What is Employee Experience and 6 Ways to Improve It

Woman looking happy while working

04 Jul What is Employee Experience and 6 Ways to Improve It

In today’s competitive job market, employers are looking for ways to attract top talent and retain their best employees. One key factor that can make or break an employee’s decision to join or stay with a company is their employee experience.

What exactly is employee experience and why is it so important? Let’s dive in and explore this concept and uncover six proven strategies to enhance employee experience at your organization.

What is the Employee Experience Definition?

Employee experience encompasses everything an employee encounters, observes, and feels throughout their entire journey at a company. It starts from the moment a candidate first interacts with your brand during the recruitment process.

This experience continues through onboarding, their day-to-day work, growth and development, and eventually through to their exit from the company.

In essence, employee experience is the sum of all of an employee’s perceptions about their interactions with their employer. It’s shaped by the organization’s virtual workspace, culture, technology, and relationships with colleagues and managers.

Every touchpoint an employee has forms part of the overall employee experience.

Why Improving the Employee Experience is Important

A positive employee experience is directly linked to better business outcomes. Research shows that companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors. Gallup found that companies with a highly engaged workforce have 21% higher profitability. They also see 41% lower absenteeism, and 59% less turnover.

Investing in the employee experience isn’t just about improving the bottom line though. Your people are the heart of your organization.

Ensuring they have an exceptional experience shows that you value them as human beings, not just as workers. When you get the employee experience right, you’ll boost engagement, productivity, wellbeing, and loyalty.

On the flip side, a poor employee experience can be disastrous. If employees are unhappy, unengaged, and feel unappreciated, they’ll underperform and eventually leave.

This leads to higher absenteeism, lower profitability, recruitment and training costs, and damage to your reputation and brand. Clearly, in today’s world, focusing on employee experience is not just an HR concern, but a strategic business priority.

6 Employee Experience Strategies

So how can your organization create an exceptional employee experience? Here are six proven strategies:

1. Utilize Employee Surveys

One of the best ways to gauge the employee experience is to go straight to the source – ask your employees! Regular employee engagement surveys give your people an opportunity to voice their honest opinions about what’s working and what’s not.

Surveys help you pinpoint areas for improvement across the employee lifecycle. They also show employees that their input is valued.

The key is to act on the feedback and communicate the actions you’re taking. This demonstrates that you’re not just paying lip service but are genuinely committed to positive change.

Two happy employees

2. Offer Flexible Work-Life Balance

Flexible working has become an expectation rather than a perk. Countless studies have shown that employees value flexibility and that it improves job satisfaction.

Offering options like remote work, flexible schedules, and generous paid time off shows you care about your employees’ lives outside of work.

Trusting your people to do their best work in a way that fits their lives boosts engagement, productivity and loyalty. It also widens your potential talent pool and helps you attract and retain a more diverse workforce.

3. Have an Efficient Onboarding and Training Process

First impressions count, so it’s critical to get your onboarding and training process right. A clunky, confusing, or incomplete onboarding experience is a sure way to start new hires off on the wrong foot.

Streamline your onboarding so that new employees feel welcomed and set up for success from day one. Provide the tools, training and support they need to ramp up quickly.

As the employee gains experience in their position, make sure you continue to provide the right training and technology to keep them engaged, focused, and at ease. Employees should be able to quickly access everything they need without having to sign into multiple accounts or ask permission.

4. Focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB)

To create a positive employee experience, everyone needs to feel safe and valued at work, regardless of their background or identity. Prioritizing DEIB is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also good for business. Diverse and inclusive teams are more innovative and deliver better results.

Take a hard look at your current DEIB practices and create a strategy to weave DEIB into the fabric of your organization. This includes things like inclusive hiring practices, fair promotion processes, equal pay, and fostering an atmosphere of psychological safety and belonging.

Remember, this is an ongoing journey that requires commitment from leadership and engagement from every employee.

5. Provide One-on-One Attention

One size does not fit all when it comes to employee experience. What matters to a new graduate may be different from what’s important to a working parent or someone nearing retirement.

Managers need to take the time to understand each team member’s individual needs, career goals, and priorities.

Regular one-on-ones and career development conversations are crucial. They’re an opportunity to provide support, remove roadblocks, and help employees grow.

Gallup found that employees whose manager holds regular meetings with them are almost 3 times as likely to be engaged as those who don’t meet with their manager regularly.

6. Focus on Hiring and Training Quality Managers

Managers have an outsized impact on employee experience. As the saying goes, “People leave managers, not companies.” A poor manager can negate all your other employee experience efforts.

That’s why it’s essential to hire and train managers who are skilled not only in technical areas but also in people management. Look for managers who can coach, give feedback, and tailor their management style to each team member’s needs.

Invest in manager training and hold them accountable for key people metrics like engagement, retention, and DEIB. The quality of your managers can make or break your employee experience.

Final Thoughts

Enhancing the employee experience takes effort and intentionality, but it’s well worth the investment. By taking a holistic, human-centric, and feedback-driven approach, you can create a workplace where every employee can thrive.

When you get the employee experience right, the benefits will resound across your organization, from better business results to being known as a great place to work.

So, start taking steps today to understand and elevate the experience for your most important asset – your people. Connect with Strive today to incorporate people-driven business strategies and boost the employee experience in your workplace.