Employee experience at the heart of achieving higher levels of engagement
Reviving the concept of employee experience
Employee engagement is a topic that has stolen the attention of many HR conversations and continues to be a trend to watch in 2017. One of the concepts that has been revived as the result of organisations attempting to gain a more engaged workforce is that of the employee experience. This concept shines equal importance on the experience that the employees have with an organisation as one would typically place on customer experience. It is grounded in the idea of getting to know each employee on a personal level to gain an understanding of their desires, drivers, and values, and in particular the way in which these are portrayed within the office context.
By gaining this kind of information about all members of the organisation, leaders are able to boost engagement by using the employees’ personas to identify their needs and motivators and align them to that of the business. This can be particularly useful during transition periods as it will allow leaders to address the needs and concerns of employees directly in order to mitigate the negative side-effects that are typically experienced during times of change.
What is in a positive experience?
The experience that an employee has with on organisation takes place throughout their entire interaction with the company, from pre-engagement to alumni stage. This means that each employee is a continuous ambassador of the organisation and can be a crucial factor in creating a reputation for the company as being an employer of choice.
Factors such as the working environment, how leaders allocate their time, how people are welcomed into the company, the daily interactions within the business, and the way in which new hires are engaged and onboarded are all elements that influence the overall experience that an employee has with an organisation. Being attentive towards the interactions that an individual has with an organisation, particularly during the early stages of their inception, can play a vital role in determining their future success within the organisation. Equipping each employee with the basic skills and knowledge needed within the company when first starting out will not only reduce the uncertainty and fear associated with starting a new job, it will allow them to start actively contributing to the organisation’s realisation of their goals faster than if they were left to find their own way around the established processes and procedures.
Another area in which focusing on the employee experience can prove to beneficial is in the learning and development initiatives offered by an organisation. Rather than having a facilitator that delivers predefined modules to people across a spectrum of skills and abilities, focusing on the learning experience will allow programmes to address specific areas of improvement within the individual employee whilst playing to their preferred learning style. This will not only improve the enjoyment of the learning experience but also the impact of the lesson being delivered and ultimately the level of skills retained once the programme has concluded.
Employee engagement and satisfaction have an increased push towards what is ‘right’ for the individual, and their daily experiences are no different. Organisations that offer tailored interactions have reported to have already experienced the benefits of these efforts. According to a study conducted by Deloitte, the HR deliverables in organisations that out a focus on employee experience measured in at almost 5 times more than their less proactive counterparts. This clearly demonstrates the potential returns that focusing on the employee experience can have for an organisation, but it begs the question as to how exactly one should reinvent the experience to yield the same results? The answer? There is no one-size-fits all approach to employee experiences and engagement. Leaders should turn to their current employees to identify crucial areas of improvement from their perspective and use that as a starting point the journey towards an overall improved employee experience.
By focusing on the experience that an individual has with an organisation, leaders are able to identify potential pitfalls in current approaches, enabling them to make the changes necessary to ensure that everyone within the business experience positive interactions with and within the organisation on a daily basis. This will ultimately lead to increased work satisfaction levels, heightened engagement, and improved retention amongst employees as they are continuously reminded of what the benefits of working for the company are.
Article originally featured on the Mindcor website at http://www.mindcor.com/employee-experience-heart-engagement/