In recent years, employee experience has been a focus of attention for both HR and senior leaders across organisations.
However, to understand how this translate for employees, the key is to ascertain the existing state within the organisations. According to Ernst & Young’s Is the employee experience you’re delivering the one your people want?, more than three-quarters of HR leaders believe employee experience will be one of the most important factors affecting their organization’s ability to deliver on key business objectives within the next two years. In fact, 37% believe employee experience will be the most important factor. However, only 21 percent of organizations write employee experience goals into all business unit strategies. There are numerous factors that contribute towards employees’ unhappiness at work – pay, learning and development opportunities and poor management all play an integral role in affecting employees’ perception towards the organisation.
Hence this leads to the question of what employers can do to better understand the employee experience and what can employers do to improve it?
Understanding employee experience?
Based on IBM’s and Workhuman’s research paper on The Employee Experience Index, the employee experience is defined as “a set of perceptions that employees have about their experience at work in responses to their interactions with the organisation”.
While this may seem to be a relatively broad definition, the overall employee experience is built upon three key pillars: onboarding, everyday moments and offboarding.
Most employers assume that the employee experience begins when a new hire is onboarded. In fact, the employee experience starts when a potential candidate applies to join the organisation – from the recruitment process, interviews, onboarding process and right up to the new hire’s first day at work. Creating a positive and seamless recruitment and onboarding process is all part and parcel of the overall employee experience.
This core pillar looks at the employee’s journey during their stint with the organisation and can be broadly categorised into various segments depending on the employees’ career paths – performance management, career progression, learning and development opportunities, mentoring, leadership training and workplace culture. Providing employees with ample opportunities to grow and progress in their careers help to create a positive workplace culture within the organisation. At the same time, providing feedback and mentors help employees to continuously improve and learn from various generations, contributing to their overall career progression in the long run.
Employees are unlikely to stay with the organisation forever. However, this does not mean that employers have to let them go in a bitter manner. A good offboarding program includes providing employees with the necessary support to transition out of the organisation seamlessly. At the same time, employers can provide career development opportunities or even set up an alumni network to maintain these professional relationships and expand the organisation’s network.
There are various ways in which organisations can leverage on technology to boost their employee experience. This includes utilising cloud platforms that helps employees manage their work processes as well as leveraging on artificial intelligence and cognitive interfaces to make employees’ lives more productive and engaging.
However, it is imperative for employers to first focus on establishing their employee experience before looking for ways to integrate it amongst employees. Identifying areas where employee experience’s can be further improved and enhanced will contribute to the effectiveness and robustness of the organisation’s employee experience in the long run.