Have you ever wondered how people on your team feel since remote work has become the norm? What moments do they enjoy and give them the feeling of being part of a company attentive to their needs? Maybe two years ago things came naturally, everyone was at the office, the physical meetings, the moments spent at coffee, at lunch, or on Happy Friday were essential for creating a pleasant work experience. In remote work, it seems that the emphasis is more on what they produce and less on the experiences lived at work. And it should not be neglected at all, experiences play a key role in retention, especially since we have a borderless labor market. And in the last year, amid the pandemic, 43% of employees said they had a negative work experience, 35% experienced a decline in employee productivity, and 40% reported a negative impact on employee engagement, shows a study by Willis Towers Watson.
Discover how important the experience offered to employees is and how you can make it more pleasant.
WHAT IS THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE?
Just as UX is the term that defines user experiences on a site, so employees can be seen as “users” or “customers” of an organization. Their experience means their interactions with leaders, colleagues, the human resources team, interactions with technology, the space, or the work environment.
Leaders are the ones who can create pleasant experiences for the people in their teams, they can outline the right environment for achieving the desired results and for career development.
80% of managers consider the experience of employees either very important or important, but only 22% reported that their organizations did an excellent job creating a differentiated experience for employees, according to a Deloitte study.
But employee experience boosts commitment, wellbeing, and overall business productivity and performance, creating value for both employees and businesses, according to a 2021 Willis Towers Watson study.
It is important to think about the role that employees’ experience plays in their job satisfaction, recruitment, and business results.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO FOCUS THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
The experience of colleagues in the company is reflected in 4 important areas:
Employee Engagement and satisfaction
A pleasant experience can mean simpler workflows, without bureaucracy and people who can do their job easier and more efficiently. They are thus more motivated to get involved in the activity of the team and company. This is why many employers and HR departments follow the parameters to show them employees’ engagement. Some have even created Chief Experience Officer roles that manage the employee experience just as a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) would do for customers.
Candidates are not only looking for well-paid jobs but also for jobs that promise them to have experiences according to their expectations and needs. They read about the company, they are interested in what the manager and colleagues are like, they are carefully looking at the benefits, now paying attention to the flexibility of the program and the possibility to work remotely. If current employees have a pleasant experience in the company, they will talk about it, attracting more candidates and giving the company more access to top talent.
Just as employees’ performance is assessed from day one, employees also evaluate their new company from the beginning of the integration process. If they don’t have access from the first days to tools that simplify their work and to the information necessary to carry out the activity, they tend to make radical decisions. A study by BambooHR, cited by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that 40% of newly recruited employees leave their jobs within 6 months. Harvard Business Review has identified common reasons why people leave, including better career development opportunities, salaries, the relationship with the direct manager. All these are facts of the employee experience. A Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker study, conducted in 2021, shows that 1 in 4 employees will leave their job after the pandemic, the main reasons being the desire to advance in their career or the fact that the pandemic determined them to rethink their skill sets. 50% of people who currently work remotely say that if the company they work for doesn’t continue to offer long-term remote work options, they will look for a job at a company that offers this.
Employees’ experience has an impact on the business. Studies show a clear relationship between employee experience, profitability, and business success.
- Companies that score 25% on their employee experience report twice as many sales and nearly 3 times their return of investments – IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute
- Leaders who invest in employee experience have 4 times higher average profits, 2 times higher average revenues, a 40% lower staff turnover – SHRM
- Disengaged employees can cost companies between $ 450 and $ 550 billion a year – Gallup
9 out of 10 employers indicate that improving the employee experience will be a priority in the next three years, while only 52% said that improving the employees’experience was a priority for their organization before the pandemic. (Willis Towers Watson study, 2021)
HOW TO IMPROVE The Journey of YOUR TEAM
Plan the employees’ journey
At the business level, the experience offered to consumers matters a lot, but the experience offered to employees also matters a lot, without this the consumer experience would not be possible and pleasant. It can planned in 7 stages: 1. Recruitment, 2. Onboarding, 3. Engagement, 4. Development, 5. Career advancement, 6. Exit, 7. Alumni. The human resources department is the one whose mission is to design the employees’ journey in the company and to make sure that it is a pleasant one, but the leaders are the ones who can support it and make it more pleasant.
Emphasize performance management
Only 2 out of 10 employees say their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do the best job, according to a Gallup study. And remote work probably contributes to this perception, with more emphasis on results and perhaps less on listening to employees and finding out how they feel. Choose to analyze the employees’ journey in the company through surveys that allow you to measure their mood and level of frustration at different times of the day. These data show you where you have to improve the experience of the people in your team.
Listen to your people at one-on-one meetings
During a pandemic, there are good days and bad days. We will never know how to handle the waves of uncertainty if we don’t ask people what situations they face, what their fears are. Understand what inspires and motivates them, but also what demotivates them and determines them not to get involved in the activity. Chanfe the role to have a clearer picture of their daily experience.
Connect with the people in your team through a transparent approach, by opening up to tell about your experiences and to listen to their experiences. Give them feedback and encourage them to give you feedback.
Keep promises to employees
When people feel cheated or unclear about what to do, they are more likely to resign. Be honest and realistic when setting expectations that people can have from the company. Then, together with the department managers, keep the promises, communicate constantly and clearly.
Support people’s development
Mention whenever you have the opportunity to talk to them that you are dedicated to their professional growth and career development and make sure they have the resources and opportunities to learn what they want. Through coaching, feedback, as well as through concrete learning methods, such as e-learning platforms, you offer them a complete learning experience.
Equip leaders appropriately
Be the manager who provides leaders with the support and assistance they need to support their teams. Provide them with leadership courses and training, as well as conversational guides to engage their employees more effectively.
Create space for peer-to-peer support
78% of employees spend more time with their colleagues than with their families, according to a Globoforce study, and it’s no surprise that the relationships that employees establish with each other can be a deciding factor in staying or leaving a job.
Offer to the new colleagues, but also those who want a change a buddy, a person with experience in the company who can answer questions and guide them in managing situations they meet in their work. Propose projects that involve people from several departments or encourage people from other departments to come up with ideas when there is a deadlock in a team. When teams are connected to each other, people are more likely to have pleasant work experiences.
Change your approach to failure
Intentional failure is rare. Most of the time there is a reason why the desired result did not occur. Learning the cause, rather than blaming the person, allows people to solve problems and feel good in the company.
Strengthen the people’s experience through all points of touch with them. Employees who have pleasant work experiences and good working conditions are more likely to be innovative and creative. Leaders are the ones who need to find the right approach to create an environment that meets people’s expectations. And success often stays in communication. No matter where people work, if there is transparency in communication, if there is attention to their needs and expectations, if feedback is taken into account and promises are kept, a pleasant work experience is outlined. It will go viral easily, through the enthusiastic stories of colleagues.