A positive and fulfilling employee experience is one of the many important indicators of success in a company. But it’s not right to assign work and offer little to no guidance. When 86% of employees note a lack of communication as a reason for workplace failures, it’s essential to take a more active role in the employee experience.
Every stage of the employee lifecycle has unique challenges. Being intentional about the employee experience during each phase is what could make a company worth staying at.
If you're looking to improve employee engagement, increase productivity levels, and reduce turnover, human resources and other business leaders could benefit from mastering how to manage the employee experience. Here's how your organization can provide the best environment for your workforce through employee experience management.
What Is Employee Experience?
Similar to how businesses want to provide a great customer experience, companies are focusing more and more on a great employee experience to help their organization succeed.
The employee experience describes someone’s journey with a company from start to finish. This includes the hiring process, what they learn during their employment, how they grow, and how performance reviews are conducted. Any other company policy, procedure, and culture that impacts an employee’s time with your organization is also part of the experience.
The employee experience starts the minute they interact with your company during the recruitment process and continues until their exit interview. The first impression your company has on a person will most likely influence how they feel about their position and place of employment – did you know that 49% of candidates in high-demand fields have turned down offers as a result of bad experiences during hiring? The way conflict is handled, what kind of feedback is offered, how useful the employee benefits are, and many other factors can also have a significant influence on your workforce's experience.
For example, work-life wellness. It’s important that jobs don’t take over people’s lives; instead, the employee experience can greatly influence how well someone will amplify their personal and professional lives. Employees might ask: is there any flexibility in scheduling or the workplace? What does the PTO policy look like? Are people encouraged to “unplug” after logging out?
When employees are given an environment to flourish in, are offered the support and resources they need to do their jobs adequately, and can trust their management and peers, they have a much higher chance of having a positive employee experience. When your company is able to offer a great experience, employees are happier and more engaged, which means they are more productive and could potentially stay at your company longer.
At the end of the day, the employee experience is a core aspect of business performance. It affects how well employees work, their collaboration, and their overall investment in the company.
What Is Employee Experience Management?
Employee experience management is all about creating a positive work environment for your team. Every interaction an employee has with your company impacts their overall experience. By prioritizing employee experience management, you can ensure that all stages of their employment journey are healthy and fulfilling.
To create a thriving work environment, HR leaders must prioritize employee needs. This involves providing comprehensive benefits and conducting effective performance evaluations. These policies and perks are the foundation of your organizational culture and have a direct impact on an employee's experience with your company. Ultimately, effective employee experience management is about employee wellbeing.
Why Is Employee Experience Management Beneficial?
We’ve all heard things like: “An employee will get out what they put in at their job.” And, while this is true to some degree, company leadership and culture shape most of the employee experience. Setting fair and reasonable expectations and helping employees grow in their careers takes planning, which is why employee experience management is so important. Here are some other benefits:
- Helps organizations attract and retain top talent. If there’s one thing employers and HR professionals understand, it’s the importance of employee retention. It's been challenging over the last couple of years, with 4 million Americans per month quitting their jobs in 2022. Companies cannot afford to lose employees over issues that are preventable with intentional employee experience management.
- Builds company culture. An employee experience manager is, perhaps more than anything, expected to nurture an excellent organizational culture that creates a positive experience for everyone. An organizational culture lays out the values, norms, and behaviors that the workforce is expected to follow and strive for, which is reflected in the policies and benefits a workplace has. Culture informs leadership, structure, and management styles and can make a difference in the overall energy of employees.
- Builds competitive advantage. If your company has a robust employee experience, you could attract top talent, enjoy a more productive workforce, see higher retention rates, and achieve more with satisfied employees. This can make you look good to consumers and might help you bring in better performers, giving you an extra boost compared to competitors.
- Boosts productivity. Poor engagement actually drains company resources and brings revenue down, whereas workplaces with employee experience management actively engage employees, improve performance, and increase productivity.
- Aligns all employees' experiences. When implemented well, employee experience management also helps get all employees on the same page, giving more clarity on expectations, what kind of resources are at their disposal, and what business goals everyone is working towards.
