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4 Apr 2019

Demystifying the Employee Experience

The concept of the employee experience is one that has become somewhat of a buzzword in the HR space  since its initial conception in 2017. Some even say that it shaped the world of HR as we see it today. For those who are unsure as to what the employee experience is: it’s a metric that measures an individual employee’s interpretation of the company. Put simply, it’s how satisfied an employee is after they’ve taken everything about their job into account throughout their employee journey.

Employees often look at facilities, work-life balance, pay and how they are treated, for example. It takes a holistic approach to employee satisfaction – taking  into account individual concerns and feelings as well as factors within and outside of the workplace.

Josh Bersin, author and founder of Bersin & Associates says,“Starting as potential hires and recruits, employees look at everything that happens at work as an integrated experience that impacts daily life in and outside the workplace, including overall physical, emotional, professional, and financial well-being. Candidates assess future employers from the very start of the talent acquisition experience and make quick judgments about what life will be like for them in the organisation, based on how they interact with the enterprise during the recruiting cycle.”

Employee experience is often conflated with employee engagement and the difference between the two often goes undistinguished. Employee engagement is constantly fluctuating and steps need to be taken to ensure consistency in engagement and ultimately productivity  Employee experience, on the other hand, often cannot be rectified with simple changes and is ultimately down to the thoughts and feelings of the individual.

There was, however, an inherent controversy that came with the adoption of a new stance on the subject. On the one hand, there were the HR sectors that strained to find out how to sufficiently measure this new metric. Other HR professionals opposed this and denied its validity as a company measurement. To some, it was just seen as a millenial neologism designed to justify extra perks by condemning their place of work. Despite the controversial opinions, it does maintain credibility with actual statistics.

Currently statistics on employee engagement at work, researched by Qualtrics, revealed that only 56 percent  of UK employees are engaged at work. Qualtrics also noted that17 percent  of UK employees are looking to leave their jobs within the next two years. This makes the UK the second highest country globally in terms of employee turnover risk.

So, how can a positive employee experience change this? A study by Globoforce’s WorkHuman Analytics and Research Institute and IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute revealed how essential improving the employee experience is. The study took into account the surveyed opinions of ‘22,000 workers in 43 countries to determine the impact of a positive employee experience on retention’. 71% of people said that their employers could do a lot more to improve the employee experience.

The study concluded that there are six main areas companies should focus on in order to create a positive employee experience.

Creating a Positive Employee Experience: Six areas to focus

1) Organisational Trust

Having faith in your organisation, managers and company direction is needed for establishing a positive experience. Uncertainty in the upper levels of the company eventually filter down and that can have a profound effect on the level of comfort that newly recruited employees have for the organisation. It is imperative to ensure that all new employees are informed of any work/situational changes and be transparent with any difficult issues the company and your team might be facing. Being open, honest and inclusive in all company decisions demonstrates a willingness to want you to join. People change when they feel like they are relied on for a task as it does often massage their ego.

2) Co-Worker Relationships

How comfortable new employees feel and are integrated into a working team is also important to the employee experience. Allowing employees to transition into part of the team, getting them involved in team meetings and integrating them into the workforce will help dramatically. Not only will they get an understanding of company values and operations faster but they will immediately feel more valued and that their work counts. It’s also important that you implement a recognition and reward schemes for your employees as well. Establishing a healthy relationship with your new staff can be done by rewarding their hard work and giving incentives to  enable the company to succeed. Head over to our website Each Person to have a look at our reward and recognition schemes if you are looking for ideas.

3) Meaningful Work

The importance of meaningful and fulfilling tasks is increasingly significant. Employees, nowadays, are looking for a challenging yet exciting work in order to progress their career and reach their own potential. Looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we can see that a sense of fulfilment and achievement in your career path is essential to boosting self esteem and happiness. Limiting quantity/ succession of mundane tasks will significantly improve workplace engagement that will attribute to a positive employee experience. It is important that the employee experience is company a priority as it will reflect on the business and can be detrimental if the staff are overworked or mistreated.

4) Feedback and Growth

Personal growth and development of your skill set is one of the biggest factors when it comes to creating  positive employee experience. Allowing employees to make mistakes, learn from them, adapt to a new job role whilst improving their weaknesses is all part of the employee experience. If companies acknowledge that the transition into a role is not always smooth and can take a while to see the full capabilities of new recruits. Creating a tolerance for mistakes and learning will enable employees to relax and not make unnecessary mistakes which could be induced by pressure. Feedback should be coming in the form of rewards and recognition and constructive criticism for improvements. None of this should be negative. Showing positivity towards your employees is necessary as it will often be reciprocated in the form of engagement and ultimately productivity

5) Empowerment and Voice

Allowing freedom of opinions and ideas and giving that opportunity to the employees to voice their concerns if critical in the modern working environment. One of the biggest concerns employees have is not having their voices heard by the company. Be sure to keep communication open and make sure there is a promotion of open discourse. Feeling heard is important to employees.

6) Work-Life Balance

Flexibility, the freedom to balance work time, time to be spent with loved ones and health, hobbies and interests. For the company, employees do work for you but we cannot forget that they have lives outside of work. For the most part, the employee experience isn’t always about earning the most money. Andrew T, Jebb says ‘Jebb asserts that higher income is often associated with larger workloads and less free time’. As long as it is acknowledged that people have lives outside of the workplace, this enough for most employees to be satisfied and increased.

The employee experience is the hot new metric that almost everyone in the HR world is talking about Be sure you are informed on how to create a positive culture for the employee experience. It will pay dividends for profits and even company reputation. As a business owner, it is in your best interest to make sure employees leave your business with no malicious feelings. If they do, it can reflect on your company negatively as you can be seen as a bad employer which will limit your talent pool in the long run.

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