Right from the recruitment phase to the offboarding phase, it is important for all employers to carve out a unique employee experience that attracts and retains employees. Now that there is a huge shift in the focus from process to people, Human Resources executives need to play a pivotal role in creating and maintaining employee experiences at all touchpoints.
Numerous research and studies have concluded that organisations with specific employee experience programs and strategies report up to 3x higher profit growth.
Part of this growth is due to lower operating margins stemming from employees being more innovative in how they work. However, lower employee turnover also contributes to measurable savings.
Therefore, creating a superlative employee experience should be a top priority for employers. HR should look at operations through a customer experience lens and create a conducive environment based on what employees really want.
How Can HR Create Positive Employee Experience?
Here are some ways HR departments can create positive employee experiences that help boost retention at the workplace…
1. Get to Know the Employees
How much do you know about your employees? When creating a positive experience for employees it’s imperative for HR to dive deep and get to know employees on a personal level. This way, you can understand what really motivates them and come up with effective engagement strategies that boost morale and productivity.
The following are some initiatives to help you understand your employees’ needs better:
- Employee Appreciation Events
Hosting family days or other appreciation events where employees can socialise and bring their spouses, children or friends is a great way to find out more about your employees.
- Team-building Activities
Great employee experience can be achieved in a workplace where trust forms a key foundation of company culture. Cultivate trust by bringing coworkers together through activities and games designed to uncover strengths and weaknesses among members and build the team spirit.
Periodic Employee Feedback Sessions
Employees need an appropriate platform to voice out their concerns and understand what could be done better to help them to be productive on the job and grow personally. Gather employee feedback through one-on-one meetings or 360-degree surveys.
2. Create Engagement Strategies
Employee engagement occurs when employees go beyond expectations and are committed to accomplishing organisational goals. This, in turn, creates a ripple effect throughout the organisation improving camaraderie, innovation and productivity.
Today’s employees represent a gamut of cultures, ethnicity and come from different generations. Hence, they can be engaged only with a personalised approach rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. HR professionals should strive to create a winning team that has the best of synergies with diverse capabilities that helps them showcase their strengths.
Also, give regular feedback to your employees so that it prompts them to contribute more and helps them feel more secure. For instance, you may discover that some employees feel they don’t have the tools to adequately do their jobs. That can be a pretty simple fix but it makes a huge difference in employee engagement and experience.
Furthermore, it is also important to monitor outcomes and to carry out any course corrections so that the strategies can be rolled out in other departments.
3. People Analytics
Analytics is not just limited to process and can be leveraged to shed light on employee engagement which is a key indicator of employee experience at the workplace. Use analytics to monitor important factors such as email responsiveness, average hours worked by employees and top performers.
This will provide you with data-driven insights into the inner workings based on which you can make effective decisions to improve employee experience and boost retention rates. Detecting patterns and uncovering trends in a systematic way is essential to identify opportunities or pitfalls.
4. Focus on Culture
There’s a big reason why companies which are named among the best places to work are so successful. And, that significant reason is the positive corporate culture of the company that helps employees to perform at their best.
A positive culture fosters greater loyalty, helping you retain top talent and also helps you with recruitment efforts. Creating a strong company culture need not be cumbersome or cost a lot of money. Learn this simple lesson from Internet giant Google.
Google built an internal tool to make it easy for its employees (aka Googlers) to recognise one another.
It’s appropriately named gThanks. With gThanks, anyone can tag a team member and publish it to a feed by hitting “kudos”. Instead of speaking privately or sending an email, it gives employees an opportunity to appreciate and acknowledge the contributions of their colleagues.
This helps give more visibility to great work and positively inspires others as well.
5. Two-Way Communication
It is essential to keep your employees informed. However, many companies choose old-school communication methods and daily huddles where managers typically deliver news about the company or dictate the upcoming tasks for the week.
Communication should be two-way and employees should be encouraged to ask questions and express their opinions about business operations. Open communication lines are very vital for positive employee experience.
Creating technology-based communication channels like custom feeds about company or social media style chat functions can help in this regard.
6. Support Continuous Development
Supporting your employees to develop their skills and take up new challenges is another great way to prevent employee burnout and keep employees motivated. Rather than piling on the pressure, including work that is both mentally stimulating and in line with the individual’s career goals is a good idea.
Insufficient development progression and monotonous work will lead to a negative experience. This is where HR can play a strategic role in supporting employees to expand their horizon and elevate employee experience with career development initiatives.
7. Exit Interviews
Most employees will end their experience with your company at some point. Whether it’s voluntary or involuntary, it’s important that you end on a good note. Make the experience as positive as possible in line with the perception your company wants to create in the market and also create a pipeline for returning or boomerang employees who might join back.
Exit interviews are a great opportunity to recognise employees for their contributions and collect valuable insights on what can be improved in the employee experience to make it worthwhile for others.
Simple acts of goodwill like letters of reference, recommendations, or farewell parties can remind employees about the positive experience they had and demonstrate that you support their careers.
HR should always be on the scene to keep a tab on the pulse of the employee experience and respond swiftly in the moments that matter. Across various touchpoints of the employee’s journey within the organisation, it is critical for HR executives to fill the gaps and deliver a positive experience that matters that most for the employees. This, in turn, will help you attract, retain and keep more talent in your pipeline.