What Is Employee Experience Strategy?
Employee Experience Strategy is an organisation’s overarching plan to enhance the experience and abilities of their employees in an organisation’s cultural, physical and technological environments. Key elements of an Employee Experience Strategy include in-depth qualitative research with employees, employee journey maps, culture change and more.
Why You Need An Employee Experience Strategy
In The Future of Work, Jacob Morgan describes Employee Experience as the combination of an organisation’s cultural, physical, and technological environments. Keeping these three key areas in mind, organisations can begin to shape a clear employee experience strategy that truly makes a difference for both their employees and their business outcomes.
Most organisations today invest in their customers’ experience. The organisations carry out journey mapping, from the start of the customer engagement to the end. Qualitative and quantitative research is undertaken, and measures such as CSAT and NPS are commonplace.
Far fewer apply the same rigour and discipline to their employee experience, hoping that somehow, despite being largely neglected and unresearched, the employee experience will be “good enough”. The challenge today is that, similarly to how customers are treated, good enough is no longer good enough. It is exceptionally easy for staff to find alternative employment, to deliver mediocre services, and to just coast, to the detriment of the organisation as well as the customers. And this is not “good enough”.
WHY IS IMPROVING EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE SO IMPORTANT?
The way employees experience work has become more important than ever before. For too long employee experience was seen as a ‘nice to have’, in part down to a lack of clearly articulated key business outcomes that are dependent on having highly motivated and supported staff. These key business outcomes are not just in the HR domain e.g. reduce talent churn. Employee experience affects every business outcome to varying degrees. Take innovation for example; a team that trusts one another and doesn’t have an overwhelming fear of making mistakes is more likely to take risks that can lead to more innovative solutions.
Yet as critical as it is to an organization’s ability to navigate disruption, transformation, and economic uncertainty, research from Deloitte shows that only 9% of business leaders believe they are very ready to address the issue of delivering a great employee experience.
WHY IS EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE SO IMPORTANT DURING AND POST COVID19?
Designing a powerful employee experience isn’t simply a box to check for the HR team – it can also have a significant impact on many aspects of an organization. Company leaders recognize this influence, which is why nearly 80 percent of executives rate employee experience as very important or important. It is much more important during and post COVID19 as most employees have had their traditional workplace turned on its head, with many bouncing between the office and working remotely. Traditional “water-cooler” chat has disappeared, many relationships have been lost, and much of the fun of a work environment has disappeared. So focussing on delivering an exceptional employee experience is now more crucial than ever.
An Example of an Optimised Employee Experience: The Engaging First Day
The first day sets the stage. When welcoming new team members to your work environment and immersing them in your company culture, there are strategic ways to set them up for early and ongoing success.
Offer a welcome gift to show you’re happy they’ve joined the team.
Instead of the stale welcome balloon or coffee mug, get creative with first day gifts.
Is your new hire a wellness-enthusiast? Gift them with rooftop yoga lessons or stand-up paddle boarding. To make a first day gift truly special, make it a memorable, personal, shareable moment with experiential gifts for employees Plan a first day lunch. This will help new hires feel less like interviewees and more like team members.
Gather just 3-4 team members to be a new team member’s ‘first day lunch buddies.’ Too many people can detract from providing new hires with the introductions, information, and personal connection they need.
Ensure their desks are fully set up and ready to go, with a bit of customization.
Be Proactive About New Arrivals
Make new team members feel like their arrival is important and planned for by setting up their workstations before day one. Have their computer, login details, phone, and any other necessities ready to go from the moment they sit down.
In Ron Friedman’s The Best Place to Work, we learned that organizations that encourage employees to customize their workspaces tend to have happier teams. That’s not all. Researchers also measured a 32% increase in performance among employees who were allowed to customize their offices compared to those who were not. To add a touch of customization, consider reaching out during pre-boarding to ask their preferred computer configuration, type of desk chair, or favourite plant. This makes for a warm, personalized welcome.
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