​Why employee experience matters

The purpose of employee experience is for companies and their employees to work together to improve individual, team and company performance, providing the employees with a high quality physical, cultural and technological environment.

With the changing nature of the workforce -- employees needing purpose in their work, flexibility, collaboration, meaningful connections and mentoring -- organizations are starting to realize that there is a need to change the way they manage their teams.

Some claim that employee experience is the new employee engagement. While employee engagement is an outcome, employee experience is the underlying process that should positively impact the engagement of your employees. As HR Technologist puts it, employee experience is the “sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization — every employee interaction, from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment.” The purpose of employee experience is for companies and their employees to work together to improve individual, team and company performance, providing the employees with a high quality physical, cultural and technological environment.

While almost 80% of executives rated employee experience as very important, only 22% feel that their companies are building excellent employee experience. According to Deloitte, there are different challenges that influence employee experience including:

  • Companies do not see employee experience as a priority for their HR leaders
  • Companies fail to delegate the responsibility of creating employee experience
  • HR departments often struggle with resources to create an integrated set of priorities
  • There is a need to update the tools to create long-term employee engagement
  • Many companies still do not prioritize continuous performance management, inclusion, diversity, wellness, workplace design and leadership as an integrated framework

In today’s digitalized society which is becoming increasingly transparent, and the rising demand for talent with fast-changing skills, employee experience can help companies to differentiate and retain talent.

So what's the key to achieving excellent employee experience? First, you need understand the real needs and opinions of your employees. Applying human-centered design to your organization will allow you to create a better experience for your employees and develop a strong company culture that inspires employee loyalty and retention. Design-thinking and human-centered methods continue to find their ways to various industries including HR. As said by industry leader Josh Bersin, “Design Thinking casts HR in a new role. It transforms HR from a “process developer” into an “experience architect.” Design-thinking allows companies to apply a more holistic approach. Rather than separating the employee journey into traditional issues such as culture, rewards, career development, organizations should reimagine every aspect of work with the goal of creating an integrated experience.

There are various factors that can positively influence the experience of your employees;

Meaningful work:

  • Hire talent that matches your company culture
  • Encourage autonomy and responsibility
  • Empower collaboration across teams

Supportive management:

  • Set clear and transparent goals
  • Provide coaching to your employees
  • Invest in talent development

Positive work environment:

  • Create a flexible work environment
  • Bring the "human touch" back to business
  • Recognize the achievements and efforts of your employees
  • Promote an inclusive, diverse workplace culture

Growth opportunity:

  • Provide training and support on the job
  • Encourage self-directed learning
  • Help your employees recognize and develop their strengths

Trust in leadership:

  • Communicate a clear mission and purpose
  • Invest in your talent

Employee experience

With this being said, it is absolutely crucial for leadership to prioritize positive employee experience as one of their main goals. You as a leader need to take the first step to embody the transformation in order to create a company where business and people thrive. Start by articulating a clear and differentiated employee experience ensuring its alignment to your mission an all aspects of the work experience.

Designate a team or a leader to oversee and drive the employee experience. They should manage the functions of employee development, engagement, the organizational design of your company, culture and analytics. Through user-centered design learn what your employees are doing every day, uncover their main challenges and problems and develop new, more effective ways to simplify work and improve creativity. Methods such as personas, employee journey maps and asking the right questions will help you develop a successful strategy. However, it is important to consider every aspect of your workforce and provide them with elements that attract and engage them. Ask for regular feedback and facilitate data from resources such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn to address the weaknesses of your business. And for global organizations, don't forget the cultural differences in how employees perceive their work experience! It is likely that different countries will require different engagement programs, research and testing. Lastly, move away from annual or biannual engagement surveys to continuous, open feedback. Conducting candidate stay and exit interviews and ongoing performance conversations will help you to develop real understanding of the challenges your employees face. Develop strategies such as a net promoter score to measure and track the success of your employee experience strategy.

Dominika Cechova

Dominika Cechova

Content Team

3 minute readPublished on May 23, 2019

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