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The Employee Experience and how it boosts retention

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The shifting of workplaces everywhere to an employee-first mindset is a trend that’s only been accelerated by the uncertainty of the last couple years of business. For those that haven’t shifted to that mindset, however, a new trend has emerged: The Great Resignation.

More people are quitting their jobs than ever before, including older generations, because many of their companies haven’t prioritized the Employee Experience. Those who have, however, aren’t feeling the effects of The Great Resignation – they’re in The Great Retention.

The difference is stark. Companies with a defined Employee Experience strategy are 2.7x as productive as peer companies who don’t, per a Willis Towers Watson survey. They’re also 44% more likely to have a positive organizational culture, 35% more likely to have engaged employees, and a 90% more likely to report lower turnover. 

It’s clear that mastering the Employee Experience is vital to business success for now and the future, but first… what exactly is it? 

The Employee Experience is the prioritization of the employee’s needs first in order to promote engagement, improve retention, inspire productivity, and foster culture that will in turn lead to business success. It’s essentially a culmination of every tried-and-true method of boosting worker satisfaction, which has been consistently found to boost customer satisfaction in turn.

Given its broad scope, it can be intimidating to put it into practice. How do you go about crafting the Employee Experience, and where do you start? Well, the first step to the process is…

The Social Workplace Community

Given the state of modern work environments, the tactics you put in place have to be effective in a remote and an on-site workplace. This means your solution has to be technological in nature; you’re very limited in the ways you can interact with your remote staff without a robust program or strategy with which to do it.

Now, there are an endless number of tools and platforms that serve different functions around the workplace, but only certain aspects of them support the Employee Experience. There are lots of systems that simplify payroll, goal setting, and other niches, but they aren’t designed to change your culture. While they are helpful, they’re built from the top down and are essentially designed for the manager’s experience. You instead want a tool that’s instead designed for the employee and their use. It should be a system that the employee wants to use rather than has to use, and it should become more dynamic and useful the more the employee explores it.

Your solution should also be able to support deskless workers as well as those with desks in an office environment; after all, your company may have team members on the front lines as well as members at their computers on-site or at home. An application that works for both keeps everyone connected, aligned, organized, and feeling part of a holistic community.

While many companies use collaboration applications like Slack or Microsoft Teams, messaging capabilities only scratch the surface of what a workplace community can be. Remote employees won’t get any info from someone’s name on a messaging thread… but what if that name is linked to a detailed employee profile?

Employee profiles are one of the best ways to create an online community for your organization’s people. Within an online community platform, team members can view each other’s profiles for essential information like skills, experience, goals, contact information, and anything else they might want to share about themselves. 

Seeing these profiles all in one place (perhaps even on an org chart) gives team members on-site and remote, an excellent picture of the company structure and the people within it. Its easy online accessibility makes this especially useful for hybrid workforces who might be experiencing a disconnect between the two halves of their team. 

Picture a social media platform that doesn’t distract from work, but enhances your work. A system like that will engage your company’s teams and keep them productive regardless of where they operate from. 

Making Feedback Your Priority

“Communication is the most important part of any relationship.” And, like any relationship, managers and employees need constant communication and feedback to keep their relationship strong, productive and rewarding. One-on-one discussions between a manager and employee are crucial for an endless number of reasons, from realigning on tasks to simply getting to know one another. This is another critical aspect of the employee experience.

The traditional manager/employee feedback conversation that both tend to dread is the annual performance review. That classic annual style, though, is actually being replaced with frequent informal reviews – in fact, per research firm CEB, 90% of HR professionals don’t think annual performance reviews give accurate feedback.

That’s the name of the game: feedback. A manager has to give honest feedback to their staff in order for them to be more productive, engaged, aligned, and ultimately, happy. Frequent one-on-one meetings turn feedback from annual and frightening to constant, constructive and casual.

A great way to make these conversations as productive as possible is by getting 360° feedback from other members of the team. Asking other peers and supervisors about a person’s aptitude and quality of work gives you perspectives you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten from your limited interactions with them. 360° feedback is especially useful when the person is remote and you don’t have much more than your conversations to reference.

A modern Employee Experience platform will help you simplify, automate and coordinate all these meetings by allowing you to schedule them on a cadence, include preview questions or agenda topics, and take notes that stay logged for future reference.

Another way to upgrade your feedback strategy is a consistent employee survey system that lets you customize what questions you ask, the way you ask them and who you send them to. This lets you be extremely versatile in the ways you get feedback and ideas from your team, whether they’re voting on a yes-or-no or showing their feelings on a sliding scale. 

These are just a couple of the best methods of mastering the Employee Experience in your workplace. We’re only scratching the surface, trust us. We go much more in depth on all sorts of strategies in our E-book, “How to Craft the Perfect Employee Experience”. Read it here today! For more about engagement in general, go here!

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