What your employees think about you as an employer may differ significantly from the image you’ve designed for your brand. While you may believe you’re providing a safe and inspiring work environment, some of your workers may believe there’s significant room for growth. These feelings are part of your employee experience.
So, how important is employee experience to your business? There are some clear advantages to investing more in the experiences your employees have with your company. Today, we’re going to dive into the details and help you determine how to improve your employee experience.
What is employee experience?
Let’s start our discussion with a critical definition. What is employee experience?
Employee experience is the overall impression that a worker has of a workplace and employer. Every employee you hire will have their own experience, starting with the interview and onboarding processes. They will continue to form their perception of your company until they leave to work for someone else.
The longer you can retain an employee, the more opportunities you have to create an overall positive experience. The reverse is also true in that the rapid departure of employees is a good sign that your company isn’t providing the best experience for most workers.
The connection between job satisfaction and employee retention is in the spotlight now that employees are leaving long-held positions in alarming numbers, but the concept isn’t new. For instance, a 2001 research study found that nurses were 65% more likely to quit their jobs when dissatisfied with promotion opportunities, training, and other employer policies.
Consider that in conjunction with another reality: More than 40,000 nurses left the NHS in England between June 2021 and June 2022. That’s a significant increase in departures from the nursing field over the previous decade. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is purely down to the pandemic, but it wasn’t the full picture. When you look at the survey from 2001, it’s clear that dissatisfaction within the field was rising for years before those dramatic numbers took effect. Many employers just didn’t realise the significance of that dissatisfaction.
That brings us to the big question of the day: How important is employee experience?
Since the experience of each employee determines their likelihood to quit and retention rates impact all aspects of business, it’s critically important to all companies regardless of industry or size.
Who is responsible for employee experience?
Another big question: Who is responsible for employee experience?
You may initially answer this question with “human resources” or whatever department you have over your people. That answer is incorrect because employee experience is much bigger than basic human resources. The responsibility flows outward to every CEO and downward to all members of management.
Yes, creating clear job descriptions, hiring the right person for each role, and ensuring compensation packages remain competitive can all contribute to employee satisfaction. Those are all tasks often handled by an HR or people department. That only means that HR plays a role in forming the experiences of employees. Unfortunately, they can’t do it all alone.
Your IT department can have an impact by ensuring every employee has the technological resources needed to do their job well. Managers can help by keeping lines of communication open and ensuring every employee feels valued, heard, and included. Your C-suite can help by leading a company culture of support, innovation, and employee investment.
Here’s a guide for how to design a great employee experience.
Remember if your leadership isn’t fully attuned to the needs of employees, your employee engagement and experiences are going to suffer.
Can technology help leadership manage the employee experience?
An Insight report found that 48% of employees responding to a survey would consider available technology as a factor when considering a future employer. Why would technology make a difference for so many prospective employees? Probably because only 29% of employees responding to the same survey were happy with the technological resources provided by their current employers.
The survey highlighted some of the big issues created by technological inefficiencies in the workplace, including decreased productivity, increased delays, disrupted meetings, reduced employee engagement, and more. These negative work encounters have an impact on employee experience as well as business metrics like product quality, customer relations, and even profits.
This would indicate a call for the right technology for each of your employee experience tasks.
5 ways employee experience benefits business
Why should you invest in employee experience improvements in the coming year? It’s another question well worth pondering. It may help if you consider the top five benefits of improving what your employees think about you as an employer, so that’s what we’ll do right now.
1. Good employee experience improves employee retention
Employee retention is a hot button in many industries, and it’s likely to get even hotter as businesses struggling to remain fully staffed find creative ways to recruit top talent. A recent Gallup poll found that more companies are attempting to recruit employees who aren’t even searching for jobs. Employees are now close to 60% more likely to be headhunted.
The good news is that happy, satisfied employees are harder to steal. That makes a great case for investments in employee experience.
2. Happy employees are ultimately more productive
When the LSE Business Review reviewed 339 independent Gallup studies regarding employee productivity and performance, they found a connection between productivity and employee well-being. Greater well-being was associated with improved productivity. There are many reasons that may occur, starting with the basic fact that happier humans with balanced emotions are more likely to show up to work with a smile and apply maximum effort to their jobs. When well-being is neglected, distracted minds are likely to interfere with workflow.
3. Engaged employees create a positive customer experience
Have you ever had an unpleasant encounter with someone who clearly didn’t enjoy their job? It can happen just about anywhere these days, starting with overworked employees at fast food restaurants who are struggling to pay their bills and receive little acknowledgement from their employers.
Those negative experiences are examples of the importance of great customer experience. Your employees are on the front lines, interacting with your customers regularly. When you keep the employee happy, they’re likely to pass the smiles on to those customers.
Here’s our guide to how a happy employee impacts the customer experience.
4. Loyal and happy staff impact employer brand status
Yes, the satisfaction and happiness of your employees can even impact employer branding. Online job boards and social media networks make it far too easy for employees to sound off about their experiences at work, and many are doing just that.
The problem is that future employees aren’t the only ones listening. Customers are paying attention as well, and they’re likely to have new opinions of a company based on what your employees report. Thriving employees are a great reflection on your brand and can back up your branding claims indirectly.
5. Good employee experience benefits your bottom line
The previous points make it clear how employee experience touches every aspect of your business. That in turn reflects in your bottom line.
Happy employees who speak well of your business in public can help with branding and convince new customers to give your products or services a try. Engaged, positive-minded employees are more likely to interact positively with customers, creating a pleasant customer experience that drives loyalty. Committed employees who feel valued are more likely to remain loyal as well, so you may not experience the downsides of rapid turnover.
An excellent employee experience starts with understanding your employee’s wellness
We touched on employee wellness earlier, but it’s time to focus on it exclusively for a moment.
Your overall employee experience is a personal matter that at least partially reflects the emotional, physical, and mental wellness of each employee. There is no way for a worker to leave their humanity at the door when they clock into work, so problems that impact their personal, family, and social lives come with them.
The more you address the wellness of your employees, the more you can improve their lives. The more you improve the lives of employees, the more likely your business is to profit and succeed.
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to invest in employee experience is to work with software like Kind Mind, one that brings wellness into your HR function.
Learn more about the app online or contact us to discuss your investment in employee well-being and experience.