It is quite amusing to see that organizations are more employee-centric than ever before. In addition to customer experience, companies are now paying equal heed to employee experience as well. Simply put, business leaders now see great scope in investing in employee experience to boost engagement and retention rates.
We can look at it from another perspective. We would all agree that the business environment is more competitive than ever before. Hence, in the bid to build competitive advantages, organizations are keen on getting the best out of their employees. For that, they want to cultivate high motivation by realizing employee expectations and delivering on them. In either case, investing in employee experience defines a new corporate trend.
What we need to explore is, why exactly are businesses investing wholeheartedly in enhancing their employees’ experience. What are the business benefits of paying heed to employee experience and how exactly does it lead to greater productivity? Well, we shed light on all these answers through this blog. In this blog, we highlight the reasons why employee experience is emerging as a top-tier management trend. So, let us get started without further ado.
Why employee experience takes centerstage today
Puts Employees First
The initial phases of the pandemic took a toll on businesses and employees altogether. As organizations revamp their operations across sectors, there is a greater need to assess and nurture employee experience within workplaces. Or perhaps redefine employee experience to cater to the increasing rate of remote employees.
Before, it was quite easy to cater to employee experience since employees worked in-house, but now, HRs have to define new approaches to employee experience now that many employees are working remotely or hybrid.
Among the cited causes of 2021 Great Resignation was poor employee experience. Many employees had felt unvalued and disrespected and this made them look for better opportunities in other companies. When people feel that they are valued and supported, there is an increase in employee engagement and job satisfaction. They tend to be creative and develop a higher focus on their jobs.
Provide Safety at the Workplace
Ensuring employee experience nowadays goes beyond providing safety at the workplace. It requires HR leaders and management to be empathetic and cater to employee well-being through programs and policies that reduce employee stress and burnout.
On the other hand, when employees are considered a priority, it will cause employers to develop strategies that enhance workplace adaptability. When HRs invest in fostering positive employee experiences, there will be greater workplace adaptability. In companies where employees report good employee experiences, adaptability is ingrained within them. Here employees don’t find it hard to accept changes or adapt to new technologies.
Employers can enhance workplace adaptability by introducing training to provide employees with the necessary skills to work efficiently. They can also provide collaboration and productivity tools to increase efficiency while working in-person or remotely. As there is always a need to attract the best talent, putting employees first can help HR leaders understand what matters more to employees which enhances the employee experience.
Fosters Inclusion & Equity
One of the biggest contributors to workplace inclusion and equity is company culture. Inclusion refers to how well the different groups of people in an organization are treated and valued. Companies that embrace diversity and also work on creating a more positive workforce cultivate grounds for better employee experience. Many companies across industries are becoming more diverse and where there is no inclusion and equity, there can’t be employee experience.
When a company has a positive work culture, it tends to attract and retain the best talent in the market. It also tends to enjoy a great pool of knowledge, skills, and creativity. Besides these benefits, fostering inclusivity enhances the employee experience. In order for this to happen, HR leaders must look into several aspects.
Welcome and appreciate employee feedback and leverage it to make changes that benefit all employees and also drive company success. It helps make employees feel like they belong and more so, valued. Inclusion in a workplace is very important as it increases employee retention and productivity.
To bring about workplace inclusion, you need to eradicate bias, and favoritism, and recognize and celebrate differences. When it comes to promoting equity, ensure that all employees have equal opportunities at their disposal.
Leads to Happy Employees
Workplace happiness contributes a lot to employee experiences. When employees are happy, they tend to be more creative, productive, and mentally stable. A psychology researcher at Harvard explains that happiness makes the brain work better. ‘The Happiness Advantage” author Shawn Anchor stresses that 25% of job success depends on IQ whereas, 75% is all about how the brain helps you connect with other people and manage stress.
Workers face many challenges in workplaces and when these aren’t addressed or are poorly addressed, it leads to unhappy employees. Many reports have shown how workplace happiness impacts overall employee performance and productivity. One report found that an increase in happiness resulted in a 37% sales increase. It also indicated that employee happiness led to a 31% productivity increase.
Therefore, leaders should check the organization’s culture or introduce programs that cater to employee happiness. Employee benefits plans, valuing feedback, and providing flexibility are some of the starting points to improve happiness levels among employees. Focusing on flexibility nowadays is one of the best approaches to helping employees to achieve work-life balance. It will also increase motivation levels which all positively impact employee experience.
Increases Employee Retention
Positive employee experience is directly linked to employee retention in the workplace. The corporate and business spheres have become a battlefield for the best talent. In many scenarios, employers and HRs confirm that it is easy to recruit employees, but it has become more challenging to retain them.
Employee experience is one of the biggest determinants of employee retention today. Many employees, especially the millennial workforce look at the following when it comes to staying or quitting a job.
Employee-centered workplace policies are good at enhancing employee experience in the workplace. Here the organization must evaluate its workplace atmosphere to ensure that it’s favorable. HRs should also look at the type of learning and development programs it provides to the employees. Providing career development opportunities makes employees believe that you care about their career achievements. Workplace practices should also cater to flexibility to help employees achieve work-life balance. Besides, they must increase a sense of belonging among employees.
Employees value direction, especially when it’s developmental. Right from the onboarding phase, recruits need to feel guided and included. Guide them on how to use new tools or software and offer digital skills training where necessary to bring about effective adaptability.
Feedback & Recognition:
Recognize employee efforts and reward them where necessary. Many employees perform better and work harder when they feel that their efforts and feedback are recognized and valued respectively.
Increases Employee Performance
Employee experience is linked to higher employee engagement and better performance. When employees are happy, they become more engaged in their jobs and put in more effort to get things done. According to IBM, leadership and management influence outcomes such as employee performance and retention. Positive employee experiences are linked to better performance, more effort, and lower employee turnover.
An analysis by IBM also indicates that employees with a high experience index are more likely to report high levels of work performance compared to their counterparts with a low experience index. In every scenario, leadership sets the stage for positive or negative employee experiences in an organization. Employee performance begins with having a shared sense of purpose, which leads to collaboration and accountability.
To encapsulate, employee experience has always been a crucial subject matter in the corporate sphere. However, now that major evolvement is occurring post-pandemic, HR leaders and managers need to rethink the entire concept of employee experience. Positive or good employee experience leads to better performance, and employee retention and also drives business growth. But, it differs from employee engagement.