Employee experience plays a crucial role in the success of your business. If individuals do not feel experience employee engagement, feel satisfied with their jobs, and feel supported by their leaders, everyone on the team will suffer. However, too many entrepreneurs are confused about how to maximize positive employee experience.
They may try to create faux auras of inclusivity, but true inclusion, acceptance, and positivity require much more effort than a simple speech or hanging a motivational poster. Instead, you have to become committed to understanding and hearing your employees.
In this article, we will discuss what the employee experience is and how you can maximize positive effects in your team’s experiences.
What is Employee Experience? Definition & Meaning
Every team member has a unique employee experience. This experience begins with the first impression they have of your brand from the job description, to the moment they are fired or resign. Many different elements make up an employee’s experience.
Your company culture, their relationship with bosses, how often conflict occurs, the stability of the work environment, if their employee journey results in growth, and many other factors all influence one’s experience at a job. In fact, everything they feel, see, or think about the company is a part of the employee experience.
Someone who wants to maximize a team’s positive experiences needs to stay with them and ask for feedback throughout the entire employee lifecycle. The employee lifecycle is the process of growth and maturation an individual goes through while working for a company.
As a leader, those maximizing employee experience will consistently seek to hear their team’s thoughts and adjust their business plans accordingly.
There are a few main stages within the employee experience timeline. The first of these stages is the recruitment stage. This would include the first impression of the company, the interview, and getting accepted into the business.
The way your job ad was written, how the interviewer conducts themself, the length of the interview, and how long it takes to be finally recruited all play a role in the employee experience.
Next comes the onboarding stage. Here, the new employee is introduced to the business and begins understanding the company culture as well as the internal processes of a business. Initial acceptance, the clarity of directions, and the willingness of team members to help are all factors that play a role in one’s experience.
After this, the individual has to grow as an employee. This stage is referred to as development. Employees are exposed to a variety of new tasks and learn many new skills. How often promotions are given, the opportunities given to employees, the emphasis on productivity, and feedback systems are included here.
Retention is the next phase for an employee to experience. At this point, individuals have been interwoven into the fabric of a company. They are likely accepted into the organization and have a defined role in the company.
Your retention strategy plays a strong role in the employee’s experience at this stage. In other words, what you do to keep employees loyal and motivated has a strong impact on their experience.
Finally, the last stage of an employee’s experience is the exit. Even the happiest employees must leave your company at some point. The reasons for their departure are intrinsically tied to their employee experience.
For example, if they leave due to consistent disengagement or abuse from leaders, this is a crucial element of their employee experience. Likewise, if they leave because another company provided a better employee experience during an interview, this also reflects poorly on their experience at your business.
Why Is Employee Experience Important & Their Benefits?
A focus on employee experience benefits not just the entire workplace, but in the end, it also benefits the business owner. When a team works in a negative environment and has negative employee experiences, they are less motivated, passionate, and productive.
On the other hand, consistently positive experiences bring the exact opposite effects. They bring prosperity and profit to everyone.
More specifically, some of the top benefits of facilitating positive employee experiences include:
- Increased brand loyalty and lower turnover rate
- Greater trust in you as a leader, thus boosting your company reputation
- Empowers employees to stay motivated and focused
- Increases the entire business’s ability to meet and succeed their goals
- Fosters personal growth in team members
- Boosts communication and collaborative measures
- Inspires creativity and logical risk-taking, which are both associated with increased passion
- Allows the business to be more efficient and productive
- Ultimately leads to an increase in revenue and profits
- Enables the establishment of a strong support system within the company
How To Improve Employee Experience?
Now that you are aware of the many benefits associated with positive employee experiences, you may be wondering: what can I do now to acquire these benefits? You must first recognize that strong employee experience needs to be a top priority for you.
While employee engagement, work ethic, and efficiency are all also important, focusing on employee experience will allow you to simultaneously address issues with all the previously mentioned factors.
An employee gets their first impression of your brand after reading the job listing. But, their first human interaction (the interview) is arguably even more important for meaningful and lasting experiences.
There are three key features that makeup one’s experience and they must all be addressed for a positive experience to be maximized.
The first element is company culture. This involves your relationship with employees, how employees view their work, the feelings associated with the work environment and coworkers, etc.
