Most businesses are experiencing financial challenges right now, so do you really have time to figure out if you are giving a bad employee experience? And why does that matter anyway?
With geopolitical crises such as Russia’s war with Ukraine and soaring food costs wreaking havoc on the world’s markets, many economic experts believe a global recession is inevitable. Some Wall Street banks have even warned that US stocks could crash by over 20% in 2023 – a worrying stat for business owners everywhere.
So, how can business leaders and CEOs protect themselves from inflation and economic volatility in months to come?
While you can’t avoid challenges such as high energy costs, there are things you can do to protect your business and ensure it stays competitive in a hostile financial environment.
One of the main issues businesses face right now is employee dissatisfaction. According to recent stats, around a third of UK employees are unhappy in their jobs, with 10% feeling unhappy less than six months into starting a new role. Demoralised employees are more likely to look for alternative posts with other companies, so maintaining high employee satisfaction rates is vital to reduce turnover rates and ensuring your business remains profitable.
If you’re wondering how to keep employees happy, you must focus on their experiences at work. A bad employee experience full of long, stressful days can lead to burnout and high turnover rates. With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide to improving your company’s employee experience and weathering economic instability.
Why a good employee experience is important
A good employee experience can support the success of your business in several ways.
1. Job satisfaction boosts productivity
Employees who feel valued and enjoy going to the office (or virtual workplace) are more likely to produce high-quality work at an impressive speed. According to research, highly engaged employees who are passionate about their job are 17% more productive than other workers.
2. Happy employees make for happy customers
Did you know that 85% of employees believe that a high-quality employee experience leads to excellent customer service? Engaged workers are more likely to go the extra mile for customers and ensure your business maintains a steady flow of revenue.
3. A good employee experience can reduce sick days
Engaged employees tend to have better mental health than those who feel demotivated and disengaged, leading to improved attendance rates. According to recent stats from Gallup, engaged employees have around 1.25 sick days a month, compared to 2.17 days for disengaged employees.
Why many employee experience initiatives fall short
So, now you know about the importance of employee experiences, what measures can you take to keep workers feeling motivated and valued? Unfortunately, many companies fall short of employee expectations and end up implementing motivational initiatives that simply don’t work.
Some of the most common mistakes associated with employee experience initiatives include:
- Relying on a one-size-fits-all approach – Blanket strategies for employee engagement are destined to fail, as every worker has their individual needs and expectations. While one employee may be keen to improve their work-life balance, another may want to further their professional skills and undertake relevant training. It’s up to business leaders to listen to these needs and find workable solutions for every employee.
- Pouring money into employee experience initiatives without focusing on company culture – You can’t invest your way out of a bad employee experience. Keeping employees engaged is about ensuring your company culture is welcoming and caring – something money can’t buy.
- Not listening to employee feedback – Of those businesses that do set up employee satisfaction surveys, many ignore the results. You must pay close attention to workers’ experiences and evaluate their feedback to ensure your solutions are effective and bespoke.
The true cost of bad employee experience on your business
Think you can get away with not implementing employee experience initiatives? Think again. A bad employee experience can significantly affect a worker’s mental health, leading to a range of issues, including absenteeism and poor productivity.
Did you know, for example, that almost 18 million working days in the UK were lost to work-related mental health problems in 2020? Or that disengaged employees cost the UK around £340 billion per year?
Business leaders often remain blissfully unaware of the problems affecting their employees. Leading to a nasty surprise when revenue and productivity start to fall.
But by paying close attention to the employee experience, companies can ensure business operations remain smooth and profitable.
What to do when you realise you’ve created a bad employee experience
If you think your employees are getting a rough deal and that’s the reason for your poor results, then it’s time to make a change. Here are some strategies you can implement to turn the tide and ensure every employee feels engaged, valued, and happy.
- Ask for feedback: Uncovering the root cause of employee dissatisfaction is a quick and effective way of implementing effective experience strategies. By sending out an anonymous survey, you may discover that employees feel overworked or want more time to get involved with voluntary work. Listen to their needs, and remember to ask for regular feedback!
- Consider new ways of working: During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people discovered the joys of working from home. As a result, many companies have embraced remote or hybrid ways of working – something many would have considered unthinkable before 2020. Being open to initiatives such as flexi-time or hybrid working could help improve employee productivity and loyalty.
- Focus on employee health and wellbeing: There’s never been a more crucial time to consider your employees’ health and wellbeing. Many people feel stressed or burnt out in today’s unpredictable world, so supporting employees through difficult times will ensure they remain happy and successful. For example, investing in Kind Mind – a data-driven platform designed to support employee mental and physical health – could help you retain talented employees, enhance productivity, decrease activity, and much more.
By following such simple steps, you can recession-proof your business and protect your brand’s reputation in the long term.
How to turn a bad employee experience into something positive
Here at Kind Mind we have been working hard on some next steps for you – to help you turn a not-so-great employee experience into something much more beneficial for you and your staff. In doing that we have some written guides for you (see below) that we think will be your best starting point. These are
- How to design the best employee experience
- How to add more employee-focused touchpoints to your human resources flow
- And finally how we, at Kind Mind, provide a fresh look at wellness in relation to employee experience.
We know that this is going to be a journey, so make sure to pop back when you are ready and we’ll have some new content waiting for you.