When employees feel supported at work, they’re more likely to create and collaborate effectively within their teams. Managing the employee experience is one way to ensure your people stay engaged, especially as remote work drags on. How employees perceive their organizations feeds into how well they’ll work there long-term. By actively designing the employee experience, leaders can help provide the tools and framework needed to support a healthy workforce while ensuring the company can still achieve its goals. But changing a company’s culture and approach to employee management is no simple task. Let’s explore 8 ways to get started on creating a truly impressive employee experience for your staff.
8 ideas to help improve the employee experience
What can you do to adjust the employee experience your workplace offers? Here are several strategies to help.
Identify gaps: The best place to start when it comes to building a strong employee experience is by figuring out what’s not currently working. After all, you can’t improve what you aren’t aware is a problem. Ask your employees through discussion or employee feedback surveys what they like best about their roles and what they like least. Are there certain policies or perks that are making a larger impact than others? Are there missing tools that could address an employee need? Once you have a better understanding of the current situation, you can start taking steps to improve it.
Understand motivation: How you motivate your team can impact the employee experience. Not everyone is motivated by the same sorts of rewards so it’s important to understand what motivates each colleague individually. Assessments can be a useful tool here as they can shine a light on a person’s internal motivators and how they best prefer to work. That knowledge can help managers better structure goals and rewards to keep their team moving forward.
Be inclusive: These days, diversity and inclusion are factors candidates and employees alike are asking employers about. The best places to work boast company cultures where all voices are welcome. They don’t promote certain types of people over others and they create teams that are diverse rather than homogenized. Building an inclusive space isn’t easy. Often it starts right from the hiring and onboarding process. But when companies have safe spaces for everyone, employee engagement increases.
Embrace open communication: Everyone likes having a clear view of what’s going on. When companies are transparent with their employees, employee satisfaction and retention go up. If you want to craft a positive employee journey, make sure teams learn to embrace the value of open communication. That’s communication where both sides of the conversation feel comfortable discussing or expressing ideas to each other. Open communication helps support more psychological safety on a team which in turn can help employees feel more connected and valued at work. Whether this comes in the form of touchpoints, one-on-ones, or team conversations, try to be as transparent as you can.
Leverage peer-to-peer support: One important aspect of a positive employee experience is the people employees work with. The more connected teams are, the better people can work together. Try to build opportunities for peers to work with and support each other. This could be bringing in new hires in cohort waves, creating cross-departmental peer networks, or setting up a peer mentoring program. Your employees have lots of knowledge to impart when given the chance. Creating spaces for them to connect and share supports a more collaborative culture and better employee well-being.
Team building matters: While we’re on the subject of peers, team building is something no manager should ignore. Great teams don’t happen by accident but instead take time and effort to create. When teams work well together, they bring a real competitive advantage to their company. But poor teams can derail work and delay projects. Think about how you support healthy team dynamics when a new employee joins the group or how you handle concerns or conflict when it arises. Workshops on team effectiveness can be useful to help teams find better ways to connect or assessments can be leveraged in a group format to help peers learn more about themselves and each other.
Allow for growth: No one likes feeling like they’re static or stuck. The best workspaces understand the basic human need to improve and grow and takes advantage of that desire. Employee development can help workers learn the skills they’ll need to grow within the company or tackle new responsibilities. But it’s important that you aren’t offering L&D merely for the sake of it. Think about the future of work and where the company needs to go in the next few years. Then structure learning opportunities that will help you reach those goals. Maybe you’re going to need strong future leaders that you need to start developing right now. Or maybe there’s a clear skills gap that you can provide some upskilling around. Look at what your workforce will need to succeed and build chances for your employees to learn those skills.
Appreciate your employees: One of the easiest ways to create a great employee experience is simply to say thank you. During these days of remote work, it’s very simple to fall into bad communication habits. What were once causal kudos in the office now require more effort and can often get overlooked because of it. Showing employees they are valued and appreciated can go a long way towards keeping employees engaged across the entire employee lifecycle. Don’t let the pandemic be the reason your team drifts apart. Call out good work in group meetings, offer encouragement during one-on-ones, and take the time to celebrate the team as a whole whenever you can.
Understanding the employee experience
These days there are many facets of talent management that go into creating a positive employee experience strategy. From how companies hire, to their onboarding process, to their approach to team composition, building an employee experience that will attract great talent won’t happen by accident. With careful planning, any company can create a space that values its employees and offers them opportunities to do their best work. These companies go beyond merely having a work-life balance and really think about what their employees will experience from the time they log onto their computers in the morning to the time they shut down at night. People work best where they feel supported so spend some time crafting a thoughtful employee experience and watch the difference it makes on your teams.