In this article, we’ll look at the employee experience advantage – how businesses can gain a competitive edge by optimizing the workplace experience.
Understanding the Employee Experience Advantage
The employee experience refers to the sum of all interactions an employee has with its employer.
These interactions begin pre-hire and end after they exit the company.
But what are the benefits of enhancing the employee experience?
Below, we will explore:
- How positive employee experiences boost a variety of employee metrics, such as engagement, performance, and retention
- How these results translate into improved employee-generated ROI
- Other business areas, processes, and functions that see positive results
To start, let’s look at the direct benefits of improving the employee experience:
How Good Experiences Boost Key Employee Metrics
Below are some of the most important employee metrics that can increase with better employee experiences:
- Increased engagement. Engagement is one of the hottest workforce-related topics today. It has widely become recognized that engaged employees produce more, perform better, and enjoy their jobs more … as we’ll see below.
- Better performance. Training, career development, teamwork, culture, and a variety of employee-related factors contribute to employee productivity and performance. Managing and improving the employee experience is one of the best ways to maintain and increase performance.
- A happier workforce. Happier workers are more productive. They contribute to a better workplace culture and climate. And they are more likely to stay with a company over the long term.
- Higher retention and lower turnover. Recruitment costs can be steep, costing four or five figures per year, depending on the profession. In the digital age, where digital skills are at a premium, these costs can become a serious concern.
All of these metrics help an organization attract and retain a cutting-edge, high-performing team.
Now, let’s see how these benefits translate into better outcomes for the organization.
How the Employee Experience Translates into Profit
Here are a few ways that the above metrics can impact other parts of the business:
- More innovation. Employees who are happier and more motivated are also more innovative. Unmotivated workers, though, are less creative and less likely to create breakthrough innovations – the kind that are so necessary in today’s disruption-prone economy.
- More agility. Workers who are having good employee experiences are more likely to cooperate and work well with their teams. This cooperation will, in turn, contribute to organizational agility and the agility of their departments.
- Better customer service and customer experiences. Employee experiences also carry over into the customer experience. Happier employees are more likely to serve customers better and create great experiences for the end users.
- A better company reputation. A company’s reputation depends, in part, on its workplace. The best employees gravitate to companies that are good to work for. Also, the company’s reputation can impact its business partnerships – some partners will align themselves only with top-notch companies.
However, there is a small problem here – tracing these outcomes back to the employee experience.
There are so many variables that effective attribution can be difficult.
And, in some situations, it can be impossible.
As we’ll see below, though, there are steps you can take to bypass this roadblock.
A Step-by-Step Process for Employee Experience Improvement
Here is a basic process that can help you understand your needs and begin enhancing employee experiences, starting today:
- Assess – The first step to any project is assessment. Assess the current state of the employee experience, change readiness, organizational needs, and employee needs.
- Prototype – The prototype project should have specific target metrics, such as improving sales quotas or decreasing employee training times for a specific tool. It should aim to improve these metrics by changing or affecting specific parts of the employee experience.
- Test – First, create a test run or a pilot program. This low-cost pilot can help you gather data, prove project viability, and tweak as necessary.
- Rollout – Next, roll the program out incrementally. Collect data and feedback as you go. And stay agile, so that this feedback can be incorporated during each iteration.
- Learn – Learn from the project after it has been fully implemented. Employee surveys, software analytics, customer feedback, and a wide variety of data sources can provide insight. