9 Essential Ingredients Of An Exceptional Employee Experience
If you are interested in learning more about organizational response specific to COVID-19, there are several articles on our blog with insights about helping employees navigate this unprecedented situation.
The employee experience is a series of stages which collectively define employees’ perceptions about the job and the workplace. Engagement is the outcome of a good experience, so it’s important to make the employee journey as positive as possible by building an optimized employee experience every step of the way.
To build that experience, start by analyzing your business and strategy, and tailor the experience to align with your business objectives. Listen to employees by capturing data during the moments that matter, outlined in this article and in the accompanying infographic. The infographic includes the data points illustrating the huge impact a good experience has on critical aspects of the employee journey.
Employee surveys are crucial to your listening strategy. While a broad and comprehensive listening strategy is advised, annual census surveys in particular provide a wealth of data that can be correlated to surveys administered at other critical points—onboarding, during change, and when the employee exits the organization—to identify trouble spots in the experience and address them. A comprehensive survey strategy will also allow you to gain predictive capabilities.
9 Elements Of An Exceptional Employee Experience
An exceptional employee experience is positive from beginning to end. Here are the most important things to concentrate on for every stage of the employee journey:
1. Make a good first impression.
To attract the best talent, you need to create a positive pre-hire experience. Treat every applicant with respect; unsuccessful candidates may be current or future customers—or even future employees. Providing a realistic preview of the job minimizes later dissatisfaction.
2. Set new hires up for success.
The onboarding experience colors the rest of the employee’s journey with the organization. Making sure that new hires have support from their manager and team, and the resources needed to do the job fosters a sense of connection to coworkers and the organization.
3. Foster open, honest communication.
Continue to help employees attain success by removing barriers to engagement. Annual surveys can reveal barriers to open communication, but it is important to continually foster an environment of openness and trust. This will encourage employees to provide honest feedback on an ongoing basis—not just when responding to a survey.
4. Emphasize trust and support teamwork.
Today’s complex work environment and need for competitive agility frequently relies on cross-functional teams coming together to solve novel problems. Trust and open communication are essential to supporting a culture of effective teamwork.
5. Communicate your mission and recognize contributions to success.
It is essential that employees understand the organization’s mission and core values—and feel valued for their contribution to the business. Feeling welcomed and valued is the single most important factor in the employee experience; it is impossible for employees who believe their contributions are not valued to be fully engaged.
6. Highlight opportunities for advancement.
Ongoing career development is essential in today’s rapidly changing knowledge-based work environment. Keeping employees informed about development opportunities can have a big impact on their perceptions about the opportunity for advancement—and on engagement.
7. Use feedback to navigate change.
Organizational change is inevitable, but it can breed uncertainty, doubt, anxiety and worry. The employee survey is a critical tool for tracking employee adaptation to change and identifying trouble spots in the change process. Addressing these friction points can ease the transition and help create a positive experience.
8. Leverage older workers.
Don't lose valuable employees who are approaching retirement. Consider mentoring programs, or assigning projects to older employees to keep them engaged.
9. Keep in touch.
Employees who have left the organization may still be customers—or future employees! They can also be a valuable part of your talent recruitment network. Keep former employees up-to-date on company direction and success to engage employees even after they leave.
Boiled down into these nine elements, creating an exceptional employee experience appears to be much easier than it is in reality. Creating and supporting a culture of engagement is ongoing work, and even in companies with highly engaged workforces, there is always room for improvement. An ongoing focus on these elements, paired with action and the dialogue fostered by a continuous listening program, will help you keep your finger on the pulse of what matters most in creating a positive, engaging environment.
See the way forward to higher engagement.
The Perceptyx platform gives you the flexibility to develop a listening strategy that fits the needs of your organization and identify the barriers blocking engagement. Combined with support from our analytics experts, our platform can help you keep track of your people’s perceptions, so you can provide the support they need to become fully engaged. Get in touch to see how we can help your organization increase engagement—and profitability.