Your communication style, management style, mentorship techniques, leadership style, and other elements of your leadership personality all also play a role.
Ask yourself, and more importantly, ask employees: how do you feel when coming to work? What motivates you or empowers you? Is there something toxic in the workplace culture, such as consistent fighting? It is difficult to avoid technology in today’s modern era. As such, it plays a key role in the employee life cycle.
If you can properly use technology, you can harness its power to benefit the employees. Often, outdated technology leads to inefficiency and frustration. It gives employees the impression that you are unwilling to invest in them, or genuinely do not believe in your mission or are incapable of funding your goals.
This clearly negatively affects employee experience. The simple solution to this is consistently upgrading technology. Provide your employees with as many new and efficient tools as you can.
In doing so, you are maximizing their potential and showing you care about their success. In addition, offering other opportunities for growth and development would also be beneficial.
Consider giving employees the option to go to networking events or helping them find mentors outside of the workplace. If possible, you be that mentor. Be the individual who is there to support them and offer advice when it is needed. This shows you care deeply for them and are willing to truly support them.
If you have students in your team, serving as a mentor is especially profound and impactful. This experience could be something that impacts their entire life in a tremendously positive way. Additionally, the workplace environment also thoroughly impacts an individual’s experiences at work.
Think about how much time your employees spend in their workplace. Would it feel good, or be productive, to feel chained to one small room for 8 hours every day? No, and it would serve as a negative employee experience that could lead to resignation.
You as the leader have the ability to change the environment that employees spend a significant portion of their time. The best way to understand the needs of this environment is to directly ask employees. Give them the freedom to bring in certain items from home and express themselves at work.
Try holding a vote on major design elements of the workplace. All of this will positively impact the employee experience within your company.
How To Design Your Employee Experience Strategy
Your employee experience strategy has to be individualized for each employee. You just understand their needs, desires, and passions to create the most positive experiences for them.
However, a general employee experience strategy can give you some insights into how to approach the issue of experience and a basic overview of how to address it.
The first step toward creating a sound employee experience strategy is collecting data. Ultimately, the employees will be most impacted by the way you create this strategy.
It is your goal to maximize their positive experiences, retain them as employees, boost passion, instill productivity, and so on. So, why not ask them directly about their thoughts on your past experience strategy? See if they have issues with conflict, task assignment, disengagement, company culture, and other factors that contribute to a negative company-related experience.
Ensure that you keep track of employees throughout the entire employee lifecycle. As previously mentioned, data collection is important. But, you should not only focus on current employees for this data collection.
Have your candidates or newcomers also give you feedback. What was your initial impression of the business? What made you attracted to our company? How did the interviewer conduct themselves? Are you feeling welcome as a new recruit? These are all questions to keep in mind when building your experience strategy.
Then, once you know the gaps in your system, you can address them. Ensure that employees have ample opportunities for growth. Try to mitigate conflict as much as possible.
Bolster communication and strengthen team relationships. Anything that your team members expressed interest in, write it down and try to implement it. Ensure that those around you know you have listened to their advice. This is already a step in the right direction.
Also, you should recognize how employee experience is linked with many other elements of the workplace. For example, consider how customer experience is interlinked with the employee experience. If you are able to boost employee productivity, this results in better customer results and customer satisfaction.
As such, more customers will likely leave positive feedback for your business. When employees see this, they are validated. They see the positive impact they leave on the world and begin to have a more positive view of their work experiences.
Frequently Asked Questions About Employee Experience
What is a good employee experience?
A good employee experience is different for each individual. In essence, it is something that satisfies both the employee’s goals and need for happiness. They would be able to stay productive and happy under a system of maximized positive experiences.
To one person, this may mean consistent challenging circumstances which push them to their limits, thus helping them achieve goals. Others believe that a good experience is being accepted for who you are and being able to express one’s creativity.
What is the role of employee experience?
Employee experience has many surprising effects on businesses. The role of employee experience is especially significant when it comes to turnover rates, productivity, passion, and creativity. Those who have positive experiences during work are far less likely to quit their jobs.
Additionally, they are also more productive, passionate, and willing to be themselves when compared to those whose experiences are negative. Thus, the role of employee experience is interwoven with many other factors. Maximizing positive experiences can boost your business’s success while overlooking employee experience has the opposite effect.