Employee Experience Stages
An employee's experience at your company doesn’t necessarily stay the same the entire time they are there. Not only does the company change and adapt over time, the people do too.
As employees gain more experience, their needs and desires vary, which is where the employee lifecycle comes into play, with 5 primary stages.
The recruitment phase encompasses all of the steps it takes to hire a new employee, from attracting the right people, through to the job offer stage. So the experience your employees have with your company starts with your job posting!
How long does it take to hire? Do you attract your ideal candidates? Did you offer enough direction during the interview process? All of these questions say something about the experience your employees have.
Once you’ve hired someone, getting them up to speed is a whole new ballgame. Onboarding is all about helping employees get settled in, understand expectations, learn systems and processes. The faster employees are onboarded and the more support they have, the better it is for the company – and, of course, for the new hire.
Employee development makes up a large portion of an employee’s time at your company. Each person at your company will have unique goals, rates of growth, and skill sets, so helping individuals develop is the best way to ensure people have opportunities to grow.
This means discussing productivity and performance, setting goals for improvement, understanding promotion aspirations, and more. It also means offering ways to develop new skills or expand existing ones through education and projects. How is your organization contributing to an employee’s portfolio and expertise?
For employees who are fully integrated into your organization, retention is all about keeping engagement and satisfaction high, while making sure these talents feel valued and inspired.
They should feel connected to the company’s vision and goals, knowing their contribution counts, and that they are appreciated. When companies fail in this stage, employees can be snatched up by competitors, so protect the people you invest in and help them find greater satisfaction with your company.
Eventually, some employees will end up leaving their current company, whether due to retirement, making a life change, or simply outgrowing their position. For employee experience managers, one important aspect of this phase is to find out why an employee is leaving and make appropriate adjustments for current and future employees. The more open and honest exit interviews are, the better and more actionable your feedback will be.
How to Improve the Employee Experience
Considers all stages when looking for improvements
If you happen to treat a tenured employee the same way you treat a newcomer, that employee might feel misunderstood and frustrated. Likewise, if a brand new employee doesn't have the same experience or loyalty compared to a long-term employee, they shouldn't be expected to have the same investment in a company. Having awareness about where employees are in the lifecycle could be a game-changer, and a great strategy analyzes each stage when enhancing the employee experience.
For example, Lorman reports that 70% of employees consider quitting their current jobs to work with employers who are more invested in career development and learning. Don't pour all of your resources and focus into retention and neglect the development stage of the employee lifecycle – the other way around is also true.
Nurture employer and employee relationships
Only 1 in 4 employees strongly believe that their current employers care about their wellbeing, which could create a damaging work environment and not inspire the best work from those employees. When people feel connected to their teams and happy with their immediate manager, they are potentially more likely to enjoy their job. Frequent feedback, clear expectations, adequate training and resources, and genuine interest in employees go a long way in developing these relationships.
Recognizing the impact employees have isn’t just about boosting their ego – people need to feel like they make a difference at an organization for them to care about the work that they do. Acknowledging their contribution is a core part of employee recognition, which shapes their employee experience, too. Many who quit their jobs cite lack of appreciation as a major factor, so try to reward employees for the work that they do.
Overall healthy communication
75% of senior HR managers agree that collaboration, constant communication, and a culture of mentorship will be the key feature of high-performing workplaces of the future. If you truly want to improve the employee experience at your organization, go directly to the source and gather feedback from employees.
When open and honest communication is not only encouraged but modeled by company leaders, employees will most likely work with you to create a better workplace. Ask what is working well and what isn’t, and then adjust your strategy accordingly.
Up Your Employee Experience with Gympass
Employee experience management can be an overwhelming task for a lot of HR departments, but even small adjustments to your policies and practices can make a big impact.
One place to start is with employee wellbeing. Give your employees a chance to prioritize their wellness, both in and out of the office. With Gympass, employees have access to thousands of gyms, studios, apps, and more so that they can take care of themselves in a way that works best for them.
Talk to a wellbeing specialist to see what you can do to hone the employee experience at your workplace today!
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The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.
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