Why Employee Experience Matters More than Ever
Seize the Post-Pandemic Opportunity for Organisational Excellence
The experience that employees have at an organisation has a significant impact on how they view their employer. Why is the employee experience so important? If the overall employee experience is good, then employees are likely to enjoy their job. Unhappy employees are likely to look for another job.
Employees who enjoy a great employee experience are more engaged at work. This translates into improved business outcomes: better innovation, customer satisfaction, and increased productivity ─ as well as an employer brand that attracts talent and produces higher profits.
The pandemic and the Great Resignation have accentuated the need for organisations to focus on crafting the employee experience and delivering moments that matter. It’s a wake-up call ─ an opportunity to deliver a renaissance that creates a more engaged, productive, cohesive, and loyal team.
Why focusing on employee experience is critical: Mindsets have shifted
The pandemic and the consequences of societal events during and since have been major contributors to a shift in people’s mindsets.
With the Global Covid-19 Culture Assessment research showing that cultural entropy has decreased from 20% to 17%, we also learn that potentially limiting values have changed from bureaucracy, control and hierarchy, to caution, confusion, and job security.
Further, employees are more inclined to be engaged in jobs where the culture, ethics, and values include:
- Making a difference
Positive changes in how employees experience this culture include leadership that is more focused on their people and creating a healthy, collaborative working environment. However, differences still exist.
A divergence of priorities that must be reversed
As we are moving out of the pandemic-stricken economy, business leaders and their employees hold different views on what is needed to rebuild in the context of evolving ways of working.
Understandably, business and HR leaders believe that their people need direction. Employees crave more effective communication.
Organisations are focused on developing agility to survive the next crisis, while employees believe that innovation is needed.
We see similar differences between leaders who place trust high up their agenda, versus employees who want to be involved and engaged, and organizations that are focused on sustainability while their employees are focused on society.
Moving forward, it will be crucial for employers and their leadership teams to seek ways to measure these gaps and develop their company culture to align with their employees’ ways of thinking.
As organisations develop their post-pandemic culture, they must create ways to deliver: Greater employee engagement
- Greater employee engagement
- Improved opportunities and outcomes in innovation
- A programme of continuous learning
- Open communication with more transparency
Why does employee experience matter? How does all this impact your organisation?
The challenge for organisations is to take the good from the pandemic (the collective response of their employees, achieving greatness from the impossible, and delivering positive change) and take action to accelerate toward a new way of working that embraces their employees with exceptional employee experiences.
There are five key factors to accomplish this:
Re-evaluating outdated people practices
With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, it is difficult to keep up with all the changes. Certain work practices, however, have not progressed as quickly and are not as efficient as they once were. Organisations should collaborate with their employees to create new practices and processes that improve efficiency and engagement.
Developing communication and collaboration skills to build cohesion
Communication and collaboration are two of the most important skills for a team to possess. More effective communication skills allow teams to excel in the collaborative workplace.
Investment in training for top-down leadership to engage the workforce
Employees have shown that they can rise to the toughest challenges. As roles expand, organisations must invest in training their people to apply their own initiative and take leadership of their tasks and duties, and empowering them in work about which they are passionate.
Implementing employee consultation in new policies
Implementing employee consultation in new policies is a terrific way of getting buy-in from the people who will be most affected by those policies. Consultation can be done at all levels, from the decision-making team to individual employees.
Creating a sense of belonging through employee onboarding
Employee onboarding is a critical step in establishing a connection with new hires. It is the first impression for new employees, and it sets the stage for success or failure. If an employee fails to feel connected to their co-workers and organisation, they are less likely to stay long-term.
6 Factors that affect the employee experience
As an organisation builds back better, in its culture and work practices, it must consider these six factors that affect the employee experience it delivers:
- Transparency and open communication to develop greater trust
- The creation of a frictionless work environment that embeds digital experiences in a collaborative workflow
- An organisational culture of inclusion and belonging
- Leadership that promotes engagement of employees in an environment in which employees are recognised by management and peers
- Learning and development opportunities, to help employees upskill and advance their careers
- Corporate social responsibility
Don’t underestimate the need to deliver a good employee experience
As the Great Resignation continues to bite chunks out of workforces across all industry sectors, the labour market is becoming increasingly competitive.
There are more job options for employees. Hybrid and remote work has opened a world of opportunities for skilled and talented workers to pursue.
We will never go back to the pre-pandemic workplace. There is now a greater desire for flexibility and autonomy, and employees have greater expectations than before. Employees:
- Expect their employers to deliver a positive workplace culture that aligns with their own values
- Desire opportunities to grow and develop, and they expect leaders and managers to listen to them as well as recognise the contributions they are making
- Want competitive compensation that includes personalised benefits
As your organisation seeks to attract and retain the best talent, the employee experience that you deliver will be the key factor in your success and sustainability.
You can learn more about how your organisation is performing by conducting an employee experience survey to learn how employees feel, and exit interviews to discover reasons for quitting.
However, the beating heart of delivering a positive employee experience is developing leadership and management skills to support more collaborative working, improved relationships, and increase engagement with your organisation’s purpose.
Where do you start? Complete the Personal Values Assessment to get a comprehensive insight into your organisational culture – the insight that will help you make more effective decisions, and aid in alignment with team members and colleagues.