A 2022 survey by Gallup showed that only one in five employees felt engaged at work and one-third of the working force was thriving in their overall well-being.
Disengaged employees are more likely to underperform, make mistakes, and ultimately leave their jobs. In fact, only in the US did 47.4 million employees quit voluntarily in 2021.
Why is this a significant problem? Not only does employee turnover result in the loss of valuable talent, but it can lead to high costs of hiring and training new employees – not to mention the potential impact on morale and productivity as remaining employees have to pick up the slack.
Employee experience (EX) management could be the key. In this article, we will walk you through the basics of employee experience management, what it is, its importance, key stages, and how to implement it.
What is employee experience management?
Employee experience management is all about creating a better work environment for employees. It involves intentionally designing ways to improve the well-being, productivity, and satisfaction of current and future employees in an organization.
Practices for creating a positive work environment include:
- Flexible work arrangements
- Training and career development opportunities
- Diversity policies
- Technology and digital tools
- Feedback and employee recognition processes
- A collaborative work structure
- Fair compensation and benefits
Employee experience vs employee engagement
Contrary to what many people believe, employee experience and employee engagement are different. While employee experience is what the employee receives from the organization at every touchpoint, employee engagement refers to the employee’s emotional connection that results from it.
To make it more digestible, we created a comparison table:
Importance of employee experience management
Working on employee experience management is essential to:
- Attract and retain top talent
- Improve performance
- Drive revenue growth
Let’s analyze each of these points.
- Attraction & retention of top talent
With the job market becoming more competitive after the pandemic and candidates looking beyond salary and benefits, investing in EX management is not optional.
Here are some ideas to help create a work culture that attracts top talent and reduces employee turnover:
- Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages (healthcare benefits, retirement plans, paid time off, and other incentives)
- Provide opportunities for growth and development (mentorship programs, workshops, and courses)
- Offer flexible work arrangements such as remote or hybrid work options
- Establish feedback processes and provide technology to encourage open communication between employees and management
- Implement inclusive policies and practices
- Provide resources such as on-site childcare or wellness programs
- Increased performance
Building a work environment where employees feel valued and find their job meaningful can increase performance and motivate employees to give their best.
Some good employee experience management actions to promote increased performance are:
- Establish regular performance feedback processes (performance reviews, 1:1 meetings, 360-degree feedback, self-reviews, and peer reviews)
- Provide digital tools to help gather employee feedback – being able to launch employee surveys easily is a must!
- Coach and train your employees through workshops, courses, mentoring, and coaching programs
- Create a recognition and rewards program (e.g., annual bonus or employee of the month award)
- Encourage innovation by implementing regular creative sessions
- Improved customer experience & revenue
Research shows there is a strong correlation between employee experience and customer experience. How can a customer care agent offer exceptional service if they are unhappy with the company?
The equation is simple. Good employee experience equals highly engaged workers, resulting in better business performance and improved future customer experience metrics. This, in turn, drives revenue growth, as happy customers are more likely to return and recommend the company to others.
Employee Experience Management: Key stages
The first step towards improved employee experience is ensuring you provide a consistent experience throughout the entire employee journey. An experience that, of course, should align with the organization’s purpose, brand, and culture.
These are the five most critical stages in an employee lifecycle in the company:
HR must remember that the employee experience begins way before hiring new employees. People build up their perceptions about a company through brand value promises, what external customers and employees say about it, its core vision, and the recruitment process.
Some questions the Talent Management team should ask themselves:
- Does our interview process engage future employees?
- Do we have a solid and reputable brand?
- Are our job ads attractive?
The recruitment process should be transparent, engaging, and provide a realistic job preview for prospective employees. After all, we don’t want new employees to be disappointed on their first day.
Onboarding is one of those moments that matter – it is hard to change a first impression. Feeling welcomed and supported at a new job is a primary motivating factor for any new employee.
Here are some best practices for an onboarding process:
- Send a welcome email – include all the information about the first day (time, location, dress code, and who to meet)
- Ensure the workspace and equipment needed are all set – don´t forget access to all systems!
- Schedule an orientation – go through the organizational culture, structure, history, key products or services, policies, procedures, and benefits
- Assign a mentor or colleague – help the new employee navigate the company culture, procedures, and systems
- Facilitate introductions to key stakeholders – consider team members, supervisors, and other departments
Providing employees with opportunities for career growth and skill-building is essential for motivation. People need to see there is a future in the company for them; otherwise, they will start looking elsewhere.
