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Talent Development

9 Ways to Provide a Positive Employee Experience

 A positive employee experience is an essential investment in the long-term health of your organization. It can boost your ability to attract the highest caliber new hires, create a positive company culture, help you retain existing employees, and prevent turnover.

Gallup reports that the cost of replacing an employee can equate to double their annual salary. But by prioritizing employee satisfaction, you’ll offer existing team members the opportunity to develop their skills and enjoy their work, which increases their chances of staying with you long term.

In this article, you’ll learn nine ways to continuously provide a great employee experience so that team members stick with you for the long haul.

  1. Focus on people over processes
  2. Give and take regular feedback
  3. Involve team members in decision making
  4. Offer learning opportunities
  5. Allow remote working
  6. Be responsive
  7. Show employee appreciation and care
  8. Understand the employee lifecycle
  9. Conduct stay interviews

1. Focus on people over processes

Human first, professional second—a philosophy that creates the best environment for a great candidate experience. Your processes might be fit for purpose, but they’re not one size fits all.

Promote and encourage diversity at all stages of the employee lifecycle. Embrace differences in people, such as those with neurodiversity conditions, mental health struggles, or physical disabilities. Take time to understand, seek out, and embrace new ideas that promote diversity and inclusion

If someone is going through the stress of unexpectedly moving, for example, make it simple for them to take a day off by sending you a simple email or text. It will alleviate the stress of having to explain their needs and balance work with home life verbally. 

“To create a great employee experience, offer something that goes beyond the standards. Think about an extra day off for a birthday or an employee’s child’s birthday, reimbursement of commuting expenses, cinema tickets, or employee contests.”

 

-Nina Pączka, Community Manager, MyPerfectResume

Employees perform better and produce great results when they are motivated and happy with their work environment. In fact, one study found that employees who said they were happy at work performed 13 percent better than their peers. 

2. Give and take regular feedback

It’s easy to drive your business full steam ahead. But if you’re not leveraging feedback from your team, they won’t feel listened to or understood. It’s why organizations that use regular internal communication and employee feedback processes see 15 percent lower turnover rates than those that don’t.

“Listening to our employees’ feedback and being vocal about our organizational decisions reinforces employee-employer trust,” according to Steven McConnell, Director of Sales and Marketing at Arielle.

“Functional internal communications create a healthy sense of community, promoting healthy and satisfied employees. Transparency is what ensures everyone knows their work’s purpose, pushing everyone to work together towards a common goal.”

Make sure you’re listening and getting employee feedback by:

  • Hosting regular focus groups. Prioritize a particular topic or goal. Have a list of open questions and analyze responses. Always give employees feedback about their recommendations.
  • Distributing employee questionnaires. Anonymous or not, questionnaires provide honest feedback. Use them to uncover what you’re doing well as well as areas for improvement. 
  • Creating online polls using team communication platforms. Use Slack, Trello, or Zoom to poll team members on the best time for a meeting or suggestions for the next social event. 
  • Organizing regular supervision meetings. One-to-one meetings are great for employees to share their thoughts, feelings, and work priorities-especially those who struggle to speak up in larger groups. 

The bottom line: Employees want to know that their ideas and suggestions are being taken seriously, even if they can’t be implemented right away. Provide a roadmap for future changes to keep everyone on the same page. Two-way communication builds a culture of openness, transparency, and honesty.

3. Include team members in decision making

Including employees in decision-making supports organizational change.

If you’re moving offices, for example, ask staff members for insight on proposed locations. You might find that your downtown office is a longer commute for employees, eating into their salary and worsening employee experiences. 

Similarly, team members are the people who use your internal processes and systems. Who better to get feedback from and ask for ideas on improving your procedures? Find out their views on new software, a policy, or ideas for the next company social event.

Either way, when change arises, develop a clear plan for including as many employees as you can. Engaged, happy employees feel important and willing to contribute ideas. Take into account any concerns they have.

4. Offer learning opportunities

Foster a learning culture by encouraging your employees to seek out additional training relevant to their role. Provide them with a robust training program at every stage of their development. It’s vital to help your employees advance in their careers and prevent turnover-almost 20 percent of employees quit because of a lack of career development.

Assess each team member’s learning and development needs on a regular basis, either through scheduled meetings or informal conversations, such as a quick email or chatting over lunch.

“Professional and personal growth are a deal-breaker for providing employees a great experience that will motivate them to stay with the company.”

 

-Brogan Renshaw, HR expert and Director of Modelers Central

By considering your employee’s learning and development needs, staff will know you’re investing in their success. Give them permission to grow and learn. They’ll feel valued and optimistic about working at your organization.

5. Allow remote work options

Research shows that 43 percent of workers said that flexibility in working hours helped them achieve greater productivity. Another 30 percent said that less or no time commuting helped them to be more productive.

