The Employee Experience: 7 Moments That Matter

By Lauren Beechly, PhD - May 28, 2019

Throughout both the employee and business life cycles there are important events with the potential for either positive or negative impact. The primary work of people analytics is to measure those impacts, using surveys and continuous listening strategies, with the goal of moving them in a positive direction. Improvements in the employee experience at these pivotal moments translate into higher productivity, lower turnover, and ultimately, higher profits for the business.

From this perspective, the moments that matter in the employee experience are also moments that matter in the organization’s life cycle. Even though the experience of one individual employee out of thousands may not register at the executive level, collectively these individual experiences have a major impact on the health and success of the business. For this reason, it’s important to ask for feedback at pivotal points in the individual’s employee journey.

Engagement is the product of a good employee experience. Learn how to improve the experience at every stage of the employee journey with our free guide, The Employee Experience Playbook.

Important Moments In The Employee Experience

A number of surveys can capture employee perceptions and opinions about significant milestones on the employee journey:

  1. Candidate experience surveys measure employees’ first experience with the organization. Surveying new employees—or all applicants—about the ease of application, their understanding of the organization and the job position, enjoyment of the interview process, and likelihood of recommending the company to others offers insights into the company’s hiring experience. This is helpful not only for identifying possible improvements, but also for building advocates for the company brand and retaining applicants who were not hired as customers.
  2. Onboarding surveys, typically given shortly after the new hire begins the job and then again 45, 60, and/or 90 days later, capture information about the new hire experience. Onboarding surveys reveal how well a new hire was set up for success in the first weeks of work, with resources, information, and manager and team relationships. Some organizations will follow up with an additional onboarding survey 45 to 90 days after hiring to gauge higher-level topics, such as the employee’s understanding of his place in the organization and the company’s direction and mission. Onboarding surveys may also be administered to employees who have been promoted, started new positions, have a new manager, or have joined a new team, to measure their engagement and experiences in their new circumstances.
  3. Performance review surveys allow employees to give feedback about the review process and their perceptions of its fairness; they can also gauge the impact of the performance review on employee engagement. These can be administered annually, biannually, or quarterly, according to the cadence of the company’s performance review process.
  4. Training or career development surveys can gauge the effectiveness of training or career development programs and their impact on employee engagement. While measuring affective reactions to training can be helpful, capturing behavioral and cognitive changes from the training can provide even more value into whether the training had the intended benefits. This can be accomplished through pre/post measures of the trainees or by comparing survey responses from trainees to a non-trained group.
  5. Anniversary surveys can be used to measure engagement and gather information about the employee’s vision for his or her future. By surveying employees during these critical personal milestones, the organization communicates that they value their employees’ feedback and opinions. These may be administered at the one, two, three, five, or other year mark; analysis of attrition for job role, location, or department can suggest the most appropriate cadence for anniversary surveys. In addition to surveying, it’s also important for managers and teams to celebrate anniversaries.
  6. Transition surveys may be given to employees who have recently returned to work after parental or medical leave to check in on how well the employee is transitioning back into their role, measure their stress level and engagement, and assess their perceptions of support and connectedness to the organization and their coworkers.
  7. Exit surveys capture information at a critical point in the employee experience, when the employee has elected to leave the organization. Employees who are leaving are likely to be candid in describing how they feel about the organization, their manager, and other experiences within the company. Information about the reasons employees choose to leave can inform actions to improve the experience for other employees and reduce future attrition.

Measuring The Employee Experience Through Census Surveys

Annual census surveys are not themselves pivotal events for employees, but they do offer rich data about the overall experience. Census surveys collect employee perceptions and opinions about a comprehensive range of themes and topics, including engagement. In addition to allowing all employees the opportunity to be heard, they offer a snapshot of the experience across the entire organization. For this reason, census surveys should be included in any comprehensive attempt to measure the employee experience.

Because employee engagement is the product of a good employee experience, measuring engagement at each of these events in the employee life cycle—the moments that matter to individual employees—offers insight into the quality of the experience throughout the employee journey. These pivotal points are also opportunities for communicating the message to employees that they are being heard and their opinions are valued—which in itself can increase engagement.

Are you listening during the moments that matter?

Building engagement requires caring about the things that matter most to your employees—and asking how they feel about these important moments and events. (Tweet this!) Paired with surveys tailored to your company’s strategic goals, the Perceptyx platform delivers rich insight into your employees’ perceptions and opinions about important events in their lives.

Contact Perceptyx today and see how we can help you gain the insights you need to increase engagement and attain your strategic goals.

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