Employee Experience: What It is and How it Works
Employee experience is more than just onboarding and offboarding. Learn what employee experience is and how to make it work for your organization.
Did you know that creating a great employee experience can enhance employee retention and improve employee productivity, according to Deloitte?
For these and other important reasons, employee experience has become an important topic in the business world in recent years.
Many company leaders are now realizing that if they want to keep their employees, they need to focus on creating a good experience.
Otherwise, they will be waving their employees a sour and bitter “goodbye” sooner than they think.
In this blog post, we will discuss what employee experience is and how it works. We will also provide some tips for improving it in your company!
What is Employee Experience?
Employee experience is the way employees feel about their job, company, and co-workers. It includes everything from the physical environment to the company culture, its values, and rituals.
It's also everything that employees go through before they even join the workplace - from sending in a job application until the day they leave the company.
Creating a positive employee experience can help attract and retain talent, improve productivity, and boost morale.
If you don’t create a good environment for your employees to work in, they will simply leave.
As a matter of fact, over 70% of Gen Zers say that they would quit a job because of poor company values.
Today, people, especially younger working generations, pay more attention to employers’ values than ever.
Another interesting statistic reveals that around 70% of 13-to-17-year-olds believe that their job should be made meaningful in order for them to take it.
Simply put, employee experience is the sum total of all the interactions that an employee has with their employer and the company as a whole. This includes everything from the initial application process to retirement.
Anything that employee is met with or gets in touch with = employee experience.
Examples can include things as simple as the day-off application process, the available employee benefits, and more complex ones like work/life balance and communication rules.
Factors Impacting Employee Experience
There are many factors that contribute to delivering a flawless employee experience. Some of them are within the control of the employer, while others are not and are thus more challenging to control.
Employers need to be aware of all of the factors that affect employee experience so that they can take steps to improve it or even implement it in the first place.
Some of the factors that contribute to employee experience include:
The work environment is one of the most important factors that influence an employee's positive experience in a company.
An environment should be designed in such a way that it supports the employees and makes them feel welcome. It should also be:
- comfortable (physically and mentally) and
- stimulating enough for employees to want to work there.
The work environment can be broken down into four categories:
Physical Environment - includes all aspects of the physical space where employees are working, e.g. keeping the workplace clean,
Social Environment - includes how people treat one another and how they interact with each other, e.g. the employees and their behaviour,
Organizational Environment - includes policies, rules, procedures and practices that dictate what is allowed or not allowed at work, e.g. time off and lunch break rules,
Technological Environment - includes the use of technology at work and the available tools for employees, e.g. the quality of company computers.
Making sure these 4 are spot on is the very first step to creating a positive employee experience.
The company culture
Moving on, another critical piece of the employee experience puzzle is the company culture.
Company culture is often a reflection of the company’s values.
In short, it is a set of shared values and beliefs that are central to the organization's identity. It encompasses the way people work together and interact with one another.
Good company culture can help to create a positive employee experience and it is important for the success of the business.
There are many benefits of creating a strong company culture.
It can help to attract and retain talent, share knowledge across departments and build trust with customers and stakeholders. If that’s not enough, you can also improve morale and engagement within the organization, increase productivity, as well as reduce turnover rates, and more.
All of that is within your reach - just make sure the company culture is done right and you will be fine.
Pay and benefits
Pay and benefits are undoubtedly significant aspects of a job from the employee's perspective.
Speaking of pay, it’s absolutely vital that you make sure your employees feel like they are paid enough for what they do. Otherwise, they might quickly become disengaged, as IBM’s research suggests. More specifically, it reveals that over 40% of employees see compensation (together with benefits) as a critical employee engagement driver.
As for benefits, there is a ton of research on their importance.
One research says that 49% of employees might leave their job and find a new one because of a lack of benefits. This type of behavior also applies to situations where there are benefits provided, but employees don’t see any actual use of them.
Moreover, between 63% and 86% of surveyed employees consider benefits like health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance and paid leave as must-haves at their companies.
Also, up to 78% of employees are more likely to stay with their employer because of their benefit program. That’s a pretty solid argument to implement them into your organization, isn’t it?
Some companies are able to provide their employees with the best benefits, while others are not able to do so. But what all companies should do is make sure that their employees have an equal opportunity for growth in the company.
In order to create an environment where employees want to work, companies must focus on pay and benefits, among other mentioned and yet-to-be-mentioned elements.
Upskilling opportunities, such as career development and training, are important for a company because they contribute to creating a positive employee experience.
Employees are more engaged in their work when they have the opportunity to grow or learn new skills. And this is also true for companies who have invested in their employees and given them the opportunity to upskill themselves.
