Elevating Employee Experience: Steps for a Productive Workplace
In recent years, the workplace has changed on a comprehensive level. According to McKinsey’s study of over 1,000 individuals, today’s employees are eager to find trust, purpose and social cohesion. Staff want to feel their contributions are recognised and are keen to access comfort and opportunities in the workplace.
Developing an exceptional employee experience is now crucial for businesses to attract and retain valuable talent in a skills-short landscape. Companies face an “exodus” of overwhelmed, exhausted and burned-out employees looking for better opportunities.
Failure to adapt to the evolving needs of the modern workforce places businesses at risk of lost productivity, damage to their employer brands and rapid turnover.
Fortunately, business leaders can invest in more robust employee experiences in various ways.
The Benefits of Improving Employee Experience
Developing incredible employee experiences is essential for a variety of reasons. First, it ensures companies can nurture the well-being of their teams, reducing absenteeism and burnout and contributing to better workplace performance.
Several studies from Gartner indicate that employers who support the well-being of their team members see a 21% increase in their number of high performers. This directly influences the overall productivity and growth of the business, additionally improving employee experience:
- Reduces turnover: Companies struggle to retain the needed talent in a skills-short marketplace. Around 79% of employees who quit their roles cite a lack of recognition and positive experiences as a critical reason for leaving.
- Improved engagement: Employees who are happy in their workplace are more engaged and more committed to facilitating business growth. One study found that organisations in the top quartile for employee engagement achieve up to 21% higher levels of profitability.
- Greater access to talent: A positive employee experience shines through in a company’s employer brand, helping to attract talent. This makes recruiting the essential team members you need to facilitate growth and new opportunities easier.
- Enhanced productivity: Engaged, happy employees put up to 57% more effort into their work than their counterparts. Greater productivity leads to enhanced performance in the workplace, accelerating the completion of critical tasks.
- Improved company culture: A better company culture, built on satisfied and engaged employees, not only strengthens your employer brand but also leads to more collaborative, cooperative teams who can work together to innovate and unlock new opportunities.
Key Ideas and Strategies for Employers
According to McKinsey, improving employee experiences in the modern world requires a systematic approach that considers the workforce’s various “employee personas” and their unique needs throughout their lifecycle with a brand.
1. Identify and Transform Employee Journeys
The first step in developing an incredible employee experience is identifying the key elements of the “employee journey” and how staff members interact with your business. Leaders in your organisation should have a clear and aligned view of the key elements of a great experience, based on their knowledge of their team members and priorities.
It makes sense for most organisations to start with the onboarding experience. An excellent onboarding journey can improve new hire retention by up to 82% and increase productivity by more than 70%.
Create a comprehensive plan for the employee’s first few weeks within the company, focusing on making them feel connected to the company culture and supported by the business. Look at cultivating relationships between teams, making them feel at home in the office environment and answering any questions they may have about the business.
2. Create a Positive Work Environment
94% of business leaders and 88% of job seekers say a healthy culture is crucial for success in the workplace. Creating a positive work environment goes beyond simply designing contemporary offices.
Businesses today need to focus on nurturing inclusivity, diversity and psychological safety. Excellent DEI initiatives are critical to creating innovative, forward-thinking organisations, where team members thrive. Train your managers and other team members to demonstrate inclusivity in everything they do and watch for instances of unintentional bias.
Other factors that can improve a work environment include:
- Transparent leadership: Ensure your team leaders consistently share insights and knowledge with team members. Focus on ensuring staff members are informed and have a clear view of the vision and mission of the business.
- Constant communication: Commit to facilitating open and consistent communication between teams. Invest in tools that allow remote and virtual employees to connect with in-person employees on a deeper level.
- Collaboration: Facilitate the development of cross-departmental relationships by encouraging collaboration between teams. Introduce regular team-building exercises that bring people with different perspectives together.
3. Commit to Employee Development and Growth
In all environments, employees value access to resources, training initiatives and experiences that facilitate growth. Up to 69% of employees say they’ll stay with a company longer if that business invests in their professional development.
Investing in mentorship opportunities, career development plans and training strategies helps to empower every employee to achieve their full potential in any role. These initiatives help deepen relationships between team members and increase “buy-in” for the business.
Plus, developing and training your team members ensures your organisation can stay competitive as the marketplace continues to evolve. Even giving team members access to short courses and classes online can make a huge difference.
4. Recognise and Reward Team Members
Currently, 92% of millennials say recognition of their hard work and accomplishments is either important or very important to their satisfaction. Regularly recognising team members for their work is crucial to cultivating long-term engagement and a positive culture.
There are various ways to show employee recognition, from creating bonus (monetary) schemes for team members that achieve specific goals to simply thanking staff members for their work.
The key to success with employee recognition is adapting to the expectations and priorities of your individual team members. Find out what motivates and engages each team member. For some, the ability to work more flexibly will be a significant incentive.
For others, public praise will drive engagement and positively reinforce valuable behaviours.
5. Invest in Work-Life Balance
Research shows people who believe they have a good work/life balance work up to 21% harder than those who don’t. This increased effort comes from increased feelings of engagement with both the company they work with and their role.
Investing in work-life balance can include everything from implementing remote work policies for team members who can operate outside of the office, to offering flexible schedules to those who can’t. Encourage team members to take regular breaks and take advantage of paid time off.
Additionally, consider implementing wellness programs into your organisation, delivering resources that help to support good mental and physical health. This will reduce absenteeism and enhance workplace morale.
6. Introduce the Right Technology and Tools
The right technology can make a massive difference to an employee’s experience, eliminating frustrating and time-consuming tasks and improving productivity. For instance, updating critical tools with more user-friendly solutions reduces the risk of bottlenecks in crucial processes.
Collaborative tools and solutions for communication, such as video conferencing and file-sharing software, can also help to facilitate business-wide innovation and feelings of inclusion.
The right tools and technologies for your business will vary depending on the workflows of your team members. Asking for their feedback on the solutions that will benefit them can help you to make intelligent investments that drive business success.
Unlocking the Value of Employee Experience
Investing in excellent employee experiences isn’t just crucial to enhancing your employer brand and attracting critical talent. It’s vital to ensuring high levels of engagement, increased innovation and reduced employee turnover.
With the help of a a suitably experienced recruitment team, you can bring a focus on employee experience into every aspect of your recruitment and retention journey, paving the way for business growth.
When your employees are happy and engaged, your business thrives. Implement the strategies above and remember to collect regular feedback from staff to take a data-driven approach to constantly optimising the employee experience.