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What is Employee Experience? Strategies You Need to Know in 2021

Are you unsure what is employee experience? Learn how to implement simple employee experience strategies to develop high-performing and engaged employees to help grow your business.

1 Oct 2021 by Annie Symonds

It's true! Employee experience should be regarded as highly as customer experience! Employee experience revolutionizes how you treat your employees and offers a process that looks at the entire employee journey to create a better experience.

Would you like to increase your business's profitability by 25%? You won't need to learn magic or use a unique tool that costs you time and money to learn. You could increase your business' revenue by a remarkable 25% by actively building and enabling employee engagement. It's no wonder the saying, 'treat your employees well and they'll grow your business' is true.

Employee engagement has been proven to help teams and companies grow—but how can you start using it? In this guide, you'll learn how to create a powerful employee experience and increase employee engagement.

Continuous learning opportunities, access to training when your team needs it, and wellness initiatives are great starting points. Let's look at how a fantastic employee experience could be implemented in your organization.

Engaged employees produce more, work efficiently, and stay with a company that values them for longer. Quick ways to begin are providing access to training content, offering engaging knowledge-sharing opportunities, and regularly investing in their wellbeing. You'll start seeing increased employee engagement, which leads to increased profitability, and a better business.

Want to see how all of that pans out with the research to back it up? Continue reading on!

Firstly, what is employee experience?

Unsure what is employee experience? To sum it up, it's the experience the employee has working at an organization over time. This means employee experience is about everything, such as how the recruitment process went to how they get on with their boss. It also includes what they think of the software they use at work and how they get on with other team members. The list goes on.

While more companies are finally investing in employee experience, looking after your employees has become far more essential than ever.

Millennials might be job-hopping right now, so learn how to truly appreciate your staff simply by diving deep into an employee experience strategy, and you'll employees produce their best work yet!

What employee experience is NOT

Since the pandemic, there's been a huge shift with many companies now working from home, which has impacted face-to-face learning and mental health for employees. Companies such as Google, Microsoft, Uber, and Airbnb still operate from a work-from-home basis.

While employee experience used to be around the idea of having office perks such as unlimited food, nap areas, ping pong or other gadgets to entice employees, these perks are long gone thanks to the new normal of working from home for many.

  • Employee experience is not enticing new hires with a beautiful office to work from (pre or post-Covid).
  • It's not having unlimited paid leave or flexible working hours.
  • It's not employee engagement.
  • And, it's not a benefits package including random extras to make working for the company feel more impressive than it really is.

Why is employee experience significant?

There are so many important factors for taking time to perfect the employee experience. It begins at the top level from the recruitment and selection process, right through to an exit interview. Employee experience is essential to growing your business; you need to keep your company's reputation afloat without any negative feedback on company review sites.

When employee experience works well, companies will be able to retain staff for longer. They could even make it into the top places to work lists, even if they have a good reputation for customer experience.

And, at the end of the day, when you've got happy employees to work alongside, you know they'll be producing their best work and will be more productive than employees who are distant and uninterested.

The benefits of employee experience

The positive effects of creating and providing a powerful employee experience are easy to see from its history. But we're also numbers people, so we like to look at the statistics behind the concept. So here's a breakdown of how improved employee engagement directly impacts your business.

Highly engaged employees, teams, and businesses create:

  • 21% increase in profitability
  • 41% reduction in absenteeism
  • 17% increase in productivity
  • 59% less annual turnover
  • 10% boost to customer satisfaction ratings
  • 20% rise in sales

We know these numbers seem a little far-fetched, but they become pretty concrete when you look at the scope of Gallup's survey:

The study covers more than 82,000 teams -- over 1.8 million employees -- in 230 organizations across 49 industries and in 73 countries.

- Gallup Employee Engagement Survey

Did that get your attention? It certainly caught ours—that's a pretty massive sample size to pull the above statistics from. It is even more impressive to consider the implications of employee experience for your own business. But how can you start building employee engagement today?

Who is responsible for employee experience?

Had you thought HR would be responsible for employee experience right? The whole company is responsible for it! To gain a positive employee experience, of course, it starts from the senior management level to initiate the groundwork and put the learner first.

But, during employee's experience, almost everyone, even if it is up to the individual and how they contribute to everything from teamwork to settling into the company culture, plays a role.