Moving forward with the factors impacting employee experience, next on the list is communication.
The significance of effective communication for people to be able to share their ideas and experiences cannot be overstated.
Communication is also important for the company to be able to operate efficiently. In fact, 86% of employees and executives mention the lack of effective communication and collaboration as the main reasons for workplace failures.
Communication contributes to creating a positive employee experience in a company, and it is crucial that managers make sure that they create an environment where employees feel comfortable enough to speak up.
It should also be the managers’ priority to make sure that they are communicating with their employees in a way that makes sense for them. This includes, for example, using the right tone of voice.
Managers should not use a tone of voice that would make someone feel like they are being reprimanded. Instead, their tone should encourage people in their everyday tasks.
Recognition and mentoring
The value of recognition and monitoring is seen in the benefits they provide to the employee and the company.
Recognition is important because it helps employees feel respected and appreciated. It also improves morale, boosts self-confidence, motivates employees to work harder, and improves productivity.
Recognizing employees for their contributions can be as simple as a pat on the back or as formal as a written commendation sent to their managers for review.
On the other hand, mentoring has several benefits for both the mentor and mentee.
Mentees have access to knowledge from mentors who have been in their position before, which can help them grow professionally faster than if they were on their own.
Mentors are able to upskill their mentees and improve their efficiency. This, of course, positively impacts a company’s bottom line in the long run.
Do you want to know how to become better at mentoring? Try some of our tips:
- Communicate and listen,
- Practice empathy,
- Offer constructive criticism and feedback,
- Let your mentee make decisions,
- Work on becoming a positive role model.
With these simple steps, your mentoring skills will significantly improve, and so will the employee experience that you create!
Last but not least: work/life balance. Let’s take a look at some interesting statistics that prove the importance of it in maintaining a great employee experience:
56% of employee burnout is a result of negative work culture and is responsible for 20-50% of turnover.
According to EY, 49% of the survey respondents in Germany said that work-life balance is becoming more challenging to manage.
Work-life balance is a highly essential aspect for 72 percent of workers when choosing a job, and 57 percent of job searchers think a bad work-life balance is a dealbreaker when looking for a new job.
Are you curious about how to improve this balance in your organization? Well, take an example from these 10 companies with the best work-life balance according to Glassdoor:
- Bombas - 4.9
- 23andMe - 4.8
- Zoom Video Communications - 4.7
- Greenhouse Software - 4.7
- CB Insights - 4.5
- Ultimate Software - 4.4
- Pipedrive - 4.5
- Lyft - 4.1
- Patagonia - 4.1
- Etsy - 4.0
These 10 are real-life models in terms of creating great work-life balance, so do check them out!
Top 11 Tips for Improving Employee Experience
There are many things that employers like you can do to improve the employee experience. Here are all of our tips:
Create a positive physical environment
Remember our work environment factor mentioned earlier?
The physical environment is super important. This includes everything from the office layout to the temperature. Make sure your employees have a comfortable place to work physically.
What can you do?
- adjust the right temperature
- make sure the workplace is clean
- look after necessary equipment like toilet paper, water, and other amenities,
Such simple things can go a long way in ensuring a great employee experience - don’t underestimate them!
Foster a positive company culture
Company culture plays a big role in employee experience. Make sure your employees feel like they belong and are valued.
How can you create a positive company culture? Try some of these tips:
- Establish trust,
- Analyze the current culture,
- Define the perfect company culture,
- Set SMART objectives,
- Track goals and collect feedback regularly,
- Recognize and reward accomplishments,
- Invest in your employees,
- Pay attention to company engagement
If you want to create an excellent employee experience in your company, you need to communicate effectively.
Communication is important because it can generate a sense of belonging, which is essential for the development of an individual and for the establishment of an organization.
When communication is done correctly, it can also build trust and understanding.
Employees also need to feel like they are in the loop. Communicate regularly and effectively to ensure that everyone is on the same page!
Provide competitive pay and benefits
Employees need to constantly feel like they are being compensated fairly.
To make them feel that way, you should offer competitive pay and benefits to attract and retain talent.
Here’s how you can approach the salary topic in your organization:
- be open to negotiations,
- know the average salary for the job positions in your industry,
- offer regular pay raises,
- offer bonuses for extra achievements and excellent performance,
- don’t underpay your employees!
On top of competitive pay, remember that employees love benefits!
Some examples of benefits include:
- Great health insurance,
- Life insurance,
- Retirement benefits or accounts,
- Paid time off (PTO) such as sick days and vacation days,
- Flexible and remote working options,
- Financial planning resources.
If you’re not offering any of these yet, you’re missing out on ways to improve your employee experience!
Invest in training
Speaking of benefits, a great benefit you could provide your employees with is training!
