, onboarding, engagement, retention, and disengagement. Examining the several phases concerning your business culture is a fantastic place to start for firms that are just beginning to think about their employee experience. The employee experience has to be well thought out and activated within each employee’s life cycle stage.
One unpleasant experience in the process, similar to a consumer experience, can cause difficulties throughout the system, and the employee experience framework takes this into account when developing a strategy.
Remembering the core needs at the heart of every stage.
As an employer, you can meet the employee’s core needs by providing opportunities to have a voice in decisions that affect their work, offering employees hassle-free benefits, and supporting employees in their pursuit of work/life balance.
A few factors can significantly affect the quality of the employee experience.
- The quality of an employer’s connection with the management
- The clarity of their role
- The value they offer to the team
- The space and area where they work
- How their job impacts their general health
What are some employee experience best practices?
Employees have a set of essential requirements that exist throughout the employee life cycle. They include the manager-employee relationship, the role they’re expected to play, their relationship with team members, and their workplace environment.
The manager-employee relationship is critical to the success of any organisation. A strong, positive relationship between manager and employee can lead to enhanced job satisfaction, improved work performance, and increased motivation.
Some clever ways to improve manager-employee relationships include the following.
- Providing employees with clear expectations and regular feedback
- Encouraging open communication
- Showing appreciation for employee contributions
- Promoting a positive work-life balance
Organisations can create a positive work environment that enhances employee experience by improving the manager-employee relationship.
A role is an employee’s set of tasks, responsibilities, and expectations within an organisation. A role can be precise, like “marketing manager,” or more general, like “team member.” No matter an employee’s role, it should be designed to enhance their EX. This means that roles should be clear, meaningful, and aligned with an organisation’s goals and values. Roles should also be flexible enough to allow employees to grow and develop over time.
Some tips for designing roles that improve EX include:
1. Define the role clearly
2. Make sure the role is aligned with the organisation’s goals and values
3. Make the role flexible enough to allow for growth and development
4. Communicate the role to employees
5. Get feedback from employees about their roles
6. Make sure roles are reviewed and updated regularly
Trust and respect among team members enhance productivity and workplace experience. A few critical ways to have a good team enhance employee experience.
- First, employees who believe they are part of a successful team are more likely to believe they are respected and appreciated by their company. As a result, work satisfaction and dedication to the organisation rise.
- Secondly, employees who work in a positive team environment are more likely to be productive and perform at a higher level.
- Finally, employees who are part of a good team tend to have higher morale and job satisfaction, which can lead to increased retention rates.
A suitable physical environment enhances psychological health and increases performance and productivity. There are a few reasons why the physical environment is so important.
- First, the physical work environment can significantly impact employee productivity.
- Second, the physical work environment can affect employee morale.
- Finally, the physical work environment can impact employee safety.
Gallop’s Research has found factors such as a life filled with love, being energetic to accomplish your goals, and giving back to one’s community make a person’s life worth living. Accordingly, including these science-based wellness factors in the wellbeing plans for your employees would significantly enhance their holistic health.
Some of the best practices for employee experience and wellbeing include:
- Promoting a healthy work-life balance
- Encouraging physical activity
- Providing access to mental health resources
- Offering flexible working arrangements
- Supporting employees in their career development
Following these best practices can create a workplace conducive to employee wellbeing and happiness.
Employee Experience solutions: How can VIWELL help?
Happy employees are more productive. They are more likely to be interested in their job and devoted to their organisation. Additionally, employees with a positive workplace experience are more likely to stay with their company, saving the company money in turnover costs. Finally, employees who feel supported and challenged in their roles are more likely to be creative and innovative, leading to new ideas and increased business success.
Do you want all these positive experiences for your company?
VIWELL can help you enhance your employees’ workplace experience by providing a personalised, proactive, and engaging service. We help boost your employee engagement, support a healthy work-life balance, improve employee productivity, retain your best employees, enhance overall employee wellbeing and attract top talent. In short, VIWELL helps to create a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce.
What are you waiting for? Give us a call, and our experts will be happy to help you.