Every interaction a worker has with a company shapes their perception of their work. From the initial interview to ongoing employee recognition, every small detail influences job satisfaction.
Overall, workers say experience organizations are delivering leaves something to be desired — a whopping 50% of people feel emotionally detached from their work. This dissatisfaction often prompts many individuals to seek out roles that offer a more fulfilling employment experience.
Bucking this trend to attract and retain top-performing employees starts with crafting a comprehensive employee experience strategy. This strategy should encompass various aspects such as management practices, growth opportunities, leadership development, wellbeing initiatives, and the chance to engage in meaningful work.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to create a positive and rewarding workplace that will help keep your employees motivated and dedicated.
What Is an Employee Experience Strategy?
An employee experience strategy the plan and work put in to improve how employees feel about their role within the company. A comprehensive plan that addresses their needs and motivations can better align the different stages of an employee lifecycle with your organizational culture.
Many employee management strategies focus on business processes. An employee experience strategy is different, as it strives to optimize performance by focusing on the human aspect of it all. After all, an employee experience impacts job performance and satisfaction.
By improving how people experience their job, you foster an engaging and adaptable employee journey.
Why an Employee Experience Strategy Is Important
An effective employee experience strategy helps provide a positive employee experience. This can translate into improved job satisfaction, a stronger workplace culture, and productivity increases across an organization.
It is also an important part of increasing employee retention. As of late 2023, 93% of employees say their wellbeing at work is just as important as their salary (up from 83% last year). And 87% of workers say they would consider leaving a company that does not focus on employee wellbeing.
Your strategy should align with your existing organizational culture, but it can also help you add to that culture. A holistic game plan includes opportunities for team building and providing employee feedback, giving your organization an opportunity to improve the way it operates. This allows improving your employee experience to drive your company forward overall.
Key Aspects of an Employee Experience
The employee experience is shaped by culture, development, environment, and more. Optimizing these critical areas helps create positive experiences that delight your staff.
A huge driver of employee satisfaction is company culture — the values, beliefs, behaviors, and personality of an organization. Making sure your culture facilitates positive and meaningful work experiences is the first step in providing a positive employee experience. Consider evaluating whether your culture enables professional growth, work-life wellness, collaboration, recognition, and diversity and inclusion.
Investing in developing your people demonstrates commitment to their success while nurturing talent for your organization. Providing clear paths for career progression helps, as do learning opportunities through training, mentorship programs, and stretch assignments. While this can be an easy aspect of the employee experience to overlook, it’s critical: 89% say that professional development in their field is important to keeping them engaged at work.
The spaces where people work and the tools they use each day can have a major effect on employee experience, as well as performance. Nine out of 10 workers say their workplace environmental wellbeing impacts their productivity. This includes how well your facilities, tools, and technologies allow staff to effectively perform their responsibilities — at home or in the office. It also includes how safe people feel in the office, physically and psychologically.
Employee Experience Strategy Best Practices
When crafting an exceptional employee experience, it helps to keep some guiding principles in mind.
Focus on the Entire Lifecycle
Take a holistic view that traces key phases from attracting candidates through retaining and even boomeranging top talent. Look for improvement opportunities at each stage — and try not to skip transitions like offboarding or returning to work after leave.
Design for Moments That Matter
Determine defined episodes along the employee journey that disproportionately impact engagement and loyalty like promotions, child births, or celebrating achievements. Ask yourself what you can do to provide extra care, support, and celebration during these moments.
Co-Create with Stakeholders
Facilitating better experiences requires coordination across functions. Engaging stakeholders from IT to facilities early when mapping employee journeys and designing initiatives enables you to consider diverse needs.
Quantify the Impact
It’s a good idea to plan from the start how you will show that your engagement efforts are driving key HR metrics like retention, performance, wellbeing, or diversity. Sharing wins internally helps sustain momentum.