Employee experience model example - the traditional way

There's no better way than to give you an example of what an employee experience model in the traditional way looks like vs the new method.

In this case scenario, upper-level management or leadership wants to implement a new onboarding. Typically once this process is requested, leadership and an HR specialist would strategize the delivery of the new approach.

This initial stage doesn't typically involve any team members who've been previously (the end-users) and uses exterior details to build a frame of reference. The HR specialist will then design and plan the new onboarding process with little to no interaction with the team or new hires before implementation.

Once completed, it is delivered to managers running it with new team hires, regardless of role, department, or culture needs. Success is measured by metrics tied to the framework (often built for a different org) and overall employee engagement.

Employee experience pros:

  • The process is easy to enable
  • It's exactly what leadership wants

Employee experience cons:

  • The process doesn't benefit employees
  • It's not what your team wants
  • It can be difficult to measuring success

We can't tell you the number of customers we've seen who try this model because it's been around longer and just "was" the standard.

Training doesn't always have to be unflinching, and putting your employees as the focus has a lot of benefits.

Employee experience model example - the new way

In this scenario, leadership are looking to improve or create a new onboarding process. Once requested, the training designer and the managers of each respective team come together. Rather than focusing solely on the onboarding process, they'll look at the desired outcomes and how it will benefit new hires and impact their roles. They'll review the entire pathway of onboarding from the first day to an experienced employee.

Lastly, all knowledge points will be reviewed, such as information delivered from veteran staff, policies from leadership, and any knowledge needed to excel in a role. Once this is done, they'll present an onboarding process to represent the team members that were previously onboarded to revise for their feedback.

After that, the process is implemented with precisely measured metrics tied to expected outcomes that benefit the employee and the company. And as this process is used, it is constantly estimated and revised to improve these outcomes and the learner's experience.

Pros:

  • It puts the learner as the focus of the process and development
  • It's exactly what everyone wants
  • Creates lasting results by building sustained employee engagement
  • It is exactly what everyone wants

Cons:

  • It can take more time to create initially
  • Requires more effort to revise and improve

For obvious reasons (relatively new and bucks tradition), this employee experience model has not taken off across businesses worldwide. Every customer of ours that uses this model of putting the learner first has seen the results for themselves. An employee experience that focuses on and empowers your team yields incredible results for your business.

Employee engagement vs. employee experience

Understanding the difference between employee engagement and employee experience might sound like it is blurred lines. The truth is, employee engagement is all about how engaged the employee is with their job. This also refers to their productivity and how focussed they are while at work.

The employee experience concept is more around the employee's mental health and refers to what they think of working at the company.

How to create an excellent employee experience tips

Employee experience includes any aspect of your employees and your business. This can be as simple as what coffee you provide in the break room and how you offer training opportunities to expand employees' roles. Below are three significant areas you can immediately start delivering an employee experience that will build engagement.

Training Access

Providing your team with more accessible training knowledge resources can immediately do two things to improve employee engagement:

  1. Increase knowledge retention by allowing employees to apply training directly when they need it.
  2. Create a space for employees to store and share high-level best practices that rapidly enables team growth and success.

The list definitely can go on, but the point is that offering an open-access training program creates the same results of an open book exam: nearly 100% success. That's because you're encouraging your team to know everything they can to perform with maximum efficiency.

Providing more accessible knowledge also allows you to deliver contextually relevant training, further enhancing your training experience with the team.

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning has been proven to increase employee retention and be a scalable solution to growing your team. This training style can be simple to start and offer refresher training to keep your team sharp.

If you have specific roles, offering learning opportunities that help your employees prepare for the next step in their careers. Continuous learning can also be offering monthly, quarterly, and yearly training exercises that provide new learning opportunities to your employees. These can be conferences, training seminars, or even offering a book budget for the team to use to build an office library.

Employee Wellness

Your team's wellbeing is critical to their success, especially in light of how COVID-19 has affected the workplace. Please consider that your employees won't be interacting in the same way as they used to. Their routine has completely flipped upside down, and while some employees might like working remotely, others will find it challenging to keep their mental health intact

Here are some fantastic ideas on how to keep your employees thriving.

