In recent years, we have seen many companies invest heavily in one of their most vital assets—their employees. From free lunches to Fun Fridays, relaxed workspaces, standing desks, or yoga/meditation rooms, there’s been a slew of initiatives aimed at enthusing employees and accelerating productivity.
But here’s the catch: most of these companies focus on perks and benefits. Only a handful of organizations prioritize the employee experience to create a stronger and more meaningful relationship with their workforce. This is not for the lack of trying, though.
The 2020 HR Sentiment Survey proves that Employee Experience is currently ranking as one of the top initiatives for business leaders (50% responders). The problem lies in comprehending the significance of the Employee Experience and accurately mapping it to positive business outcomes. In most cases, employers are employees who are misaligned on what drives good experiences.
Employee Experience is a Business Imperative
The shift in power from organizations to individuals has led to more and more businesses focusing on improving the journey their employees take with them – a journey called the Employee Experience.
As the new KPI for measuring retention, productivity, and overall performance, the employee experience drives business growth and new customer acquisition. You cannot underestimate its worth!
Let’s make it a little more relatable by using the analogy of buying car insurance.
The Employee Experience Shouldn’t be like Buying Car Insurance
Let’s ask you a simple question—what is the similarity between employee experience and buying car insurance?
Buying a new car comes with the added responsibility of purchasing good car insurance. However, the process of buying one can leave you stressed and overwhelmed.
Somewhere between resisting overenthusiastic sales pitches, comparing hundreds of policies, finding the one with the right price (which doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket), reading the fine print (don’t skip it!), and completing endless paperwork, the buyer is left drained from the insurance buying experience and has little enthusiasm left to enjoy his/her newly insured car.
Similarly, an unsupportive work environment, challenging technologies, mounting work pressure, and strained relationships at the office can leave your employees feeling drained and disinterested in their work.
To counter this, you must provide your employees with the experience that makes them emotionally committed to their work and feel valued. Treat them with empathy, and they will be your company’s strongest brand advocates.
Forbes recommends a combination of physical (workplace), social (relationships), and technological (tools and processes) elements to create a positive employee experience. It involves multiple stakeholders aligned toward creating a holistic workplace centred around the employees as a business initiative.
Why Focus on Employee Experience and How to Prioritize it
Simply put, employee experience is all about putting people first. Employees are the backbone of a business, and their actions can dictate the rise or fall of an organization.
The kind of relationship they have with employers, the amount of effort they will dedicate to growing the business, and the service they will provide to the customers are dictated by how the company prioritizes employee needs (if at all).
While the most common benefits of investing in the employee experience include customer satisfaction and productivity, there are several other reasons why it is essential and how to prioritize it.
Here's a simple thumb rule to go by—if your employees show up to work and leave in a good mood, if they are dedicated to their work and customers if there's minimal friction within and across teams—then you're on the right path to a transformative employee experience strategy.
Outcomes of Positive Employee Experience
A recent LinkedIn report showed the business impact of good employee experience strategies:
Multiple studies conducted by Forbes, Gartner, and Gallup show that while some organizations are still catching up to the trend of appreciating and motivating their employees, others, realizing the value of high-ROI employee experience, are steadily making it to the top of the Best Employer lists, reaping rich rewards.
Towards an Employee-centric Future
To operate in the modern, competitive business environment based on brand equity, sustainable growth, talent retention, and productivity, companies must cultivate a deeper understanding of their employees while continually enhancing their experience based on regular feedback.
The path forward lies in building an integrated experience framework where employees are treated with empathy, valued, nurtured, and instilled with a sense of purpose while working in an inclusive and sustainable environment.
“EX isn’t just fun events. It’s making people feel safe and happy so they can perform their best.” — Wassim Eid, CHRO, Chalhoub