From the moment someone applies for a job, to the moment they send their resignation letter to leave the company, they will experience many connections and moments that determine their employee experience.
Employee experience (EX) is not far from client experience (CX). Just as a star drives CX loyalty and revenue, it attracts excellent EX top employees and increases employee engagement, dedication and productivity.
Many employers know how important it is to improve the EX to adapt to a post-covid reality and to reduce employee turnover and address employee engagement challenges. But there is still work to be done in employee experience to ensure it becomes a critical part of every business’ strategy.
What is employee experience?
In short, employee experience includes all the touchpoints that people encounter when working for an organization. These include appointment, onboarding, performance management and daily interactions.
Improving the EX is a top priority for employers. However, few have developed an EX strategy that tackles all the challenges of working in a post-pandemic world. An article by the Harvard Business Review points out that 4 million Americans resigned their jobs in July 2021 alone, and resignations have been abnormally high over the past few months.
As a result, 92% of companies say they will prioritize EX improvements over the next three years in an effort to prevent further resignations. This figure is higher than 52% before the pandemic.
Why employee experience is important
The employee experience is the bread and butter of business performance. When you focus on creating an environment where employees can thrive before, during and after their tenure, you are essentially building a solid brand and improving your product.
EX is made up of all the experiences, positive and negative, that people go through while working. These points of contact affect how people work together, how much effort they put in and whether they want to challenge themselves to achieve success at work.
From an organization’s point of view, creating a better EX is a business requirement. One of Deloitte’s studies concluded that organizations with highly involved labor forces reported a three-year income growth rate that was 2.3 times higher than average.
If you can provide an excellent experience for your teams, you will have a greater chance of retaining them in the long run. Research by Jacob Morgan suggests that companies that invest in employee experience are 4 times more profitable than those that do not.
Milestones of the employee experience
When you think of the employee experience, imagine a continuous circle: attraction, on board, engage and develop, and relaxation.
Here is an overview of employee experience areas based on what a person learns, does, sees and feels at each stage.
Attraction and recruitment
The attraction phase of employee experience is crucial because it determines the first impression that potential employees have. Things like the job description style (super formal, or more comfortable?), How long it takes to respond to candidates (or if you do at all!), And how smooth the interview process is, all affect the quality of appointments.
The candidate recruitment phase is also an opportunity to ensure that people become advocates for your organization, even if they do not join your organization. A bad experience in this phase can damage your brand’s reputation.
The on-board phase is your chance to impress and set your employee up for long-term success. This stage is about informing an employee as soon as possible and sharing your company’s culture and vision. Of course, boarding remote employees comes with its own set of challenges, so make sure you are prepared.
Involve and develop
Now that tenants know your business’s processes, tools and systems, amazing EX creates a space for them to thrive. By cultivating an environment where constructive feedback, dedication and motivation are part of the day-to-day, you will have a greater chance of retaining top talent.
The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from half to twice the employee’s annual salary, so you want to avoid people leaving as much as possible. During their tenure at a company, it is crucial to give employees the opportunity to grow with the role. In practice, this means, for example, that training opportunities are offered so that employees continue to be challenged.
Even with an excellent employee experience in place, you have to accept that most employees end up changing company. They can retire, make a career change or simply change employer.
Do not miss your chance to learn from exciting employees. The fact that they are on their way usually means that they will be sincere. This is a valuable opportunity to gather feedback that you can then use to improve the retention stage.
How to improve your employee experience
By mapping the employee experience from start to finish, you can spot the areas that need more attention. You do not have to focus on them at the same time. Instead, prioritize the low-hanging fruit first.
Follow these tips to create a great employee experience:
1. Start with the priorities.
While you may be tempted to start with several projects at once, it is more effective to think about what stage you want to focus on. By determining what is essential for you as a company, you will be more effective in improving the areas that will have the most impact first. For example, a company may focus on improving the onboarding process during hypergrowth. Use employee surveys to uncover possible areas for improvement.
Cultivate a healthy culture.
Company culture is an important component for the acquisition and retention of top employees. Needless to say, when you cultivate a good corporate culture, you’ll have happier employees – and that in turn leads to more successful businesses.
A culture that attracts high talent can lead to 33% higher income. Ensuring a routine of giving and receiving constructive feedback is part of a healthy corporate culture.
Design a wonderful on-board experience.
A stellar on board is crucial to getting that new tenant up to date as soon as possible and increasing the chances of them staying with the company. Studies have found that up to 20% of all new employees resign within the first 45 days of their role.
Make sure you create an onboarding process that focuses on giving employees the tools they need to work, including access to software, and that makes expectations clear on their first weeks and months. A great way to get people excited about your brand at this stage is to send them a swag for employees to use, such as hoodies or water bottles.
Invest in employee wellness.
A wellness strategy helps to make employees happier, which improves your company’s performance. Having happy and healthy employees increases productivity, lowers healthcare costs and reduces turnover. While it may sound expensive, it does not have to be. For example, you can offer wellness benefits such as flexible hours or arrange yoga sessions for lunch.
Offer career development schemes.
Career development is a win-win. A career development plan addresses the employee’s specific needs for growth and learning and provides the help they need to get there. Presenting a training budget can be part of a career development plan.
On the one hand, you give employees the tools they need to become even better at their jobs. On the other hand, they can learn new skills that make them more competitive in the job market. By giving employees the opportunity to improve, you demonstrate that you want them to grow personally and professionally.
Improving employee engagement with EX
The employee experience encompasses all the moments that people go through during their work at an organization. Businesses that develop an EX strategy are more successful as it promotes involved employees. This in turn means more income.
For your organization to master employee experience management, you need to listen to what employees are saying during each of those touchpoints of the employee life cycle, paying particular attention to the areas they consider most important.
Cultivating a great culture, developing an on-board strategy and listening to what employees have to say along the way are all part of a well-rounded EX strategy.
Certainly, congratulating people on their birthdays alone will not improve the employee experience. However, this small gesture as part of a broader culture of recognizing the little things can mean a lot to employees.
For example, consider spending time at all kinds of meetings to announce job anniversaries and promotions. Then every person involved has the chance to talk to the whole company. This accessible approach sends out a powerful message: everyone in the company matters. What better experience is there?