A few years back, Uber, the Californian transportation company, had a moment of reckoning. An ex-employee posted a blog about her experiences in the organization. It was not a happy script but a heartfelt, eye-opening story about toxic work culture.
The blog went viral, the employees went to court, and Uber’s bottom line got affected. That was in 2017. Today, almost five years later, the take on employee experience has not improved much. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has made matters worse. A 2021 global employee experience survey reported that the pandemic and the derivative actions taken by employers had a 43% negative impact on employee experience.
In today’s digitally connected world, your employees want a lot from their work. They want to be inspired by being part of something bigger than themselves, to be treated as partners, and to work with innovative technology. Businesses are beginning to realize that they need to improve the employee experience to attract the best talent. Having said that, if you dig deep enough, you will quickly realize that not everyone is on the same page.
So how can you make sure your team gets the experience it needs to thrive? What are the practical steps an organization can take to create culture employees love working in?
In this article, I will talk about 5 forward-thinking and path-defining employee experience strategies every modern organization should follow in 2022.
Here they are:
1. Map each stage of the employee life cycle
Organizations need to create an employee journey map based on every job type and level in the organization.
Employee journey mapping is a process that helps you identify the key moments in your employees’ lives. The process involves plotting out an employee’s journey from when they first join the company to when they leave and identifying key moments in their employment.
It is a visual representation of the most important touchpoints a company has with its employees.
The most effective employee journey maps are created collaboratively, with insights from people working in multiple departments. The process of creating the employee journey map will give a company a better understanding of what is most important for each employee, right from recruitment to retirement. This can be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining talent as it helps identify pain points and areas for improvement.
The HCM team needs to identify touchpoints for every job category and analyze how to make it better in terms of becoming more employee-friendly. These changes need to be imbibed holistically throughout the organization’s work, environment, and culture to make it truly effective.
2. Collect holistic feedback
An organization needs to collect and analyze employee sentiments across multiple touchpoints. The best way to do this is by asking for feedback via employee surveys.
Having said that, achieving employee engagement through employee surveys is a challenge for most organizations. This is because most organizations only collect feedback using one or two methods (such as exit interviews or annual surveys). Data collected using only one or two methods often results in inconsistent, incomplete, inaccurate, and biased feedback.
This is why organizations need to collect regular feedback at every stage of the employee lifecycle and at various stages of company growth. This way, an organization can be up to speed about employees’ sentiments vis-a-vis the dynamic changes brought forth by company growth and employee lifecycle stages.
Organizations need to conduct employee sentiment analysis by asking their employees about the resources, work environment, and tech they need to make their work and life easier. This act will instill a sense of value in the eyes of the employee for the organization. They will see the practical pro-active steps the organization is willing to take to make their (employees’) life easier.
Also, once the organization starts implementing the suggestions, it will instill a sense of ownership in the workforce towards the organization.
3. Create response workgroups to address their needs and concerns
For a successful employee experience strategy to take shape, an organization needs to create a cross-sectional response group to respond to their needs and concerns. This can be a huge benefit to your organization and can help address issues such as employee morale.
Addressing the feedback needs to be a priority for upper management in quarterly business meetings. Every suggestion should be discussed, and its feasibility studied. If some suggestion cannot be implemented, a middle path can be offered as an alternative to meet your employees halfway.
This pro-active action of the cross-sectional workgroup should not be a one-off initiative but a continuous ongoing methodology embedded into an organization’s ethos. This is because your employee needs and concerns will keep changing with time as the organization grows.
4. Recognize employee contribution
Another game-changing way to optimize employee experience is by celebrating employee achievements like hitting monthly KPIs, quarterly goals, etc. As a manager, you can acknowledge and celebrate their wins by giving them social recognition. You can do this by helping them build their own personal brand within the organization. Some interesting ideas can be by giving them their own YouTube or Podcast show that talks about your product and industry. You can also help them leverage thought leadership in the industry by giving them resources to write an e-book/whitepaper based on your niche.
In today’s competitive world of 1000s of cookie-cutter profiles battling it out on LinkedIn, every professional seeks to distinguish itself from the herd. This has given birth to rockstar employees who carry an elevated status and star power in the industry. Every professional is seeking to get to that level.
As an employer, you need to understand the career goals of your employees. You need to actively provide them with an environment and resources that help them get there. Doing this will win you their commitment and loyalty. They will see the relationship as not merely a transactional one but one where the organization is invested in employee growth.
5. Implement technology that prioritizes employee needs
Every employee experience strategy I listed above needs the efficient use of tech to implement it successfully. A good HCM software will help you enhance employee experience with features like feedback collection across multiple touchpoints, sentiment identification, onboarding guidance, measuring complex KPIs, and more. This helps in the meticulous implementation of employee experience strategies and better turnaround.
Apart from that, an organization needs to actively seek workplace technology that prioritizes the needs and challenges of its employees. Organizations need to focus on tech that solves complex work-related challenges and prioritize ease of work for their workforce. This means adopting a tech initiative that seamlessly integrates across all levels and departments. This reduces workload arising due to communication gaps between departments, problems in data collection, and more
In conclusion, a modern organization needs to treat its employees as their primary customers. You need to be proactive in making their life easier. You can start doing this by taking their feedback and taking deliberate steps to improve their experience in the organization. After all, once you start investing in your employees, they will start investing in you.