A positive employee experience is what we’d all like from our employer. Perhaps once thought of as a ‘nice to have’, it’s now been shown to be absolutely essential for the success of any business.
The employee experience starts long before the first day in the office. It encompasses someone’s passage from interested applicant, key candidate, hired team member and past employee.
As to why it’s so important to ensure that journey is a positive one, companies that do so have been found to have four times higher average profits and two times higher average revenues than those who don’t.
Attracting the best candidates
When your employees have a positive experience, it helps to build your employer brand. Those companies with a strong employer brand are twice as likely to be considered by candidates, according to research from LinkedIn.
Candidates have a whole raft of tools at their disposal for reviewing potential employers. Sites that give warts and all reviews of what it is like to work somewhere are often used, as are other comments on social media. The starting point for attracting the very best candidates is them seeing from others that the employee experience with your company is a great one.
First impressions count
We’re all aware that the onboarding process is critical in setting the right tone and creating a great experience right from day one. Starting from the minute they accept the role, you want your new staff member to feel that they have made the best decision. Make sure you get it right – research shows that an effective onboarding process results in employees that are 18 times more committed to their employer over the long term.
It’s so much more than a quick (virtual) show round the office. A structured process with training, online social events, Zoom time spent with colleagues and line managers, and clear communications about where their focus should be are crucial, as are ensuring they have the tools they need to do the job. A mentor is a great idea for the first few weeks, someone to whom the newcomer can turn if they have any questions or problems.
Keeping them engaged
Gallup has been researching employee engagement for over 50 years, and their studies repeatedly show that engaged employees in all types and size of company, produce better business outcomes. Less absenteeism, lower turnover, better customer ratings, higher profits – the list of benefits goes on.
It makes sense – if someone is engaged, they are motivated to do more. However, it seems that the majority of companies fail in this area. Success requires managers to consider many elements; career development, flexibility, a fair reward structure, autonomy, transparency, honesty, recognition. In a nutshell, employees want to feel valued for the contribution they are making.
So long, farewell ….
Give employees an amazing experience, and they are less likely to move on. But when the time does come, the way you treat your employee when they leave will impact on their lasting impression of your organisation – and on what they tell other people.
Many companies almost ignore staff who are working their notice, letting them simply sit their time out. Keep people involved and valued right up to the end. And when their last day comes, mark it with recognition of how much you have valued their contribution.
An exit discussion should always happen. It helps you to understand what has prompted the move, and you will pick up insights that can be acted upon to improve your employee experience for others. It’s also the time to make it clear that the door is open to them in the future.
Make an effort to keep in touch with ex-employees. They may find their new job is not what they had hoped, or they may return to you years later with new skills and experiences.
This might all sound like a lot of effort, but if we can sum up what giving a great employee experience is about, it’s recognising that your people are what make your company. It’s the reason why increasing numbers of organisations are creating roles that are dedicated to analysing, measuring and improving that journey.
How do you ensure your employees get a great experience? Do share your thoughts, we would love to hear from you.
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