What’s interesting, your employees are not the only people that will benefit from this.
You, as an employer, will too.
That’s because if you train your employees, they will become better at what they do - which will improve their productivity and your results.
There’s no doubt that employees need to feel like they are growing and developing in their careers.
Thus, invest in training and development programs to help employees reach their potential.
Lead by example
If you want to create a great employee experience, make sure that you are a role model for them. You need to be someone who leads by example.
Your employees will take their cues from leadership. Thus, make sure you are setting the right example for your employees to look up to.
Follow these rules to become a role model if that’s something that you’re struggling with:
- Listen to the team,
- Deliver on promised results,
- Resolve conflicts quickly,
- Value people,
- Pay attention to organizational cohesiveness,
- Respect and trust your employees.
Use data to drive decisions
Something highly important to remember and keep in mind at all times is that employee experience is not a guessing game!
You shouldn’t be walking around your company with a “blindfold” on. Making decisions and implementing new solutions without having fact-based knowledge that would support your decisions is a total no-go.
We highly recommend that you use data to understand what employees need and want. Then, use that data to make decisions about employee experience.
For this purpose, you could run a poll in your workplace using tools like youengage - an online piece of software designed to make flawless polls and surveys.
Based on survey results, you can then take evidence-based action.
More days off? More training courses? Change of manager? More frequent team meetings?
Whatever you find out that is lacking in your organization - try to implement it. Your employees will truly love you for such a nice approach, and for valuing their suggestions of course.
Make it easy to gather, give and react to feedback
Employee experience is constantly evolving. Gather feedback regularly to ensure that you are meeting employees' needs.
Employees need to feel like their voices are being heard. Encourage feedback and act on it to improve the employee experience.
Employees should be able to give feedback easily and anonymously. Make sure you have a system in place for employees to provide feedback.
Also, remember that feedback is useless if it is not acted on. Make sure you are taking action to improve employee experience based on feedback.
Introduce new technologies
We argue that the future of employee experience is all about technology.
For an excellent employee experience, you need to introduce new technologies to your workplace to avoid seeming “outdated”.
There are a lot of companies that are investing in technologies that can help employees work better and more efficiently while having fun too.
There is also a huge variety of tools you could utilize for the perfect employee experience journey.
These include employee management tools, HR software, communication tools, and more.
Today’s employees, especially younger generations, have had enough of the outdated technologies and want something new and fresh.
Also, they want something that will allow them to save time. Extra bonus: if the technology can be somewhat fun and enjoyable.
Companies should thus start investing in these new technologies to keep up with the times and provide an excellent employee experience for their employees.
Measure employee experience
Creating a great employee experience is not easy.
You need to create an environment that your employees are happy in, and you need to make sure that they are productive at the same time and much more.
You also have to make sure that they feel appreciated and valued by the company.
You will be able to measure your employees’ experience with a number of different metrics.
You could try employee satisfaction surveys for example. It's a good way of measuring how satisfied your employees are with their employer.
Employee experience should be measured regularly. Use surveys and other data sources to understand how employees feel about their jobs.
Never stop improving
Our last piece of advice for creating the perfect employee experience is to never stop improving. This is because the employee experience journey is always and consistently evolving. It’s like a never-ending story.
Consistency is the only way to guaranteed success:
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. “ - Benjamin Franklin.
The above tips should help you create a positive employee experience in your company. Remember, employee experience is a journey, not a destination. It is important to never stop improving!
How Sloneek Can Help You Boost Employee Experience
Now that you know what affects your employee, as well as how you can improve it, let’s take a look at how Sloneek can further help you perfect it even more.
We mentioned earlier that as part of your employee journey refinement programme, you should strive to introduce new technologies. One of our recommended technologies is Sloneek.
Sloneek is a human resource management platform. In short, it’s everything you need to manage your HR processes with ease and satisfaction.
With features for managers, team leaders and also key decision makers in an organization, we’re sure that you will find something for yourself.
What can Sloneek help you with?
- people management,
- time management,
- administration task management.
Try Sloneek today and find out how you can improve your employee experience journey in no time. With the free trial, you don’t lose anything and can only gain a lot!
Employee experience made easier than ever
By taking steps to improve employee experience, employers can attract and retain talent, improve productivity, and boost morale.
With simple tasks like being a good leader, compensating your employees correctly and investing in training and education, your employee experience can experience a boost it’s never had before.
Everything is in your hands.
Use our above tips to improve employee experience in your organization and your employees will love you for it.
And if you like the idea of Sloneek - give it a try!
Other than that, we wish you all the best with creating the perfect employee experience journey. Don’t forget to visit our blog for similar, educational content like this!
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