It’s not enough to have great employee engagement - you need the entire employee experience to be top notch. This underrated area can not only be the way to increase wellbeing among your employees, it can also have a direct impact on your company's profitability.
Josh Ash is Head of Partnerships at the Saas company Humaans. Humaans is a HR tech tool, which helps HR employees become heroes through organised documenting and important insights. On a recent Lunch & Learn, we talked to Josh about the current trends within employee experience, and what you can do to get ahead of your competitors.
What is employee experience?
It might seem self-explanatory, but as Josh explains, the term “employee experience'' is rather more complex than it first appears, and can be described in several different ways:
- It can be used to describe the way someone feels from the onboarding process, to the day they leave the company.
- How your colleagues talk and behave when a leader isn’t around.
- How your colleagues talk about the company to their friends and family.
- How someone experiences the brand during an interaction with your company.
In the past, we talked more about employee engagement, which focused more on the experience at the company. But nowadays, we know that employer branding and social media makes a huge impact on the way a company is perceived, and the focus has now widened into a more holistic approach.
Employee experience spans over several different areas, Josh says. It’s not only about employee engagement anymore, it’s about the whole experience. And also how you market your company to new recruits.
Why is the employee experience important?
Nowadays, you can’t run a successful company without prioritising a healthy employee experience. In a world where money is no longer the driving factor for employees, the experience of being at a company has become an increasingly important area for organisations to focus on. Especially within recruiting, where it’s a great tool for standing out amongst your competitors.
Research also shows that businesses that invest heavily in their employee experience are four times more profitable than those that don’t.
The worse the employee experience is, the harder it is to keep people happy, Josh says. It gets more difficult to keep the best talent. Also, several studies show that the employee experience is the most important determining factor for things like the quality and output of your colleagues’ work.
How can your organisation create an environment for a great employee experience?
Josh mentions that there are 3 areas to focus on.
- The tech environment. Make sure employees have what they need to succeed in their work. It might seem like a high upfront cost, but the return on investment includes higher productivity and enhanced wellbeing.
- The physical environment. Create an environment that enhances your ability to produce at a high level. We all have different preferences on what we need around us to be productive.
- The culture. Have a culture where you listen to your employees and execute on the feedback to show that you take them seriously.
To start your journey, you need to know where you are today. And you can do this by collecting data. There are several tech tools today, like Winningtemp, that can measure different stages of the employee experience. When you can measure the onboarding experience, the turnover and the overall wellbeing for example, you create benchmarks and you'll know what to focus on.
“One thing we’ve done is we’ve started doing pulse surveys instead of yearly surveys. It has worked great and our employees feel more listened to. People are not tired of answering questions, they are tired of not feeling heard.”
If you want to listen to the whole interview, you can watch or listen to the Lunch & Learn with Josh Ash here.