With all the changes forced upon us due to the COVID19 pandemic, it’s forgivable to wonder if life will ever return to how it was. With experts suggesting ‘no’, employee experience is almost certain to change dramatically. But how exactly will workers’ experience of their workplace change? And what should HR departments be looking out for?
The key consideration with Employee Experience is that it is inherently personal, social and meaning-driven. Amongst its key influencers are uncertainty and anxiety at work. Usually, these come with business strategy changes, the arrival of a new manager or a promotion.
But with the disruption created by the coronavirus outbreak, not least the COVID19 restrictions, how employees experience work has become more important than ever before.
The problem is how prepared organisations are to adjust to the new reality of the working world.
Why Employee Experience Is Important
It’s all to do with the overall experiences a person has of work. It’s the interactions, professional and personal encounters, observations and even feelings people have over the course of their employment term at an organization.
Employee Experience is considered a major part of any strategy to develop a modern, sufficient and successful working environment. In fact, according to a report from Garner, Employee Experience was one of the five priorities amongst HR leaders in 2020.
- 50% of D&I leaders recognized Employee Experience as important
- 28% of HR leaders recognized Employee Experience as important
- 46% of workers rated their satisfaction at work at 70 or less
- just 13% evaluated satisfaction at work at 90 or higher
And why such a fuss? Well, Employee Experience effects some key areas of any company’s performance, not least:
- Engagement – affecting the relationships between employees and managers. And with employee engagement crucial to productivity, morale and creativity, convincing employees to invest their time, energy, and intellect in the organization is important.
- Recruiting – recruitment is as much about an employer can offer as the qualifications that skills that the job candidate offers. In fact, job hunters spend considerable time researching a company’s reputation before ever applying. Having a strong Employee Experience, therefore, is critical.
- Retention – ensuring job satisfaction is a major part of achieving a high employee retention rate. Offer a positive employee experience, employees will stay; don’t, then they could be amongst the 10% of US employees who make up their minds to leave within their first 6 weeks in a new job.
- Bottom line – research shows that companies who have developed key Employee Experience benchmarks enjoyed 4 times higher profits, 2 times higher revenues and 40% lower turnover than those that didn’t.
How To Develop Employee Experience
So, how can HR improve the experienced workers have in their company? Happily, only 3 things shape Employee Experience and all of these are areas HR would have looked at separately anyway.
- Corporate Culture
- Physical Workspace
The values, practices and mission of a company are key to forming its Corporate Culture, and critical to feeding the sense of purpose employees have, boosting motivation and encouraging initiative. So, it’s one of the most important elements of creating the Employee Experience.
Today’s employees want a workplace that reflect the other areas of their lives – to be relevant. Technology plays a big part of that, providing them with modern tools to get work done as efficiently as possible. So, check that any apps, software, e-learning tools being used to communicate, share and even register data, are up to date, easy to access, and that focus on employees’ needs.
The quality of the workspace is an obvious part of the Employee Experience. It covers a lot of areas, from interior décor and design (colour, furniture, art) and light to space (cluttered of spacious, open plan, cubicles) to physical perks (cafeteria, on-site gym, kitchenette, lounge area).
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