What is the Employee Experience?
The employee's journey starts with understanding what makes employees happy and how to attract that talent through recruitment. As the employee's journey continues, they become a part of your culture and grow within the organization. Learn how to engage them every step of the way. Below are resources with Tips and Tricks you can learn from.
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- Employee Experience
- Top 15 Tips To Ensure An Extraordinary Employee Experience
- Employee Engagement
- Employee Happiness
- Culture And Values
Employee experience requires that the organization put employees at the center. In other words, instead of trying to force people to fit into outdated workplace practices, organizations must redesign their workplace practices to fit with their people.
We have all heard of corporate culture and the many ways to describe it. Corporate culture stems from the values, attitudes, practices and mission of the organization. Still others say culture is controlled by the CEO and other executives. Regardless of what you believe culture is or where it comes from, it is clear that culture is about feeling. It's the "vibe" you get when you walk in the door, and it's the mood and the tone that the workplace sets.
The technological environment of the organization refers to the tools employees use to get work done. This includes everything from the internal social network to the mobile devices that employees have access to. This also includes any apps, software, e-learning tools, and user experience and design elements that impact how employees use these various tools.
The physical workspace is the one we can see, touch, taste and smell. It's the art on the walls; the office floor plan; the demographics of the people we work with (old, young, diverse and so forth); and any physical perks workers might get, such as catered meals in a beautiful cafeteria, an onsite gym, or a lounge area where employees can unwind. Workplace flexibility, autonomy and access to multiple workspaces are variables that affect this environment.
Top 15 Tips to Ensure an Extraordinary Employee Experience
- Caring + Support: Caring means more than everybody signing a birthday card. Is there a level of CARE being orchestrated for (and by) by your employees?
- Recognition + Rewards: Are your employees being recognized or rewarded for achieving higher than anticipated expectations?
- Needs Being Met: Needs are generally attributed to worth. Are your employees feeling that their needs, worth and values are being met?
- Powerful Engagement: Engagement plays a very big factor amongst the employee experience. Employee engagement (or lack of it) can either elevate your culture - or destroy it. How invested are your employees in your culture?
- Positive Relationships: Business is about people and positive internal relationships are critical to an effective workplace. How do your employees feel about each other?
- Fulfillment + Purpose: Does the working environment and their role within it give your employees a sense of purpose and fulfillment?
- Total Compensation: Compensation is more than just a wage. It can be considered the entire experience. Do your employees feel they are fairly compensated for their efforts?
- Growth Opportunities: Growth in a workplace keeps employees motivated and stimulated. Do they feel there are innovative opportunities for growth, or is it just a dead-end job?
- Feedback Mechanisms: Constructive feedback is critical to a high performing culture and workplace. Is everyone in your organization open to it?
- Respect For Others: Does everyone in your organization respect each other, their roles and their space? How do you know?
- The Happiness Quotient: Happy employees are productive employees. It's that simple. What little things need to be done to improve the sense of happiness in your organization?
- Corporate Culture: A high performance culture, based on aligned values and personal responsibility, is one of the most important indicators for future success. Is your corporate culture cared about by all?
- Values Alignment: Are your employees truly aligned with your company culture and model – or just paying it lip service?
- Emotional Support: The way employees feel about things dictates their actions. Do they feel their emotional wellbeing and intelligence are supported in your organization?
- Overall Environment: Do your employees feel the overall environment is a safe and happy place to work? How do you know?
WHY EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS
Employee engagement is a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organization to give their best each day. We define "best" as committed to their organization's goals and values, motivated to contribute to the organization's success, and accomplishing it all with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.
Employee engagement is based on trust, integrity, two way commitment and communication between an organization and its members. It is an approach that increases the chances of business success, contributing to organizational and individual performance, productivity and well-being. It can be measured. It varies from poor to great. It can be nurtured and dramatically increased. Or it can be lost and thrown away.
Increasing engagement is a primary objective of organizations seeking to understand and measure engagement.
Drivers of engagement
Some additional points from research into drivers of engagement are presented below:
- Employee perceptions of job importance – "...an employee's attitude toward the job's importance and the company had the greatest impact on loyalty and customer service than all other employee factors combined.
