Employee Experience: Definition and How To Improve It
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A positive, welcoming workplace is important for employee job satisfaction and productivity levels. Managers can create a welcoming workplace by focusing on the employee experience at different milestones in a person's career with a company. Learning how to improve the employee experience at your company can help you make your employees happier and help them work better. In this article, we define employee experience, describe why it's important and discuss how to improve the work experience for your employees.
What is employee experience?
Employee experience is how an employee feels during each contact they have with their employer during their professional relationship. This includes the very first time the employee meets or encounters the employer, like on a job board, to any interaction after the employee leaves the company. Various aspects of the company's operations and culture contribute to employee experience, including the physical setting, other employees and the resources and technology available.
Each employee has their own experience with a workplace depending on who they interact with and how they perceive the environment of the organization. However, managers can work to create an environment that helps all employees have an enjoyable experience at work and take feedback to improve the employee experience. Carefully crafting each employment milestone and point of contact between the employer and employees can help accomplish this goal.
Why is employee experience important?
Employee experience is important because it can influence your employees' productivity levels and increase positive outcomes, like raising revenue or attracting more talented candidates to jobs within your organization. Since employees help your company operate effectively, it's beneficial to provide them with a good experience at work to ensure they're happy. Some specific ways in which employee experience is important are:
Job satisfaction: Employee experience can affect the job satisfaction of employees in your organization because the interactions they have with their employer may change their confidence levels, happiness and performance. Providing a quality experience for employees can improve morale within your company.
Company reputation: The reputation of your company may also depend on the type of employee experience you provide to candidates, current employees and alums. A good employee experience may encourage those who've interacted with your company to tell others about their positive experience, which can bring more candidates for open positions.
Networking: While it's important to give current employees a good experience with your company, connections with candidates and alums, or previous employees, of your company are also beneficial. These relationships can become key networking opportunities for your organization to find new business partners or get talented candidates from recommendations.
Employee experience milestones
Since employee experience depends on how an employee and employer interact at different points in their relationship, you can often divide the experience into various milestones. Recognizing the milestones in an employment timeline allows you to create experiences that help candidates, employees and alums during those changing times. Here's a closer look at some important milestones in a career and how you can enhance the employee experience for each:
The recruiting process is often a candidate's first contact with your organization, so it's vital for establishing a positive tone for your professional relationship. Key elements of a positive recruiting experience include making the candidate feel comfortable talking to you, showing them the value of their potential role and making them feel heard and respected in their job search.
There are a few ways to improve employee experience during recruitment, like by answering questions in a friendly way and providing useful information to ease a candidate's stress. It's also a good idea to be honest about the job and its requirements so candidates can prepare fully to decide whether they want to work in this role.
Onboarding new hires is another great time to show how much you appreciate employees and to give them the resources they need to succeed in their roles. Supporting your employees in the first few weeks that they start a new job, particularly at the beginning onboarding phase, helps them create a foundation for success and productivity in their career. As they adjust to their new job, showing your support and giving them the help they need allows you to create another positive milestone in your relationship with them.
To support their transition into a new job, you can meet with them regularly within the first few weeks of their employment to ensure they have everything they need to work well. As their manager, you can give them your contact information and resources for starting their job, like tutorials on the technology you use and contact details for other employees in your organization.
When an employee leaves their job at your organization, it's important to give them a proper exit experience and to continue the positive relationship you started during recruitment. This is typically the final milestone in an employee's experience and it gives you the chance to maintain connections with valuable employees who can refer candidates and improve your company's reputation for being thoughtful of its employees.
Actions you can take to make a good exit experience for former employees are to perform exit interviews that ask genuine questions about their time with your organization and to provide contact details in case they want to use you as a reference on future job applications. It's also important to get their new information, like personal email addresses or new home addresses, to send them continued communications about work-related accounts, like pensions or savings.
How to create a quality employee experience
Follow these steps to help you create a high-quality employee experience for people working in your organization:
1. Consider your company's values and goals
To create a quality experience for employees, consider the values your company strives toward and the goals you want to achieve. For example, if your company values efficiency, try to create an experience that takes little time from employees and provides them with information as they need it rather than all at once.
When considering your goals, think about what you want to accomplish, like increasing employee retention rates or raising productivity. These details can help you focus your purpose for the employee experience and create more specific plans.
2. Think about the employment timeline
The employment timeline includes milestones like recruitment, onboarding and exit programs, but it also includes each minor point of contact between employees and their employers. These points of contact could be the daily workload and relationships with managers, how management handles events like extended leaves from work and training opportunities for employees to improve their skills.
You can develop initiatives and programs for each of these common milestones and points of contact to make your overall employee experience more appealing and welcoming to people on your team.
3. Make a plan
Making a plan for your employee experience initiatives and programs can help you think through problems with your current methods and find solutions that benefit your entire company. To develop a plan, use your goals, company values and the employment timeline milestones to find areas where candidates, employees and alums need the most support from you. With this information, you can develop strategies for each area that include the problem you want to solve, the solution to the problem and the steps you can take to get there, plus any resources you need.
An example plan could include a problem like employees not understanding a piece of computer software, so you plan to provide more training on this software to enhance their skills. Resources you might need for this sample plan could be help from the IT department and time to provide your employees with training during the day.
Related: Your Guide to Employee Development
4. Get feedback and adjust
A key factor to creating a successful employee experience in all areas is to accept feedback and adjust your methods based on what candidates, employees and alums want. Doing this can help you see a different perspective on employee experience and the elements of positive employment, which is useful for deciding which milestones need the most improvement and how to improve them. Consider giving surveys about someone's experience with you or your company during vital moments, like after a hiring interview, after onboarding or in an exit interview.
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