What is employee experience? Is it merely remuneration that matters in keeping them happy? With evolving roles and relations between employee and the employer, employee experience has become an umbrella term. It involves everything that an employee experiences – right from the process of getting recruited to the various aspects of their life that the job impacts, whether financially, emotionally, physically or professionally. It’s quickly becoming obvious that employees now look beyond the paycheck and want their role to be of more value and provide holistic satisfaction in their life.
This employee experience is essential for organisations in this cut-throat competition. A better experience understandably results in lower employee turnover and increased efficiency. Organisations are able to attract and retain proficient employees. However, elevating employee experience can be a challenging task.
The role of HR already include the engagement of employees and improving overall organisation culture, but there is a need for new strategies that are more employee-oriented. Such strategies should focus on employees as a person with several edges and not just a tool for increasing productivity.
Here are three areas that companies can focus on elevating the employee experience.
Although organisations rely on multiple methods to take in general feedback from employees, the results are often not utilised to improve critical areas. If an organisation takes feedback from the employees, they may want to regularly report the updates and improvements back to the complainant. This results in the employee feeling heard and a more accurate perception of the organisation actually paying attention to their issues.
Studies show that only 22% of companies survey the employee quarterly, while 14% never survey at all. (Source) A regular survey will ensure that any problem is highlighted as quickly as possible. The solutions of these should be found out even quicker.
However, one thing to note is that these surveys should be more holistic in their approach and not exclusively work-focused. They should also look at work-life balance, satisfaction and wellness.
Design thinking, in this context, refers to crafting an experience for the employees for their engagement and their enjoyment and not focusing on just processes. The traditional role of the HR function has been to develop processes that flow through an employees workspace, such as recruiting, training, assessment, etc., with less stress on the experience of the employees.
With a design thinking approach, HR has to take into account a lot more than the previously mentioned roles. It will involve simplification of the job, as more complexities result in confusion and chaos. It also takes into account the physical environment, the interaction between people, the interaction of subordinate and the managers, and an employee’s engagement to the organisation.
Design thinking helps align the goals of individuals with the goals of the corporate, and thus, the employees are more dedicated to their work. This also leads to work-life balance and a culture where work is not just a burden.
The most common ways of implementing design thinking are by restructuring the roles, making work easier, more rewarding and focus on learning of the employees. It should also make work more accessible.
Most employees now expect a lot more from their jobs. A job should be an opportunity where the employee can explore, experience and learn something new every day. Employees should be given autonomy and flexibility to work so that they can do much more than their roles.
Offer better career opportunities within the organisation also works well. No one likes a stagnant job. If an employee as a goal to work towards, they will strive for it. A training program can readily be devised to identify and train people who show potential and the zeal to get at higher positions.
Of course, every employee expects different things from their job, but for most, a clear steady paycheck, work-life balance, and emotional well being often check the majority of the wishlist. As an employer, organisations should focus on their employees, because they will take care of the business if they are happy.