- Employee clarity of job expectations – "If expectations are not clear and basic materials and equipment are not provided, negative emotions such as boredom or resentment may result, and the employee may then become focused on surviving more than thinking about how he can help the organization succeed.
- Career advancement / improvement opportunities – "Plant supervisors and managers indicated that many plant improvements were being made outside the suggestion system, where employees initiated changes in order to reap the bonuses generated by the subsequent cost savings.
- Regular feedback and dialogue with superiors – "Feedback is the key to giving employees a sense of where they're going, but many organizations are remarkably bad at giving it. What I really wanted to hear was 'Thanks.You did a good job.' But all my boss did was hand me a cheque.
- Quality of working relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates – "...if employees' relationship with their managers is fractured, then no amount of perks will persuade the employees to perform at top levels. Employee engagement is a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss."
- Perceptions of the ethos and values of the organization – "'Inspiration and values' is the most important of the six drivers in our Engaged Performance model. Inspirational leadership is the ultimate perk. In its absence, [it] is unlikely to engage employees."
- Effective internal employee communications – which convey a clear description of "what's going on". "'Commitment theories are rather based on creating conditions, under which the employee will feel compelled to work for an organization, whereas engagement theories aim to bring about a situation in which the employee by free choice has an intrinsic desire to work in the best interests of the organization.
EMPOWERING EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS
A culture of happy employees is what every organization should strive for. Studies show happy employees work harder, are more invested, and are better ambassadors for your brand and organization. This leads to better employee retention and measurably higher rates of employee productivity. While happiness can be subjective, the results of employees who are happy about their work is undeniable. Here's what we learned makes an employee happy.
Passion is the core for any productive office. Ask any successful company leader and the first thing you will hear about is passion for what they do. It's passion that drives them every day. As a company, passion is important because it preserves excitement from one project to the next. Passion is a huge part in what makes an employee excited about the work they are doing and should be instilled in everyone -- from the leadership team, all the way down to each employee.
To really get the benefits of a happy staff, companies should keep things positive and fun at work. Not everyone is going to be happy every day, but have you heard that old saying, "fake it till you make it?" Well, this applies to a positive attitude too. Once you and your employees get in the habit of making each day positive, you'll start to notice how little things no longer drag the whole team down and the spirit of the team is elevated.
Offer employees praise on a regular basis when things are done correctly. When they aren't, offer constructive criticism in a positive way. Letting your employees know what they've done right (or wrong) helps them gain confidence in what they are doing. Confidence equals happy employees. And happy employees equal higher productivity.
Small perks go a long way in keeping things fun and morale high. Try surprising your team by bringing in breakfast one morning. Take your employees to an unscheduled lunch or create a flexible schedule option to allow half the team to leave an hour early on a Friday afternoon.
Create an office space that is conducive to meetings and creativity. Allow several collaboration spaces with whiteboards, tables and chairs, so it's easy for people to work together. Different seating arrangements can be setup for different types of meetings to take place. These can include walls with whiteboards for creative brainstorming and drawing, a table and chairs for reviewing documents, or a comfortable seating lounge that can be used for more conversation and networking to take place. By offering a collaborative environment, you ensure employees keep working as a team.
Sense of Ownership
Put someone in charge of each project and have them delegate the project tasks throughout the team. Each new project can be assigned a different team leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to be in the driver's seat. The purpose of designating leadership is to create a stronger sense of team by blurring the lines of boss and employee.
Companies with clearly defined goals allow each employee to connect what they do to the objectives of the company, giving them a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Having a clear direction and understanding of what needs to be accomplished by each employee and collaboratively as a team, sets employees up for success.
Employees who are happy to come to work each day create better value for their company. They take pride in their work, the company they represent, and the team around them. This means they are motivated to exceed expectations.
Culture and Values
Corporate culture has arguably always been important, but it's only become a popular point of discussion in the past 20 years or so. As we begin to uncover the actual cost to acquire talent and recruitment fees; corporate culture is becoming more and more of a hot topic than ever before. The topic has been around, however more companies are making it more of a priority.