Here are some ideas for development opportunities you can provide:
- Mentor – employees should have a more experienced colleague guiding them and providing support
- Training and development programs – you can offer various training programs, including leadership development, customer service, or technical skills training
- Performance management – you can use performance management systems to set goals, provide feedback, and measure progress, helping employees identify performance gaps and work on them
- Conferences and networking events – send your employees to events where they can learn from industry experts and meet other professionals
Employee retention strategies should focus on making employees feel like they're part of something meaningful and creating a work environment that supports their well-being, healthy work-life balance, and professional growth.
To keep your employees around for the long haul, check if you offer the following:
- Competitive pay and benefits
- Development opportunities
- Flexible work hours
- Recognition, bonuses, and awards
- Positive work environment
- Feedback culture
- Strong and supportive leadership
Would you visit a store with a rate of 2.3 on Google Maps? The same happens with talent. No one wants to work at a company former employees make negative comments about.
Providing a positive offboarding experience that includes an exit interview to gather honest feedback can mitigate comments of dissatisfied employees and help you improve.
Here are some exit interview questions you can use:
- What is your primary reason for leaving our company?
- How did you feel about your job responsibilities and development opportunities?
- Did you receive enough feedback and support?
- How would you describe the company culture and work environment?
Employee Experience Management: Steps to implement
Now is the time to delve deeply into the process of implementing an effective employee experience strategy, one step at a time.
- Start from leadership
They say people quit bosses, not jobs. Business leaders play a crucial role in shaping the organization’s culture, business outcomes, and employee experience. As Simon Sinek says, what makes a good leader is the ability to inspire cooperation, trust, and change.
- Work on your company culture & work environment
Designing the culture of the organization through sustained EX improvement practices should be a priority for HR. Organizations should create a culture that values employees' contributions, provides a supportive work environment, and fosters collaboration and teamwork.
- Invest in resources for your employees
By investing in positive employee experience through resources such as technology to streamline work processes and wellness initiatives to promote comfort, employers demonstrate their commitment to the well-being and professional growth of their employees.
- Provide learning & development opportunities
Creating learning and professional development opportunities can turn your workers into engaged employees, ensure they acquire new skills, and make them progress in their careers.
- Recognize & reward hard work
Recognizing hard work and contributions and rewarding employees help build a positive work environment and foster a sense of appreciation and accomplishment.
- Hire an employee experience manager
Hiring an employee experience manager means that you understand EX as a priority and the need to have a person entirely dedicated to improving it. Just a side note! Don’t forget to equip this person with the resources and budget needed to get the job done.
- Use employee experience management software to collect feedback
Employee feedback is critical to improving operational performance and understanding employee expectations and needs. Employee experience management software can help organizations conduct an employee engagement survey, collect and analyze employee inputs, identify areas for improvement, and implement data-driven EX strategies in no time.
Happy employees lead to satisfied customers, and satisfied customers mean higher revenue. This is what makes a positive employee experience the most promising competitive advantage an organization can have.
Investing in employee experience management is critical for organizations, as it can help attract and retain top talent, improve employee productivity, and drive a company’s success. Working on EX is a dynamic process, as you need to constantly gather feedback, assess the experience, and take action.
FAQs: Mastering employee experience management
Why is Employee Experience Management important?
Employee Experience Management can help organizations create a positive work environment that will help:
- Attract and retain top talent
- Improve employee performance
- Drive revenue growth
Simply put, it is one of the critical drivers for business success.
What does an employee experience manager do?
An employee experience manager is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to improve employee satisfaction. To ensure the company counts on productive, engaged employees, they work closely with the HR team, managers, and employees to:
- Identify areas for improvement
- Develop data-driven strategies
- Design an employee experience management program
- Measure employee satisfaction and review the program
What makes a good employee experience?
A good employee experience makes employees feel valued, fosters professional and personal growth, and provides an attractive workplace.
Each company is different and needs to analyze the needs and expectations of its own employees. However, these are some common characteristics employees tend to find engaging:
- Supportive leadership
- Clear communication
- Opportunities for learning and development
- Recognition and rewards
- A collaborative company culture that values employees' contributions