5 Crucial Keys to Drive Employee Experience
With increasing levels of COVID-19 vaccinations and the improving COVID situation, companies are beginning to plan for their employees’ return to the office. After a long perOne of the most important keys in people management today is to create an “Employee Experience” by focusing on expectations and the needs of employees in order to develop an effective HR and employer branding strategy. It does not only help companies bring a greater way to manage people, but also can significantly create an impact for the company’s growth and profit.
According to Forrester’s 2021 Close the Employee Experience Gap study, more than 78% of HR leaders think that employee experience is among the most important factors in helping an organization achieve its goals within two years.
The Importance of Employee Experience
Employees in different generations have different needs and expectations, especially Gen Z employees, who are now a key driver of the global workforce.
High-paid jobs or exclusive company welfare and benefits cannot entirely attract Gen Z to apply for a job or to retain them. On the other hand, they want, for example, valuable work to fulfill the purpose of personal life or create meaningful works for the society, to get a flexible workplace and time. Their needs and expectations have many dimensions and are more complicated than the traditional HR strategy.
Employee experience, hence, plays a key role as an HR and organizational tool in finding ways to respond to their needs, expectations, and happiness through an experience at each touchpoint of the employee journey. From the first point of applying for a job, onboarding, to the last day of employment, every experience stage can create a positive result in people management.
The Drives for Positive Employee Experience
Jacob Morgan, author of “The Employee Experience Advantage,” states 3 important keys of the foundation for enhancing the employee experience, which consists of 3 key areas: culture, technology, and workplace. During 2021, there are outstanding factors that can enhance employee experience as follows:
1. Focus on the Safety & Well-being of Employees
Besides directly showing how the organization cares about its employees, it also aligns with employee’s expectations during and after the Covid-19 situation in which people care about their safety and health more than ever.
However, the experience that employees will gain, should not be limited to just physical wellbeing. Companies should also pay attention to other aspects, especially on employees’ mental and career wellbeing where the quality of the work assigned to employees is also carefully considered.
How does the assignment create a sense of belonging or happiness at work for employees? Is it reaching their expectation of work? Or is it a job that will help develop their skills? This is simple, but a strong point for the very first step of employee experience.
2. Magnify Learning Opportunity for Employee Development
The new generation employees are eager to learn as well as value an organization that is dedicated to employee development. Providing learning opportunities to them will surely enhance their positive experience.
At present, employee development can be managed conveniently and more efficiently by the use of digital learning platforms. It allows organizations to provide personalized learning materials that suit most to employees’ roles or interests, and help create an effective Individual Personal Development Plan (IDP) that meets their needs in career growth for each individual.
3. Tools of the Better Quality of Work-Life
Technology is key to creating a good experience, from helping employees to work more conveniently, boosting their productivity and efficiency of work. Therefore, making sure your organization provides the basic yet important assets, e.g., computers or laptops that work smoothly, programs that are functionally fit to each role and department, allowing employees to work systematically and faster from the simplified processes.
Followed by the tools that help employees to work better and live a happier life, such as the Work-Life application that helps them access benefits, or other services related to HR easily. For instance, making a claim and reimbursement on the application, clock-in/out and request leave online, view or request E-payslip, and instantly gain to use company-provided benefits without complex paperwork which can bring negative effects on employee satisfaction.
4. Improve Internal Communication & Taking Action on Feedback
Transparent communication clearly makes employees feel engaged and belong to the company. Meanwhile, good communication is not one-way communication, since what employees want the most is communicating with companies that are willing to listen to their voice.
According to a Qualtrics survey, in 2021, one of the most important factors for employee experience is how organizations and managers listen to the employee’s feedback and importantly, not only listen to what they say, but also respond and take actions to those feedbacks.
However, according to the survey, only 7% said that organizations are performing well on taking action on feedback. Making such improvements will create a big opportunity for a better employee experience because employees can perceive how their managers and organizations truly value their voice.
5. Optimize Office Space & Better Work Environment
Today’s workplaces have changed dynamically due to the impact of Covid-19 that has forced most companies to work from home. The challenge is when returning to the office, how will companies be able to create a workspace where employees can work efficiently while still being a safe area?
New trends in employee experience, especially for the workplace, now arise with the need to be tailored to unpredictable situations. From having a common area to help employees relieve stress from work, to preparing a space where onsite employees can collaborate with teammates who work remotely during or even after the Covid-19 situation.
Even with a small point that many organizations may overlook, such as the brightness level within the office, the indoor air quality, comfort office temperature, or the suitable interspace between desks. All of these things are indirect productivity and relaxation aid. It is involved with an office environment that employees immerse themselves in every day, which is crucial to the overall employee experience and satisfaction.
An important aspect for enhancing employee experience is that the organization needs to truly understand its employees’ feelings and expectations in which it can be run through internal surveys or at a micro-level through team-level feedback. This way will lead organizations to be able to formulate an effective and right employee experience strategy.
Effective employee experiences can also drive business value since those experiences will be eventually integrated into company culture, resulting in long-term success and sustainable growth.