Businesses depend on their employees to keep the company healthy and growing. These are the people responsible for coming up with new ideas, executing the company’s core strategies, engaging with customers, and ultimately keeping things running. Yet many businesses neglect the importance of employee experience—and because of this, they never reach their full potential.
So what exactly is employee experience? And why should you care about it?
What Is Employee Experience?
Employee experience, as the name suggests, is the sum total of an employee’s interactions with your company. It refers to how they feel about their current environment, what they think about the brand and their perceptions about leaders and coworkers as well.
You can think of employee experience in three main categories:
- The culture. Your work culture plays a massive role in how employees feel about the business. For example, do you have strict rules and regulations, or are employees given more flexibility with how they work? Do you have a corporate culture that encourages people to work long hours and never take breaks, or do you encourage more frequent breaks and vacations to relieve stress?
- Technology and resources. What kinds of technology and resources do your employees use on a regular basis? If they’re stuck using a computer from the early 2000s or if your software is clunky and non-intuitive, they’re going to be miserable doing even the most basic tasks.
- The physical workspace. Don’t underestimate the power of the physical workspace you offer. Are employees comfortable in this environment? Do they have the ergonomic furniture they need to keep good posture?
The Benefits of Better Employee Experience
Improving your employee experience can benefit your organization in five main areas:
- Less employee turnover. Organizations that invest in employee experience tend to have lower employee turnover. Their employees are more satisfied and engaged with their work, so they’re much less likely to leave. This allows you to cultivate more leadership from within, while simultaneously lowering the costs of recruiting and hiring.
- Higher employee productivity. Employees with a better overall experience also tend to be more productive, for a variety of reasons. For starters, they’re more engaged with the brand, and they tend to be in a better mood, which means they’re capable of doing their best each day. Employees with positive experience also tend to be more proactive about changing their work environment when necessary and will be more receptive to training and education.
- Improved communication and collaboration. Engaged employees tend to be more proactive and clear with their communication; they know they’re valued, so they’re not afraid to speak up. Similarly, they’re much more likely to collaborate productively with other employees. Accordingly, you should have fewer instances of miscommunication, and more efficient teamwork playing out regularly.
- Better recruiting and talent acquisition. If you treat your employees well, the word is going to spread. Your company will earn a better reputation, and new recruits will be much more interested in working for it. Accordingly, you’ll have a much easier time recruiting and talent acquisition.
- Lower costs. Better employee experience is an investment that can lower your costs in many different areas, ultimately paying for itself.
Quick Tips for Better Employee Experience
Employee experience should be a major strategy in your business, and it’s one that requires significant consideration and investment. But if you’re not sure where to start, these tips can help you build initial momentum:
- Work from the top down. Every employee experience changes your institute needs to come from the top down. Your leaders and managers need to embody the cultural changes you hope to make; if they do, it will be much easier for your employees to follow suit.
- Pay attention to every phase of the average employee’s journey. Employee experience isn’t just about the day-to-day work an employee does for your company; it’s also about how they felt when they were being recruited, their onboarding experience, and all the way through to their experience in an exit interview. You have to make changes at every stage of the average employee’s journey.
- Take better measurements. Measure employee experience more frequently and more consistently. Use surveys and interviews to get a feel for how your employees are feeling—and why they’re feeling this way.
- Be proactive. Finally, be proactive. Don’t just react to complaints and make changes after employees are fed up; listen to their concerns early, and invest in a better employee experience before your employees have issues.
The better your employee experience is, the better your business is going to perform. Pay close attention to how your employees are feeling, and do what you can to give them a better overall environment and experience with your brand.