The employee experience trend has emerged across global workforces, becoming a strategic priority for company leaders. This new trend has organizational leaders questioning whether experience replaces engagement. Rather than viewing these as competing concepts, industry leaders recognize that the employee experience is primarily the driving force behind engagement.
What Is the Employee Experience?
The employee experience is the collection of perceptions that workers have about their own organization. Today’s employees want more than a mere paycheck. They want to be able to support their families while also performing a job they love. The metrics are essentially focused on why people work at a particular organization, how they feel about the organization, and what motivates them to be engaged in the workplace.
This experience is affected by any element that affects their motivation and ability to perform their job. This includes factors such as:
- The physical environment
- The technology and other tools the employer provides
- The on-boarding process
- Opportunities for career development
- Workplace policies
- How their manager contributes to or hinders their success
- Work/life balance
- Employee recognition programs
- The values of the business
Why Does the Employee Experience Matter?
It is often more affordable and efficient to create a positive relationship with your current team members and make the job satisfying, than to constantly attract and recruit new hires.
Letting your staff become more engaged allows them to be more productive and provide better customer service. This increase in engagement is often the result of a better experience in the workplace. Companies that focus on improving this are more likely to have a high-performing team.
In The Employee Experience Advantage, the author analyzed more than 250 global companies and found that those with positive experiences for their employees had four times the amount of average profits. Additionally, experiential businesses had average revenues twice as large as non-experiential businesses and 40 percent lower turnover. Their stock prices also outperformed other companies.
Due to these factors, employers must ensure that their work environment is conducive to a positive experience for their team.
How to Effectively Manage the Experience for Employees
Focusing on worker experience is key to improving employee engagement. There are three important aspects of the employment relationship that employers can hone in on in order to improve the experience:
The company culture is the vibe that individuals have about a particular workplace. It includes the leadership style, the company’s values, the practices of the organization and the mood of the work environment.
Employers can directly impact the culture of the company. They can motivate their staff and give them a sense of purpose. They can also make them feel like an integral part of the organization. Businesses seeking to improve their culture can solicit feedback from their workers and integrate their ideas into the workplace. It is important that businesses do not punish employees for honest feedback. Instead, they should act on it in a positive manner.
An important component of office culture is recognizing the unique skill-sets and contributions each individual provides. This can help workers feel valued, essentially increasing engagement.
It is important to hire the right people for the job to ensure that employees have the necessary skills to competently perform the work. Companies should also make sure that their workers have access to ongoing career development and training to keep them up-to-date on the changes in the industry or workplace.
A core requirement of having a competent staff is to equip them with the technology they need to perform their job and make them more efficient. This technology can take many forms, such as:
- Mobile devices
- E-learning tools
- Social networks
- Physical technology and cloud-based applications
A positive experience focuses on meeting the needs of the team and providing them with the tools that can help them perform their jobs.
Infrastructure refers to the physical workplace, including buildings, warehouses, the office floor plan and facilities. It includes the possibility for physical perks, such as receiving catered meals, having onsite childcare or a lounge.
This also refers to how employers stay in contact with the members of their team and the systems they have in place. Businesses can invest in infrastructure that appeals to workers to enhance their experience. Soliciting feedback from their staff regarding which options would increase their satisfaction with the job can help companies determine which investments will yield the best return.
The Employee Experience is the Driving Force Behind Engagement
While the employee experience and engagement are closely related, one concept does not trump the other. Rather than viewing these two concepts in isolation, business leaders can examine how to integrate policies and advancements that improve both metrics. Organizations that proactively design and manage the employee experience produce a more engaged and productive staff.