The employee experience refers to how your people interact with your company and what they think and feel during the length of their tenure.
From the moment someone looks at a job ad to the day they leave, everything an employee does, learns, witnesses and feels contributes to their experience.
It has long been the norm for businesses to pour investment into the experience of their customers, but increasing importance and focus has been placed on the experience of employees as an organisation’s greatest asset.
Towards the end of 2021, we entered into a period dubbed “The Great Resignation”. In August, the US Labor department revealed that 4.3 million Americans left their jobs (that’s 2.9% of the workforce), while the number of open jobs in the UK surpassed 1 million for the first time.
With unprecedented changes to the workplace caused by the pandemic – including a heightened appreciation of health and wellbeing – many are carefully reconsidering their career paths so a focus on employee experience is more important than ever.
Why should I worry about employee experience?
- The battle for top talent is fierce – As mentioned above, right now it’s a job seekers market and companies need to stand out from the crowd to attract top talent. The rise in review sites, such as Glassdoor, shows a desire by potential employees to understand what the experience would be like at a company and you don’t want negative comments chasing away applicants.
- Stop people seeking the door – There is an increasing trend for new recruits to make decisions about leaving companies early in their tenure, with about 10% seeking the door within six months of starting a job. A proper induction and a continued positive experience, which indicates the value a company is willing to place on its culture and making sure employees feel like they belong, can help to stem turnover.
- Meet the expectations of newer generations – Millennials and Generation Z members are looking for more opportunities to have their say and expect to have more individualised experiences, looking to be treated with the personal touch that consumers are. It is therefore vital for employers to have strategies in place to understand these wants and needs.
- Increases resilience in turbulent times – With major disruption caused by the pandemic and a focus on a more digital workforce, businesses that invest in good employee experience are more in tune to the impact such upheaval has on their people, which makes them much more resilient to rapid change.
- Protects the bottom line – A strong employee experience can result in a more productive workforce and make a huge difference to your company’s bottom line. Recent research has found that companies who scored the highest for good employee experience made four times higher average profits and two times higher average revenues!
At what point should I be measuring employee experience?
There are various stages of a person’s employment where it is useful to gain their insights. Here’s a few to consider:
- Recruitment – This includes all the steps it takes to hire someone. Things to question could be, were the job ads attractive, was the interview process smooth and reassuring for candidates, what was communication like once someone had accepted a role, etc? This could unveil ways to not just improve employee experience at this stage, but how you could attract higher quality candidates.
- Onboarding – Most new employees need time to get up to speed with their role. Measuring employee experience at this “onboarding” stage will reveal how someone’s initial enthusiasm for their new job moves into a more meaningful relationship with your company – and, most importantly, stops them looking for the exit too soon!
- Development – As employees develop within their roles, i.e. take on more training to expand their skills or accept a promotion, it’s a good idea to gauge how they feel at this time. What was the process like, did they feel it took too long to make this progression, do they feel more fulfilled in their roles, etc?
- Retention – Now fully integrated within your teams, you want employees to continue performing and contributing. It could be useful to speak to some of your long-term employees about what makes them stay at your company.
- Exit – Leavers are known to be more candid in exit interviews as they have nothing to lose so pay attention to the reasons why they are moving on. You may find opportunities to improve and develop the employee experience for existing and future hires.
Keep an eye out for the second in this series of blogs where we go into more detail about how you measure, analyse and understand the employee experience.
In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about what employee experience means and how you can start to incorporate this within your HR strategy and goals, get in touch! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for practical advice and guidance.