What is employee experience and why is it crucial for your business? 

By Michael Halling

About the author

 

Michael Halling

 

Michael, or Mike, is the CEO of Vitro and works closely with clients to discuss and define their current and future HR ambitions across the talent management spectrum. He knows that technology and process improvements are the greatest organisational enablers and understands systems and processes which can help an organisation meet their needs. 

 

Why is Employee Experience increasingly crucial for business? What are the benefits of retaining staff?   

 

In the Summer of 2022, we heard the phrase ‘The Great Resignation’. According to the World Economic Forum one in five workers planned to quit their job and I wonder if this is an ongoing trend or a convenient flag used by disenfranchised employees? 

 

Why is this happening?  

 

Employees seek more than just good pay. 

 

We all appreciate the new normal hybrid way of working and employees want to understand how an employer engages their people and offers the value and purpose they now expect from work. If an employer is unwilling to accept the long-term change of working practices, then we’re seeing workers are less afraid to push back and seek more flexible opportunities elsewhere. 

 

Gartner found that one in four people are unhappy with where they currently work. The reason being employers still have a traditional approach and believe that pay is the main motivator for all their staff.     

 

The results of another Gartner survey of more than 3,500 employees worldwide in October 2021, found that 65% said the pandemic had made them rethink the place their work should have in their life. Many employees have become accustomed to not using their time to commute every day and are unwilling return to full-time office-based hours.   Hybrid working has now become a priority to many people to allow them more fulfilment time.

So how do you keep track of what your employees expect from the workplace and their current experience? 

 

An annual survey is one of the best ways to find out how motivated and happy your workforce is.  Employees can anonymously provide their honest feedback about what it’s like to work at your company and will answer questions such as:   

  • How valued they feel. 
  • How engaging are their daily systems and processes. 
  • Do they know where to go for help and support. 
  • Do they see opportunities at work and feel able to discuss these with their manager and piers. 
  • Are they proud of where they work and would they recommend it to a friend as a good place to work.  

An annual survey, with a mid-point pulse survey, provides valuable insight into which key areas, processes and systems are going well and which areas could improve. 

 

New Talent - Recruitment 

 

Candidates have high expectations from potential employers and actively seek to clarify whether a company offers the right positive employee experience for them. Remember, the employee experience starts before people are even hired.  It includes the interaction an individual has with an employer from making an application for the job, their journey through onboarding and settling into the role. Plus professional and skills development up to, and including, their final day at the company.  

 

According to InStride (Strategic Enterprise Education™ programme makers) people receiving a positive employee experience are sixteen times more engaged and eight times more likely to stick with their current employer.  A positive work environment means employees are motivated, more productive and seek innovation. It’s an expression of a happy workforce which also results in retention of staff and lower absences due to sickness. 

 

So, if we consider the importance of employee well-being, companies that do this well listen to their employees and place them at the heart of everything they do which in turn attracts and retains talent. If they have processes in place to monitor their ongoing employee experience and positively act on the feedback received, they will be viewed as transparent with clear intentions and communication.  

 

The value of workforce skills 

 

We’ve discussed skills in our blog ‘Skills-Based Organisation: Unlocking Access to Broader Capabilities’ and believe this is the currency for employee experience and retention.  In a skills-based organisation the emphasis lies on valuing employees for their skillsets rather than solely relying on job titles. This creates an environment where the workforce can easily adapt and be deployed across projects or teams based on their individual skills versus organisational needs. By breaking down department silos and prioritising skillsets we can foster cross-functional interactions and collaboration enabling organisations to access a broader range of capabilities. 

 

Digitisation in the workplace is driving employee experience. 

 

One of the biggest drivers of a positive employee experience and greater efficiency is digitisation.   Automation of tasks streamlines and simplifies processes and creates a more dynamic, agile and engaging work environment regardless of geographical boundaries.  This in turn will positively impact employee satisfaction and performance and allow employees more time to focus on high-value tasks that contribute to their professional development. 

 

At Vitro, we understand the importance of digitisation and developing a positive employee experience. We support clients to review their processes and systems around their user journey through personas, platform optimisations, user experience and process improvement scenarios. We support you to map processes and find simplification options to generate engaged employees and in turn recruitment savings. 

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