Employee experience is the latest new trend in HR, but what does it mean and how should your business respond?
The workforce of the future is very different from the one we leave behind. In response to a highly competitive workforce and the diminishing pool of talent, HR is transforming to deliver an employee experience that is human-centered and personalized to the individual.
It’s easy to see the incentives behind this new focus on the employee. After all, with so many companies competing for the top spot, talented workers now have more choice than ever before over which companies to join. Seeing your business through an employee lens will not only help you recruit and retain the right talent, but it will also increase your profitability and improve customer perception of your brand.
The employee experience and digital transformation
Today, almost every company is undergoing a digital transformation. With cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automation, and mobile working in their repertoire, businesses of all shapes and sizes can now transform almost every aspect of their organizations.
The same can be said for modern HR departments, where technology is the focus of the customer experience. According to recent studies, there will be an increasingly digital approach to recruitment over the next five years, including automated searches and increased use of social media for filling roles. What’s more, with so many remote-working opportunities, there is plenty of scope to move away from the nine-to-five and allow people to work more flexible hours.
How to create a winning employee experience
Creating a positive employee experience is vital for businesses who want to thrive in the changing marketplace. With so many big brands prioritizing employee experience, you’ll need to step up your game if you’re going to compete in the recruitment stakes. Here are five tips to improve employee experience in your organization.
1. Cater to different personality types
A traditional office is often set up for extroverts, with lots of sounds and distractions, project collaboration, and dynamic conversation. However, this is hardly the most productive environment for those of a more introverted nature. The average workplace is likely to be made up of various personality types, and companies of the future need to learn to cater to all to get the best work out of their teams.
Being accommodating of both introverts and extroverts might mean using electronic chat rather than face-to-face communication around the office, or providing quiet zones for more introverted employees to work. You also need to coach leaders to be assertive and not let extroverts steal the limelight. Introverts may have some valuable ideas, but they might need a little more encouragement to speak up in meetings.
2. Promote teamwork
Being part of a team and working towards a common goal enhances the employee experience and makes the whole team more productive. However, a sense of belonging and brand loyalty is difficult to nurture if individuals feel isolated and don’t communicate. Therefore, motivating staff to work together should be the lynchpin of every employee experience.
Try not to discourage interpersonal relationships. You might have rules about staff dating in the office or discussing personal topics during work times, but you should give your team as much freedom to thrive as you can. Strong relationships formed help nurture a support system that can be integral to an individual’s success at work.
3. Appoint leaders
As well as promoting a positive work culture and encouraging interpersonal relationships, you also need to make sure your staff has adequate leadership. It is the role of the leader of an organization or department to support and encourage employees by leading by example, listening to feedback, and not asserting their authority unnecessarily. A good team leader should be able to recognize and reconcile the strengths and weaknesses within their team without making enemies.
Leaders should also have a focus on team development, not just on individual development, as the success of your business relies on each person that works for you. It’s vital that members of staff don’t feel victimized when something goes wrong, and that the team works together to resolve it.
4. Create a positive first impression
The perception of your company should not just be relevant to customers. It’s also imperative that new employees get a favorable view of your business and wants to work for you. The first impression you give will stay imprinted in the employee’s mind long after their first day on the job, and the last thing you want is for word to spread that your company is disorganized or treats staff poorly.
The importance of proper onboarding should not be underestimated. Not only does welcoming a new member of staff into your team make your company look organized, well-prepared and like its committed to staff development, but it will also create a great first impression that makes the employee more likely to stick around.
5. Invest in employee wellness
With levels of stress and work-related anxiety on the rise, companies must make deliberate attempts to support employee wellbeing if they want to build a positive employee experience. From financial wellness to physical well being, more and more businesses are investing in coaching programs and wellness technology to help their staff stay mentally and physically well.
Company Fitbit watches and AI tools like Amazon’s Alexa enable users to track and meet their health and fitness goals without using a mobile phone or a web browser. Not only do these investments pose clear benefits such as better higher productivity levels and fewer sick days, but team-building activities and fitness contests also boost team morale and promote a sense of wellbeing in the workplace.
Employee experience is the future of HR
Providing the right tools for a positive employee experience is vital if you want your organization to thrive, whether this means prioritizing wellness and giving mental health days, providing “time out” zones for stressed-out staff, or harnessing technology for a new and improved employee future. When weighing your company’s success, customer experience must be balanced with employee experience if you want the scales to tip in your favor.
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