You’ve likely heard of the importance of customer experience. But have you ever thought about the importance of employee experience?
Over the years, it’s become clear that employees are the driving force behind a successful business. At the same the employee market has become more competitive, forcing companies to reevaluate how to attract and retain top talent. (The Great Resignation might ring a bell.)
To stay competitive, some companies bought ping-pong tables, others shifted to remote-first workplaces. But the companies that have come out on top are the ones that critically evaluated their employee experience.
But what exactly is employee experience?
Employee experience is everything that your employee sees, hears, feels, and experiences when interacting with your organization. You can leave these things up to chance, or you can intentionally craft an experience that resonates with your employees.
Similar to customer experience, employee experience follows your team throughout their entire journey. This starts from the day they apply to an open role to when they move on from the company, and everything in between.
Employee experience covers a lot of ground. From workplace policies, their workspace (virtual or in-office), the people, and the technology infrastructure, even the little things play a role in your team’s experience.
It basically sums up how satisfied your team is with their job and your company, how much they feel included and like they belong. So it’s clear that positive employee experience is kind of a big deal.
Why is employee experience important?
Employee experience affects more than just your employees. Their satisfaction and experience with your company can impact almost every part of your business.
Here are some reasons why it’s important to offer a positive employee experience:
Increased employee engagement
Employee engagement and employee experience are slightly different, but they significantly influence one another. Employee experience focuses more on your team’s perspective and satisfaction, while engagement centers around how your team works and engages with their work. Are they passionate about the work they do? Do they find a purpose behind their day-to-day?
When an employee has a positive experience, they’re more likely to stay engaged. If they’re more engaged, they’ll be more productive and better contribute to business goals.
Higher retention rates
Hiring is costly and time-consuming. When employees have a good experience from the get-go, they’re more likely to stick around. Higher employee retention helps boost overall morale and can also impact the overall employee experience.
When your employees have a positive experience, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of being able to recruit better talent. Your ex- and current employees can be your biggest fans (or biggest detractors) and word of mouth can go a long way in bringing better employees through the door.
Better customer experience
Turns out positive employee experience trickles down into your customer journey as well. Happier and engaged employees are more inclined to deliver a positive experience for customers.
As a result, you can expect happier customers that enjoy their own positive experience with your product or service.
Investing in employee experience might feel like a costly endeavor, but it can actually improve profits and returns. Studies have found that companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147%.
With happier customers and more engaged employees, you’ll find that the ROI on employee experience is significantly higher than you might expect.
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Building a better employee experience
Employee experience is more than just unlimited vacation and free office snacks. It means creating systems and policies that are employee-centric and offer the support that your team needs and values. There are many ways to create a positive employee experience, including:
- Creating flexible work policies
- Offering professional development opportunities
- Building comprehensive wellness programs
- Collecting employee experience feedback
Stages of employee experience
As a leader, you should champion positive employee experience every step of the way. Here are some key points in the employee journey where you should be prioritizing employee experience:
- Recruiting and onboarding – The employee experience begins long before they even start working for your organization. From the initial application, interviews, all the way through their first day.
- Performance and development – It’s important to look at how your employees are considering their own personal development and performance. This includes 1-1s, team-wide bonding, celebrating accomplishments, and much more. Ultimately as a leader, you want to provide an experience that makes your employees want to stay with, and take pride from, your organization.
- Exit and offboarding – Employee experience doesn’t end just because someone hands in their notice. Leaving the role on a positive note means that past-team members will continue to recommend and champion your organization (or even come back in the future!).
Tools to support employee experience
Employee experience can be trickier than you think – especially if your organization is remote-first. The right technology and platforms can keep your team happier and more engaged. And the wrong ones might ultimately leave them frustrated and unsatisfied with their workday.
This can include everything from day-to-day communications and connections. Using communications platforms like Slack can make it easier for your team to communicate, while platforms like Zoom and Venue help facilitate team-wide gatherings to help create team bonds, share important information, and celebrate accomplishments.
Employee experience should be a priority
As a leader, you should leave no stone unturned when it comes to employee experience. Everything from your work policies to your cultural norms impacts how employees perceive their experience at your company. By building a positive employee experience strategy, you can help your both your employees and your organization thrive.