The Complete Guide to Employee Experience: Part 1
Hi. I’m Maureen Becker, Chief People Officer at ParetoHealth.
This series will discuss ways to attract, assess, and retain talented people.
In fact, these are the same strategies that make companies 5.1 times more likely to engage and retain employees.
Let’s get right down to it, starting with employee experience.
It would be nice if there were an easy way to fix large organizational problems. The good news is the best way to approach this is simple. The bad news is that “simple” doesn’t mean easy – it just means not overly complicated.
It isn’t easy to cultivate an environment where people grow, thrive, and contribute their best work. But it IS incredibly rewarding – both personally and professionally and a holistic approach to human resources management will give you a talent advantage.
You can do a few things today that will bring positive impacts, ranging from engagement at work to innovation for the future.
What Makes up the Employee Experience?
Employee experience is often defined as the interactions an employee has with the people, systems, policies, and the physical and virtual workplace starting from the application process through termination.
Consider the way the employee:
- • Feels about the company
- • Feels about themselves
- • Perceives the company’s mission
- • Perceives their own place within that mission
And then think about the overall effect of those feelings and perceptions on their well-being.
Let’s make this a little bit more concrete:
Geraldine works in your IT department. She comes into work every morning with a good attitude, she’s patient when your computer just needs to be turned off and on again, she set up that one system that everybody uses, and she’s the only one who can talk to the big, blinking server box in the corner.
In other words, she’s an exemplary employee. But she could be having a poor employee experience and feeling disengaged from the company.
Ask some questions, and don’t be afraid of hearing the answers:
Does Geraldine know what role she plays in your company’s mission? If her friends and family ask her what she does, can she explain how she fits into your general efforts? What story does she tell herself about her job and her company?
Does she have everything she needs to do her job? Is success in her role clearly defined? Do the people she works with know what her success looks like, and does everyone help each other achieve it? Does she feel like the leadership understands this the same way she does?
These are just some of the questions you need to be asking.
This brings me to the cornerstone of an effective approach: communication.
When most of us think of communication, we think of the things we send out: our internal value proposition, our employer brand, and our important messages.
That’s human nature: we focus on what we do. But it’s less than half of the whole issue.
Communication goes two ways. You need to ask questions, but far more importantly, you need to make it okay for employees to answer and you must truly listen to the responses.
Why is that?
Because a strong employee value proposition must be aligned with what people value, and you may not fully understand what your people value unless you listen to them when they share their perspectives.
Start now. Ask people if everything is working well for them. Make the responses anonymous if possible, and act on those responses.
In the next part of this series, I’m going to review the existing research on what people want from the employee experience.
I’ll be talking about 24 factors that influence the employee experience, with particular attention to the four things that people quoted as the most important to them.
If you aren’t already subscribed to The Contrarian, you won’t want to miss this.