Employee Experience

What is Employee Experience?

Employee experience (EX) is the overall experience employees receive by their company encompassing culture, wellbeing, the workplace and technology. It covers the full employee lifecycle; from recruitment and onboarding, to performance, growth and eventually their exit. The outcome of a successful employee experience strategy is not only to attract and retain employees but to increase productivity, performance and engagement.

A few examples of the ways you can improve employee experience include utilising technology to provide tools that encourage communication, improving office layout and design and having a calendar of wellness or social events for employees. The impact of this should mean a happier and engaged workforce – ultimately increasing productivity, retention and your bottom line (a win-win!).

Only 13% of employees globally are highly engaged and satisfied with their workplace, and 69% of employees agree that they would work harder if they felt appreciated.

Ultimately, a positive employee experience can affect a company’s bottom line. Companies with low turnover rates bring in higher profits and save a considerable amount on recruitment and training costs. It’s hard to deny the significance of employee experience and the benefits to both the employees and the business.

So, how do you increase employee experience? First of all, you would typically have an employee experience manager that works in-house who is responsible for the overall employee experience. Their job is to monitor all aspects of the employee lifecycle and identify areas for improvement. This covers advising on ways to improve wellness, productivity, satisfaction and retention.

Despite the overwhelming statistic of over 80% of executives rating employee experience as important, only 18% feel that their company was excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.

Employee Engagement:Areas to consider

Workplace design

With the workforce spending almost a third of their time in offices, it should come as no surprise that a carefully considered office design can have a large impact on productivity and wellness. From the layout and design to amenities, it’s important to ensure there are spaces that foster collaboration, concentration and relaxation. Even office plants are known to increase wellness and can boost productivity by 15%. According to the WELL Building Standard, an accredited organisation in building standards, key components to workplace design are; air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind, community and innovation. They provide certifications for offices, buildings or space highlighting the valuable asset that the workplace can be in attracting and retaining employees.

Two people in nice office design environment which provides a positive workplace experience

Health and wellbeing

A wellbeing programme in the workplace is a great way to drive engagement and should be a top priority as part of your employee experience strategy. A wellbeing programme makes employees feel valued and helps to minimise stress. The impact of mental health on the workplace is considerable. According to WHO, depression and anxiety have an estimated cost of one trillion dollars per year due to reduced productivity.

Relationships with colleagues

One of the top three causes of stress-related absences in the workplace was because of relationships at work. A sense of community in the workplace provides an environment where employees can build meaningful relationships with colleagues and feel appreciated.

Management

A well known phrase comes to mind here: “People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.” Management is a key component to employees’ happiness and fulfilment within their role. Micromanagement, conflict and unethical behaviour are just some of the reasons employees leave because of their bosses. In a report by Raconteur, more than 55% of respondents felt that recognition for hard work was a top driver for employee engagement. This taps into not only management style and recognition by our peers but the importance of employee benefits.

Employee benefits

This is where the employee value proposition (EVP) comes in. EVP refers to the rewards and benefits that employees receive in return for their contributions and hard work. A staggering 78% of employees are more likely to stay with their company because of their benefits package.

Your EVP should set you apart from the competition and be aligned to the company’s core values. If you get it right, you can increase loyalty, productivity and satisfaction – a key objective in employee experience. You can even decrease employee turnover by up to 69% each year.

woman smiling enjoying her employee benefits while sat at her laptop

Training and development

Opportunities for training and development is one of the most important factors of employee experience. In a report by Raconteur, 60% of respondents felt that training and development was a top driver of employee engagement. Ultimately, people want to improve and grow in their careers. If their current employers are unable to offer progression then it will usually be a big part of their decision for moving on.

Technology

Millennials and gen Z account for the majority of the workforce, as most of them are digital natives, it’s not surprising that technology has a huge part to play in employee engagement. The benefits of technology are vast. From empowering employees to work from anywhere to increased productivity through project management tools like Monday and increased automation of repetitive tasks giving employees more time for more fulfilling tasks. Technology can play a key role in internal communication as a platform for content and collaboration. Increasingly, companies are adopting employee experience applications like District Technologies to engage employees at their very fingertips.

Work-life balance

Work-life balance is key to employees’ wellbeing, and this directly impacts their overall experience. Work-life balance is the third most important factor affecting employees’ happiness at work. Adopting a culture where there is a healthy work-life balance will reduce employees burning out and increase productivity and satisfaction in the workplace.

Internal communication

Internal communication is a great way to inform, engage and motivate employees. A report by Bambu found that 4 in 5 people felt that an effective communication strategy improves their productivity, and 80% want their employers to keep them updated about company news. Internal communication covers everything from presentations, workshops, reports and monthly newsletters. An effective internal communication strategy can help to build company culture by educating and celebrating the company’s core values. Particularly in the wake of Covid-19, internal comms have become fundamental in ensuring employees feel secure and connected, even when they’re working remotely.

Employee experience platform

Leading on from internal communication, an employee experience platform is a great way to engage and connect the workforce. It’s a platform at employees’ fingertips for everything from company events and news to booking meeting rooms or tapping into employee benefits. You can build on the sense of community in the app through having bookable events and a social platform where employees can connect. The app can also be connected to smart building technology to offer a truly modern experience; from mobile building access to occupancy monitoring.

Employee experience software will also have an analytics dashboard for admin users, so your employee experience manager and other stakeholders can tap into insights on user behaviour. It will give you access to user data which will allow you to make quicker and smarter data-led decisions to improve the employee experience. The large meeting room is only being booked 5% of the time? Consider utilising the unused space. The weekly yoga class is always full? Have a more frequent schedule and plan similar events to drive further engagement.

Office building providers can also utilise this type of software to engage and retain tenants through tenant experience apps.

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