Flexible working means different things to different people. It could include (but is not limited to):

  • Compressed hours
  • Working from home
  • Job sharing
  • Shift swapping
  • Working around family commitments

This helps to create an inclusive workplace. Colleagues with children can meet the demands of parenting whilst enjoying a career. Similarly, employees who live on opposite ends of the country are still able to fulfill their roles by working from home. 

Create a culture where leaders and managers model flexible working. This provides a great employee experience that will retain top talent and increase productivity.

6. Be responsive

Have you ever asked your CEO a question and waited days for a response? Poor communication, lack of knowledge, and limited employee interaction can harm supervisor-employee relationships.

“Our team regularly holds office hours so any team members can reach out for any questions. W e field a variety of requests that we wouldn’t usually hear if we didn’t invite the conversation within Slack.”

 

-Laura Ricciardone, HR Generalist, Alyce

Have a clear communication model with your employees. Include how you will communicate information to your teams. For example, your learning management platform for staff training requests; email for project updates, and Slack for informal conversation.

You don’t have to be online 24/7, but be responsive to your employees’ needs and priorities. Create a positive employee experience where they know that you’re there for help and support when needed.

7. Show employee appreciation and care

According to Gallup, just 24 percent of workers strongly agree that their employer cares about their well-being. Make sure your organization is part of this statistic by rewarding employees fairly and consistently.

“The simple act of recognition has a very positive impact on employee experience,” says Logan Mallory, VP at Motivosity. “Recognition is free, so be generous with your praise. Employees are more engaged and much happier when they feel that they’re being recognized at work, which is what makes this so effective.” 

One way to value hard work and commitment is through a reward, recognition, and benefits program. This can be a competitive advantage; some 84 percent of highly-engaged employees were recognized the last time they went above and beyond at work compared to only 25 percent of actively disengaged employees. 

Recognize and reward your employees with:

  • Free lunch at their favorite restaurant
  • A voucher for the local coffee shop 
  • Company swag, such as t-shirts or notebooks
  • A personalized thank-you note to show your gratitude

8. Understand the employee lifecycle

Many companies fall into the trap of only prioritizing their employee experiences throughout the onboarding process. But by embedding best practices throughout every stage of your employees’ lifecycle, you’ll build strong relationships with your team, reduce turnover, and maximize productivity. 

That includes:

  • Attracting new talent. How your current employees talk about your organization is a clear indication of how they feel. Existing employees can recommend new talent or recommend another connection for a position.
  • Onboarding. A great employee experience starts with onboarding. It sets the tone of their working environment, including what’s expected of them and who they’ll work with. Remember: first impressions count.
  • Development and performance. New employees should have opportunities to collaborate and innovate. Encourage their creativity by making progress towards business goals as a team effort. 
  • Motivation. Connect new employees with experienced team members who are open to mentoring. 
  • Employee recognition. When team members do something well, recognize their efforts by sharing the impact. Have any new starters in-ear shot—they’ll start to see how impressed you are and will want to copy what others do.
  • Exit and farewell. Unfortunately, people move on from their jobs. Find out more about exiting employees’ experiences and what can be improved. You will understand where the gaps lie in your employee engagement strategy.

9. Conduct stay interviews

Let your employees know their opinions matter by organizing a stay interview. Learn why employees want to continue working for your organization and the reasons influencing a decision to leave and join a competitor.

“Stay interviews serve as a heat check to determine employees’ real sentiments towards the company and their work,” says Jake Smith, owner and managing director at Absolute Reg. “It helps employers know why employees stay in the company and capitalize on the positive reasons to improve retention rates.”

Jake adds, “On the other hand, stay interviews tackle pressing issues that can lead employees to quit their jobs. This allows the management to act accordingly and eliminate unhealthy practices that may trigger employee resignation.”

Organize the stay interview in advance and make sure your employee understands the reason for the interview. Prepare a list of questions beforehand, using open-ended questions to prompt discussion. Examples include:

  • What did you enjoy most about your job?
  • Were there any particular tasks that you wanted to change? If so, why?
  • What ideas do you have for improving our onboarding process?
  • How would you describe the level of support and feedback you received from me?  
  • What advice would you give to a new starter joining us?

Even if your employee doesn’t plan to leave, make notes on the areas you can improve. Chances are, some other team members feel the same way but aren’t confident enough to express their feelings. Responding to feedback helps you proactively prevent those team members from leaving. 

Are you ready to improve your employee experience?

It takes time, effort, and resources to improve employee engagement and the overall employee experience. But it’s an investment worth making. A superior employee experience helps to build a culture where team members flourish, and when you invest in your employees, they become unstoppable.

Put these plans in place now to keep your employees engaged. Activate their full potential and reap the rewards. Want to learn more about how WorkRamp can help you improve your employee experience? Contact us to schedule a free demo.

 

Elise Dopson

Writer

Elise Dopson is a freelance writer for B2B SaaS companies. She’s also the co-founder of Peak Freelance and mom to an adorable Spaniel pup.

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