The Prioritization of Employee Experience in 2022
We’ve been inundated with various headlines regarding the Great Resignation. And while they all have different perspectives, one commonality exists – the value placed on employee experience. Employees are making it very clear that while money is important, it isn’t everything. They want to be valued and appreciated, and find meaning in their work and in those with whom they collaborate.
According to a recent Gallup survey, the percentage of engaged workers declined in 2021 for the first year in more than a decade, in large part because organizations have forgotten about the basics. “Among the engagement elements Gallup measures, the greatest declines were in clarity of expectations, having the right materials and equipment, and the opportunity for workers to do what they do best. These elements are foundational to employee engagement.”
For employers, prioritizing the employee experience has arguably never been as important as it is right now.
What Exactly is Employee Experience?
Think of the employee experience as a journey that includes every interaction and observation during an employee’s lifecycle with your company — from recruitment and onboarding to development and retention to exit. It encompasses all that they encounter and observe during that lifecycle, including their role, workspace, leader, team, and company culture. At their foundation, employee experiences should be aligned with the company’s purpose, values, and mission, and have the full support of leadership at every level.
Why Should You Care?
I don’t know of any leader who would object to decreased absenteeism, low turnover rates, or increased productivity. And these are all very valid reasons that every leader should care about employee experience. In fact, it should be given the same time, attention, and resources as launching a new product or service.
An enhanced employee experience results in increased engagement, a stronger company culture and brand, growth, and better customer service. Think of it this way – your employees are on the frontlines of customer experience, helping to build and represent your brand. And whether they have a positive or negative experience at work each day will invariably impact these crucial relationships, and by extension, your company.
Additionally, as we discussed in At the Intersection of the Great Resignation, Professional Services, and Those Who Stayed, the employees who did not join the Great Resignation are burnt out and often feel underappreciated. These employees, who have more leverage than ever before, could still choose to leave in search of something better, and that often means a better employee experience. However, if their leaders are proactive and look at this instead as an opportunity to enhance employee experience before it’s too late, those employees are more likely to stay. Simply, companies who place value on employee experience have a significant competitive advantage over others who don’t.
What Can You Do About It?
Overall, improving employee experience means improving the company culture, having more touchpoints, and ensuring your efforts align with the company mission, vision, and values. Gallup recommends focusing on the basics, providing clear and frequent communication, and managing your managers. “Managers can only keep employees informed and engaged if organizational priorities are clear and well communicated as changes occur.”
Other tips include:
- Conducting an audit of current processes (including hiring and onboarding)
- Listening to employees to understand their challenges
- Collecting regular feedback from employees
- Evaluating company culture from their viewpoint
- Creating experiences around the information learned
- Creating an action plan for each phase of the employee lifecycle
- Using metrics to measure the results at each phase
- Ensuring all strategies align with the company’s mission and vision
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