Organizing social hangouts

Schedule social hangouts (virtual or in-person) to catch up with each of your employees. This is a great way to stay in touch with your staff's personal lives and what happens when they check out for the day. If you have a big team, then break it down into:

  • Meeting with team managers and leads
  • Managers and leaders meeting with their respective teams
  • Departments meeting as a group

Offer Wellness Initiatives

Offer wellness initiatives such as:

  • Care packages to help your team unwind (think face masks, bath bombs, etc.)
  • Meditation hour—a period your team can all set aside to focus without distractions
  • Creating more social moments that make work feel less stressful. These can be pizza parties or lunch and learn to provide a meal and a knowledge solution for your team. The point is to make work feel less like work and more enjoyable than it already is for your team!

Offer flexible working hours

Offer flexibility for employees to work outside the 9-5 in-office. Some teams have found a 4/3 split (work four 9 hour days, 3 days off) actually boost productivity. Some have found offering total flexibility for remote work with roles that allow it to increase employee engagement. Please work with your team to see the best way to change things up for them. The positive response will be worth the effort!

Wellbeing for your team can mean many things, but these are some great areas to start. As long as you focus on improving your employees' lives at work, you're on the right track.

💡 Pro Tip: If you need help specifically with remote staff, check out our article on how to engage remote teams. We have tips that can help you interact with staff from wherever they're working.

How to get started on making your employee experience amazing

And finally, let's get started on how you can put a plan into action and create an excellent positive employee experience. We want to make sure you ace your company culture, and the employee journey is one that you'll not only be proud of but one that you'll know you'll always receive positive employee feedback.

If you've been given the role as the Chief Employee Experience Officer, or you're one of the many business leaders in the company, let's make sure you ace performance management and create a great work environment. You won't only retain your staff; you'll spend more time growing the company and seeing increased revenue.

Not only will you see employee satisfaction, you'll start to see a competitive advantage across your competitors. They'll be spending more time training new staff rather than having a solid team who can take the company to the next level.

Review your current employee experience

It's time to break down the current employee experience and find out what has been working and what hasn't by sending out an employee survey to current and old staff. Take the survey as constructed criticism from the employee's perspective and learn more about your company and the work environment you have created.

Design a new employee experience framework and make sure you include all aspects of your work, including mental health and wellness.

Employ an Employee Experience Leader

While many companies are hiring Employee Experience Leaders, it might be a good idea to hire one yourself or assign a senior member of staff to take charge so they can review it and send the data to HR Leaders. Initiate various programs, including performance management, leadership development, and workplace design, into the employee experience.

Develop employee experience roadmaps by using employee personas

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up and to forget what it's like to work at a company you've been at for years. An easy way to get around this is to develop employee personas and map out the employee experience, especially for new staff members. But most of all, pay attention to your employees and mindfully pick up on how productive they are at work. What kind of conversations are they having and how can you make their employee experience better?

Look at other companies for inspiration

Let the ego go and look at some of your competitors and companies you look up to and check out their employee experience approach. You can do this by looking through their social media pages and Linked In, look for media interviews about company culture with senior managers or C-Suite level execs. Find out what the customer experience is like and see how you can make small improvements that will ultimately make a huge difference to the employee experience in the long run.

Global companies take note!

If you've got teams or offices based in other countries, make sure you're mindful of cultural differences and how team members examine employee experience overall. Make sure you are inclusive of the entire company and don't organize staff perks just for the head office.

Always keep improving the employee experience

The employee experience (and customer experience) is so vital for all companies, it is something that's forever evolving and shouldn't be seen as something the business and HR leaders leave to the side when it's been changed once. The employee experience management needs to be kept on top of at all times while you review and measure all employee feedback and employee recognition through the hiring process, exit interviews and even through all ongoing conversations with staff members.

Make a start on improving training now

You can instantly improve the employee experience or customer experience by improving your training right now. If you've got different documents floating around on your computer, compile them into an LMS (Learning Management System) and make training fun and engaging.

Many companies forget the importance of online training, so why not improve the employee lifecycle now and train your employees to know the brand inside out to build their skills while they help grow the company?

You can improve training by using Coassemble's authoring system so you can drag and drop all of your documents into a course, make it super fun and engaging by creating a quiz or a test, and track how your employees are learning. Let's face it, no one wants to keep explaining things over and over, or worst of all, lose excellent employees because the training was practically nonexistant.

So, let's improve the employee lifecycle and start afresh by helping your excellent hires go above and beyond to take the company to the next level.

Get started now and sign up to our FREE 7 Day Trial now!

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