According to Forbes:
The Benefits of Strong Culture
First, there are clear benefits to having a strong, unified company culture underlying your business's operations:
- Identity. For starters, culture contributes to the identity and values of your company. For example, if your corporate culture is one that prioritizes setting and meeting goals, your individual workers will be more likely to set and meet goals of their own. It's a good way to set and maintain the direction of your employees, and without it, it's hard to keep your company's values coherent.
- Retention. A strong company culture attracts better talent and, more importantly, retains that talent. When people feel like they belong to an organization, they're more likely to stick around for the long term. That means lower turnover, fewer new hires to deal with, and better chemistry among your team.
- Image. Corporate culture also adds to your brand identity. If you treat your employees well and have a fun-loving corporate atmosphere, your customers will see you as a fun-loving, generous brand. Depending on your target demographics, that could be a major boon for sales and customer loyalty.
These are tenets of brand culture you're likely already familiar with. Culture overall is going to become more important, which means all these dimensions will increase in line with that expansion. Recently Clarity Wave went through their own Brand and Corporate Value assessment which really woke the company up to why it is in the business they are as well how they are positioned and what they value in their people.
Trends and Competition
One of the biggest motivating factors is the fact that corporate culture is becoming a more popular consideration and development. More companies are shifting their attention to creating more thorough brand cultures, and preserving them through ongoing development. Why? It's at least partially due to the fact that culture is talked about more frequently. Studies have indicated measurable increases in turnover for companies with poor or nonexistent culture, and conversationally, culture is mentioned more frequently between entrepreneurs.
You might think that this is a bandwagon scenario—that I'm encouraging you to focus on culture more simply because other companies are. But remember, these are the companies you're competing with, both in terms of hiring new people and in terms of appealing to customers. If you don't at least keep pace with a strong culture and find a way to differentiate yourself, you're going to fall behind.
What is Recruitment?
The process of finding and hiring the best-qualified candidate (from within or outside of an organization) for a job opening, in a timely and cost effective manner. The recruitment process includes analyzing the requirements of a job, attracting employees to that job, screening and selecting applicants, hiring, and integrating the new employee to the organization.
How recruitment works
After the job description has been approved, the recruitment begins. Each organization has a different recruitment process, but it typically includes posting the job opening internally and externally. Jobs are posted on the organization's Internet site, Internet job boards, newspapers and industry professional organizations. Recruiting can also include representatives from the organization attending college and career fairs.
Candidates are selected to be interviewed based on their qualifications. Most employers will select several candidates' resumes that qualify for the position, and schedule those candidates for a basic phone interview. The interviewing process may include candidates taking assessments to evaluate their skills and personal characteristics as they relate to the job opening. From that group of candidates, the candidate pool is often narrowed to several candidates who will interview for the job opening by meeting hiring managers and other staff members at the organization.
After interviews are conducted, hiring managers and human resources personnel meet and select a candidate to offer the job to. The team carefully considers the candidates' qualifications, assessments and interviews to determine whom to offer the job. If hiring managers are not satisfied with any of the candidates, the recruiting process may start again. In most cases, the hiring team has the ability to select a candidate and a job offer is made. If the candidate declines the job offer, the recruiting process may start again.
When a candidate accepts the job offer, the onboarding process begins. Most organizations send the candidate a welcome package and employment contract to be signed and returned. A date for the new employee to start working for the organization is then determined.. After this information is received, applicable pre-employment screening, such as background and reference checking is completed. When all pre-employment information is verified and accepted, the candidate is informed and reports to the employer on the date and time selected. The new employee is then introduced to the organization.
It's all about digital
When LinkedIn and online job applications first began to gain traction, they were seen as supplements to the traditional paper résumé and in-person interview. Today, the world of recruiting has gone nearly 100-percent digital. We see recruiting and talent acquisition tools like LinkedIn, GlassDoor, Monster, Indeed, SmartRecruiters and ZipRecruiter leading the recruitment industry.
"From the résumé to the search to the interview, we're moving toward a digital hiring model," said Bob Myhal, director of digital marketing at CBC Advertising and former CEO of NextHire. "Résumés will be displaced by constantly evolving representations of individual experiences, skills and aptitudes that exist purely in the digital realm. Innovative tools that use social media, big data and other technologies to give tremendous insight into individual job seekers will [be] the primary screening method."