Leveraging the Employee Experience
Since Airbnb introduced the concept of the “employee experience” (EX), companies have been buzzing about the term and working to get it right. As the war for talent wages on, an effective EX strategy can give companies a definitive edge and be a winning factor against the competition. But what exactly is the employee experience, and how does it differ from employee engagement? How can HR leverage employee experience to boost employer branding, and what does it mean for learning and development (L&D) and talent managers?
Defining the employee experience
Businesses are becoming more people-centric; you see this everywhere, from daily business practices and company culture, to work environment and the training that organizations provide their employees. It’s crucial if HR is to attract and retain employees in the modern world of work. A people-centric organization boosts employer branding and helps companies position themselves as organizations of choice for employment.
The difference between employee experience and engagement
Let’s start off by defining the differences between employee experience and employee engagement. EX encompasses not only the work an employee does, but also the employee as a person and the holistic experiences he or she has in connection to the workplace.
Segments of the employee experience
The collection of experiences an employee has with a company sums up the employee experience – from the recruitment process, to different phases of the job, and even leading up to post-employment. EX encompasses the culture of the organization, the physical environment, the job one performs (and the psychological safety that comes with it), salary and benefits, other rewards, and the interactions one has with colleagues and management.
Employee experience improves retention
All of the above factors create the EX and contribute to how the employee feels about the company and employer. A study by IBM showed that positive employee experiences are linked to improving retention. The analysis ‘’reveals that employees with low Employee Experience Index scores are more than twice as likely to say they want to leave compared to those with more positive experiences.’’ This means that employees with positive employee experiences are 52 percent less likely to leave their organizations.
Employee engagement is not happiness
Employee engagement on the other hand, is more focused on short-term changes and working on solutions to improve how engaged an employee is in his or her work and job productivity. An engaged employee is defined as ‘’one who is fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work and takes positive action to further the organization’s goals and interests.’’ In short, employee engagement does not mean the happiness of an employee. An employee can be happy on the job, but not engaged and productive at work.
Bigger impact on ROI
The same study by IBM also shows that organizations delivering a positive employee experience and providing their employees with feedback and recognition, and opportunities for empowerment, experience a more significant impact on ROI.
Understand employee aspirations
As organizations transition from authoritative management styles to more social enterprises, businesses are giving their employees the chance to be heard and voice their needs and concerns. The main goal here should be for companies to understand employee aspirations and work alongside their employees instead of against them. Use software tools to assess the needs and sentiments of your workforce at scale in a short period of time. Speexx provides AI-driven needs assessment for language skills training across the entire organization with Speexx Essentials.
Improving the employee experience
To improve the employee experience in your organization, take a look at these three areas:
Cultural work environment
Work culture plays a big role in the employee experience and has been a major focus for HR professionals – with diversity and inclusion being at the top of the list.
The ideal working environment
As baby boomers transition out of the work force, younger generations are taking the reigns and sculpting their ideal working cultural environment to include diversity and inclusion, true work-life balance, meaningful work, and opportunities for learning and career development.
Take a step back and assess your organization:
What kind of company culture do you foster? Are your employees given on-the-job training and encouraged and supported in their career development? Do you provide your diverse team (not just culturally diverse, but also in terms of mixed generations and differing values) with the proper training to communicate effectively and harmoniously?
More positive employee experiences
Creating an open, growth mindset and continuously upskilling your employees will lead you on the right path toward creating the culture of learning that the modern work force is yearning for. Maximizing rewards and minimizing threats, promoting social connection and becoming more human when addressing corporate issues, and practicing effective communication can help to ensure you treat all team members with respect and equality – resulting in more positive employee experiences.
Technical factors at play
Are you providing technology that is up to date across the board? Enabling your work force to complete their jobs efficiently with updated technology is part of providing a positive employee experience. When providing your work force with opportunities for training and development, support them with the right tools and technology to assist them. Jump on board with mobile learning and give them the opportunity to learn a new language or train new skills with a mobile app and completely integrated with the flow of work.
Achieving a culture of learning
Additionally, some team members might be intimidated by new technologies. Don’t assume everyone knows how to work a certain type of software or tool – give people the opportunity to learn in a safe space and provide resources and mentors where necessary to get all individuals up to speed.
Staying ahead of the digital transformation curve
Ensure that technology is not another hurdle holding back your teams and your entire organization from achieving a culture of learning and staying ahead of the digital transformation curve.
It sounds simple, but good lighting, opens paces for collaboration, and private rooms for one-on-one meetings or private calls – these are all of the utmost importance, and go a long way in creating a positive working environment. This goes in line with what we hear about the physical environment in the workplace – good lighting, open spaces for collaboration and private rooms for important calls and meetings to be held, will go a long way in creating a positive employee experience and working environment.
Improve productivity and boost employee satisfaction
Providing your employees with a welcoming and professional yet serene environment can help improve productivity and boost employee satisfaction – nobody wants to work in an office where tools, technology or furniture do not function properly and possibly hinder chances for productivity and success.
Are you working on boosting employer branding?
The employee experience is a more employee and human-centered approach to designing your company workflow from the bottom up, with the goal of making the overall experience more pleasant for all your team members on a steady, day-to-day basis. to improve the overall experience of your employees in your organization. It is the sum of the entire experience an employee has at work. Adults in the working world spend a significant amount of time at their jobs, so it’s in your best interest to make it a pleasant experience, one worth coming back to five days out of the week.
Boost your employer branding
Both employee experience and employee engagement are equally important in HR and learning and development. Do you take both into consideration at your organization, and do you already have a strategy in place to boost employer branding?