Personalize Where Possible
While some programs apply company-wide, look for opportunities to tailor components. This may include assigning dedicated mentors, greenlighting flex work, or celebrating personal milestones to make employees feel valued as individuals.
By keeping these best practices in mind, you can craft sustainable employee experiences that help all of your organization’s talent thrive.
How to Create an Employee Experience Strategy
Creating an exceptional employee experience requires examining and optimizing each stage of the talent lifecycle. From pre-application branding to offboarding departing staff, there are opportunities at every touchpoint to facilitate positive experiences.
Step 1: Assess Your Employer Brand
Your employee experience strategy starts with examining how potential candidates view your company before they even apply. Look at your current employer brand and identify any areas where it could be strengthened to appeal to top talent. You may consider soliciting feedback from recent applicants on how they perceive your company as an employer.
Step 2: Evaluate Your Current Hiring Practices
Are there any parts of the hiring process that are frustrating or confusing for candidates? Evaluate job descriptions, interviews, assessments, and anything else candidates undergo when applying. You can set clear objectives for simplifying these components and improving the overall hiring experience. For example, you may want to streamline the job application or provide more transparent communication throughout the evaluation process.
Step 3: Regularly Update Your Onboarding Process
Onboarding is a critical part of the employee lifecycle: Employees who think their onboarding experience was highly effective are 18 times more likely to feel highly committed to their organization, according to a Glassdoor survey. Consider how your company currently transitions new employees into their roles. This can help you identify any areas that could be smoother or more thorough to facilitate the shift to working for your company.
Step 4: Strengthen Internal Communications
Clear communication establishes trust and prevents confusion from growing. You can establish centralized hubs and multiplier networks to help key information reach all employees in a timely and transparent manner.
Step 5: Foster Community and Camaraderie
Do what you can to foster relationships through team building activities, employee resource groups, and social events. Consider organizing volunteer activities to facilitate connections while supporting causes important to your teammates. You may also create networking circles based on shared backgrounds, interests, or roles to spur organic relationship building.
Step 6: Recognize and Reward Contributions
Everyone appreciates being told they did a good job! Look for opportunities large and small to recognize employee achievements. This can range from tenure milestones to project successes, and can include a rewards program. Showing gratitude at authentic moments makes people feel valued. That can go a long way toward enhancing their time with your company.
Step 7: Seek Employee Feedback
Regularly survey employees at all levels helps you gather insights into their work experiences. You can use pulse surveys, focus groups, exit interviews, and other methods to understand satisfaction levels and pain points. This information allows you to continue enhancing your employee journey.
Step 8: Craft an Effective Offboarding Process
Just as important as bringing new hires on board is respectfully parting ways with departing staff. These transitions can preserve productivity and morale for remaining employees. And a dignified exit process that aligns with your overarching employer brand helps maintain positive recruiter branding among former employees.
Step 9: Continuously Improve
It’s a good idea to regularly step back and evaluate each stage of the employee lifecycle. The world moves fast, and what worked last year may not work this year . Keep an eye out for new opportunities to facilitate even better experiences as a part of your overarching strategy. Refining and updating your approach provides you the best chance to deliver an outstanding employee experience.
Improving Your Employee Experience Strategy
Every HR leader has to contend with an ever-evolving landscape of employee needs. A solid employee experience strategy can help you meet these expectations to remain competitive and keep your teams happy, healthy, and productive.
At the end of the day, workforce wellbeing is at the core of any employee experience strategy. By taking a holistic approach to employee experience that integrates physical, mental, financial, and emotional health into the strategy, you will be able to create an engaging environment where employees feel valued. Bolstering employee wellbeing sets the stage for increased productivity and performance.
Gympass provides employers with an inclusive wellbeing program. Our flexible subscription meets employees’ individual needs, fostering a culture of health — while reducing spending on talent management and healthcare.
Speak with a wellbeing specialist today to learn how our wellness platform can strengthen your employee experience strategy!
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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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