No company could be successful without its employees. Even the best product in the world needs to be backed by a company full of people who care about that product or service, work to make it accessible, and strive to keep it going. Yet, so many companies don't emphasize employee experience inside the workplace. Some business owners and CEOs may not see how spending money on a program to boost employee experience can be a strong investment.
Employee experience is a holistic environment that organizations purposefully design to enable employees to thrive, according to Rachel Ernst, head of human resources at Reflektive.
"It is the sweet spot where the employees' and the organization's needs, wants, and expectations intersect to ensure that both sides are successful and satisfied," Ernst said.
A 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report explains how employees look at everything that happens at work as a whole, and how all of those experiences impact the daily life of an employee. The report also stated that organizations focused on improving employee experience go beyond talking about employee engagement and culture, instead focusing on the overall experience, from HR to management to workplace practices.
Here are some tips to integrate and boost employee experience at your company.
1. Ask questions.
Start by asking employees what you can do to give them the kind of environment they need to be successful in their jobs. The best way to understand how to improve is going straight to the source for feedback. Ernst said to ask, listen and then act.
"Many organizations try to 'develop' people versus focusing on how to coach them to grow themselves," she said. "Create workshops to help employees understand what motivates them, what their key strengths are and their most important skills."
2. Give feedback.
Giving the type of feedback employees need is crucial. Ernst said that this means frequent, specific and relevant feedback. Require managers to check in regularly with employees and discuss progress toward goals, roadblocks and areas that are lacking.
"Make sure that managers are asking what their employees need in terms of training, coaching and resources or support," Ernst said. "Last, help managers to articulate how their employees' work and goals align with the company's overall goals and purpose-driven mission."
3. Track progress.
"No great employee success program is complete without some way to measure and continuously improve," Ernst said. "People analytics tools can help you take the experiential temperature of employees and quantifiably measure their satisfaction and engagement."
She added that this can help you to identify what works and what doesn't, and to adjust quickly before it starts affecting employee performance and satisfaction.
Marc Solow, managing director of Deloitte Consulting LLP's Human Capital practice, noted the importance of implementing a program to boost employee experience.
"A disengaged employee is one who will likely be less loyal, passionate and even less productive than an employee that is engaged," he said. "A workforce with an unsatisfactory experience can drag down performance and hinder efforts to drive change within an organization."
If employees are having positive experiences at their workplace, they are more likely to stay at that company. Then, once word gets out about this company's culture and emphasis on creating a positive and powerful employee experience, more people are going to want to be a part of your company.
"Employee experience is paramount to successful recruitment and retention," Solow said. "Unhappy or unsatisfied employees will likely share their experiences, and word will get out that an organization is not one where people want to work. As demand for skilled talent grows more competitive than ever, positive employee experiences will be a huge factor in winning this talent."
Unemployment is at a 17-year low, and Ernst noted that employees have plenty of choice in where they work. Companies are doing everything they can to attract the kind of talent that best represents their company missions and values. If your company isn't providing the kind of experience that employees are looking for, there are other companies out there that will.
"In today's world of digital, tech-savvy, in-demand resources, employees simply will not stay with an organization if they do not feel their demands and expectations are being met," Solow said. "As technology continues to explode and become more advanced, so too will the demand for technologically skilled, high-performing workers."