Why you need to make 2021 the year you nail employee experience

As 2020 comes to a close and we reflect on the year, it’s apparent that companies will need to pay particular attention to their employee experience and their company culture. They may need to make adjustments where necessary to suit any new ways of working that Covid-19 has accelerated.

What is Employee Experience?

Firstly, let’s take a step back and take a look at what exactly employee engagement is.

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.

Only 13% of employed were ‘highly engaged’ pre-Covid

Pre-Covid, a report noted that 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. Covid has only made employee engagement more difficult, with teams remote and distributed, it’s easy for employees to become disengaged and feel disconnected from their company. A report by Slack stated that: “Nearly one-third of newly remote workers say that working from home has negatively affected their productivity, compared with only 13% of experienced remote workers.” This tells us that optimistically, the longer employees work from home, the easier it begins to get. But that shouldn’t mean that companies rest on their laurels. For productivity to bounce back quicker, employees will need significant support from their company. From enlisting the right types of tools and software, to making

A good Covid response from companies to their employees increased levels of engagement by four

On a positive note, many companies stepped up to the mark and responded well to the crisis. A report by McKinsey noted that 78% of employees surveyed felt that their organisation had responded to the crisis appropriately. The initial response that companies had to Covid had a profound impact on employees. The report went on to state that employees who felt their company responded well to the crisis were four times more likely to be engaged compared to employees who felt their company didn’t respond well. 

For companies that did respond well to the crisis, this will have put them in an excellent position with employees to continue building on the trust that they earned. For companies that may have fallen short in their response to the initial crisis, there’s no time like the present to start implementing strategies to show their workforce that they’re of top priority as we move forward and begin to invite office workers back to the workplace. 

Planning an employee experience strategy during and post-Covid

Planning an engagement strategy during a pandemic has its own set of challenges. Firstly, you need to consider the safety and security implications of having a workforce on-site and secondly, you need to consider how to engage remote and distributed workers. Here are our tips for planning an effective engagement strategy that works in the age of coronavirus.

Make safety your priority

A new level of focus on hygiene and safety measures has ensued as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Ensure that you’ve done your research and have implemented safety measures that follow your government guidelines. Go above and beyond to ensure the safety of your employees. If they feel that their safety isn’t of the utmost importance, you’ll be at risk of losing their trust and they’ll quickly become disengaged and unproductive.

Focus on wellbeing

As well as employees’ physical wellbeing, do not forget about their mental wellbeing. More often than not, mental health and wellbeing support in the workplace gets overlooked. The impact of this means a lack of productivity, low job satisfaction and over 80 million work days lost a year in the UK alone. Especially now, providing mental health and wellbeing support for employees is more prevalent than ever due to the impact of Covid-19 and the effects this has had on people’s mental health. 2020 has been a particularly challenging year for many. Working remotely has its own stressors as well as increased stress factors around job security, health and finances as a result of the pandemic. Taking a keen interest in wellbeing will instil a new level of trust and respect from your workforce. Plus, a workforce with higher levels of wellbeing will be more productive, engaged and satisfied in their roles. 

Build an internal communication plan that is gauged towards distributed teams

Internal communications has long been a pillar of employee engagement, but, ensure when planning your strategy for 2021 that you consider content and delivery that works for remote and distributed teams. Going digital will be key for this, as you can’t rely on everyone being on-site at the same time with access to on-site printed materials like posters and notice boards. Consider implementing a workplace app, a useful tool for your workplace for both remote engagement and on-site workplace management. For your internal communications, you can use the app to post news, updates, events and announcements that your employees can tap into from wherever they’re based.

Build on your company’s values and mission statement

With your workforce distributed, from staggered shifts on-site to remote working and hub and spoke offices, engaging them can prove more difficult than when everyone is based at one location. Reflect on your company’s core values and mission statement and make it part of your strategy to instil them in your employees. You could create monthly or quarterly awards that employees can be nominated for, by living and breathing a certain value. Keep your employees in the know about company news and build a (virtual) workplace culture that they feel proud of. Mckinsey’s report noted that: “A sense of purpose can help employees navigate high levels of uncertainty and change and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the highest-value activities.” By educating employees on your mission statement and the company’s goals and rewarding them for living the values can give employees a real sense of purpose that can increase motivation and make the overall employee experience a more fulfilled one.

District Technologies is the go-to workplace experience platform that delivers to landlords and companies. A snapshot of some of our clients include; WPP, Investec, CEG, Elmpark Green, Cushman & Wakefield.

If you would like to find out more about District Technologies, simply book a demo or get in touch.

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