It’s no secret that employee experience, when curated and executed effectively, results in greater motivation, increased levels of commitment and improved business results. A recent Harvard Business Review study further reinforces the correlation between employee experience and the bottom line.
It’s become more important than ever before as corporate structures continue to change in the pandemic/post-pandemic era. We also have to bear in mind that more people are likely to continue working remotely, and as many workers opt for gig work, a more fluid approach to organisational loyalty is likely to take hold.
McKinsey research shows that in general, workers today are hungry for trust, social cohesion, and purpose.
Its recent study of 1,000 employees revealed that workers want clear responsibilities and opportunities to learn and grow. They also expect their personal sense of purpose to align with that of their organisation. In addition, when it comes to work-life balance, they want an appropriate physical and digital environment that provides them with flexibility.
This means that while organisations focus on team cohesion with team-building exercises (both virtual and in person) and more frequent catch-ups with individual team members, they must not only ensure that these interactions are meaningful to employees, but also that employees are provided with everything else they need to thrive in their careers.
Here are our tips on improving the employee experience from the moment an individual joins your organisation, whether as a gig worker or full-time hire.
1. Engage employees to play an active role in their development and career growth. Ensure that leaders have frequent one-on-one personalised engagements with employees to determine their interests and aspirations. Leaders must be trained to have productive conversations to be able to connect individuals’ ambitions with the organisation’s strategic goals in order to then jointly come up with a development plan. This allows employees to determine how their purpose aligns with organisational goals. Giving them a say in their development also signals that the organisation trusts them to take charge of their career while providing the support needed.
2. Be creative when it comes to training and development programmes. Go beyond formal training and certification programmes. Many learn best through stretch assignments and/or cross-department apprenticeships. As workers are urged to be agile and flexible, organisations and leaders need to, likewise, be agile and flexible when it comes to providing opportunities and mentorship
3. Tailor interventions that help maximise job satisfaction, performance and productivity. Leaders must be open to considering individuals’ life stages, personal circumstances and personality types when coming up with initiatives to ensure that employees are able to deliver organisational goals. This requires a great deal of empathy as well as strategic thinking when it comes to deciding on things such as work arrangements (e.g. flexible, hybrid, remote), and rewards and recognition.
4. Always ensure that employees have the resources they need to take charge of their growth in your company. How can employees influence career outcomes that they consider vital? For one, ensure that job responsibilities are clearly spelt out and that your promotion process is transparent. Employees must also be made aware of how they can take advantage of growth opportunities across the organisation and what to do in the face of potential obstacles.
These steps ensure employees are empowered to thrive along with the organisation.