Today’s labor market is not what it used to be. Employees now have higher standards for the type of work environment in which they spend their time. Companies can’t afford to take a zero-sum attitude where a customer-centric approach means the employee experience is a lesser priority. Providing an excellent employee experience is more important than ever, and businesses that take the time to do it right can reap significant rewards.
Nothing has disrupted the modern workforce more profoundly than the radically altered working conditions and economic challenges accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic. These disruptions motivated many workers to reflect on their stress levels, quit their jobs, and look for a better career—enough that this surge became known as the Great Resignation.
This year has seen 4 million US workers quit every month. 89% cite burnout and a lack of employer support as one of the main reasons they left their jobs. The best way to prevent talent and institutional knowledge from draining out of your organization is to ensure the people working there have the employee experience they want.
Great employee experiences aren’t created or sustained by accident. Companies that attract and retain the top talent in their field know they have to treat the employee experience as a managed process and back it up with the required resources and technology.
If you’re ready to strengthen your employee experience management, this essential guide will provide the information your organization needs to succeed.
What is the employee experience?
The employee experience includes every interaction the employee has while working for the company, from their first day to their eventual departure. The employee experience is often divided into three distinct areas:
- The technological environment refers to employees’ tools and software to complete their required tasks.
- The physical environment includes the facility, the office or cubicle, and every other aspect of the workspace the employee is required to navigate and occupy.
- The company culture can be hard to pin down precisely, but it involves the formal and informal systems under which the company operates, the leadership style, the social milieu, and other factors.
An organization’s HR and IT departments play critical roles in shaping the employee experience, but some companies have dedicated employee experience management teams. While the employee experience is affected by every colleague the employee interacts with, executives and management have an outsized influence on employee experience.
Employee experience and engagement may be related, but they’re different. Employee engagement measures how motivated your employees are to produce high-quality output. It’s more about results than the overall impact of day-to-day interactions. A great employee experience should lead to higher levels of engagement, but they still have to be measured and evaluated separately.
What is employee experience management?
Employees want to be heard and recognized as individuals, not treated as interchangeable cogs in an indifferent machine. Companies that take a proactive approach to listening to their workers and personalizing their interactions are said to engage in employee experience management.
The primary responsibilities of employee experience management are:
- Solicit employee feedback through surveys, comments, performance reviews, and exit interviews.
- Use that information to create ways to make their organization a more enjoyable place to work.
Some essential questions for employee engagement managers are, “What do our employees value?” and “What does the employee journey look like when mapped out?” In conjunction with detailed feedback, this information can illuminate areas of vulnerability and suggest possible improvements. These can range from small, subtle changes to huge shifts in company policy.
With much of the average worker’s time spent engaging in digital tasks—especially with the remote work boom—improvements in the technological environment can often have the most immediate, dramatic effects on employee experience.
Why is employee experience management so important?
The quality of a company’s employee experience creates a reputation that precedes it, influencing potential recruits’ attitudes before they’ve even set foot in the door. Once hired, the employee experience will significantly impact their loyalty, motivation, and productivity. A great experience will inspire them to spread positive word-of-mouth about your organization even after they’ve left.
Turnover is a big problem for employers, and employee experience management can get right to the heart of it. Organizations that provide excellent onboarding experiences can realize an 82% improvement in new hire retention.
In addition to helping attract (and retain) the best talent, increase performance levels and reduce turnover, employee experience management can have a measurable effect on the bottom line. One study found that companies with high employee experience scores were 25% more profitable than their competitors.
Well-managed employee experiences are also effective at getting everyone in an organization aligned to the same goals, which promotes better cohesion and performance across all departments.
The Essential Guide to Employee Experience Management
Employee experience management can be daunting because it covers almost every aspect of an individual’s work life. Follow this step-by-step guide to managing the employee experience in your business correctly.
1. Begin with Leadership
Nothing is more challenging than trying to create positive experiences and a strong company culture without buy-in from the top. Leaders set the tone for the rest of the company, and their support is essential. Ideally, the ultimate responsibility for employee experience management should rest somewhere in the C-suite.
2. Create a Strategy
To ensure that the necessary tasks of employee experience management get done, you need a strategy for delivering the experience your employees want. The key elements of a strategy include establishing feedback channels, mapping out the employee journey, and defining a framework for the strategy’s execution, maintenance, and improvement.
3. Focus on Recruitment
First impressions are everything, and the hiring process will color how employees view every subsequent experience at an organization. Do a careful evaluation of how you advertise job openings and conduct interviews, and look for ways you can leverage technology to provide application tips and other information to prospective candidates.
4. Optimize Onboarding
New hires tend to be excited when they first start a job, but that can quickly turn to frustration if they don’t get the support needed to step confidently into their roles. Onboarding is a critical time for making employees feel like they’re being set up for success and receiving all the information they need. It can be tricky when you have a lot of training material to cover, but tools that can generate engaging content at scale, such as AI video generators, can save the day.
5. Invest in Learning and Development
Today’s employees know they need a broad, up-to-date skillset for their careers to thrive. They also expect employers to meet them halfway in acquiring and polishing those skills. A robust Learning and Development program significantly enhances the overall employee experience, especially when utilizing affordable, scalable e-learning videos.
6. Retain Your Top Talent
When you’ve invested in a high-performing employee, it can be a real loss when they depart for greener pastures. A great employee experience will encourage people to stick around, but you have to know what they want and how they feel about the experience you’re currently providing. Feedback and open communication are critical for employee retention.
7. Don't Forget Departures
Despite your best efforts, employees will still quit or retire. However, your interest in their experience should not abruptly end as soon as they give their two weeks’ notice. Exit interviews that explore why the employee is leaving and provide a chance to offer final suggestions for improvement are one of the best ways to get honest feedback.
8. Measure Your Results
Are all your efforts to improve the employee experience paying off? The only way to find out is to measure their impact. Some metrics can be gathered passively, while others might require sending out surveys. It’s worth tracking KPIs related to engagement, such as:
- Time, clicks, and views spent on company websites and other content channels
- Response to company initiatives and other internal calls-to-action
- Adoption of benefits and services
Analyzing this data will help you better understand what’s working and what needs improvement.
Enhancing Employee Experiences with AI Video Tech
Today’s workers expect a high-quality employee experience. A dedicated employee experience management process is the best way to provide it. The steps are 1. Get Leadership On Board, 2. Create a Strategy, 3. Focus on Recruitment, 4. Optimize Onboarding, 5. Invest in Learning and Development, 6. Retain Your Top Talent, 7. Get Departure Feedback, and 8. Measure Your Results. Many employee experience management processes are enhanced by an AI video generator like Reals by Hour One. Try it out!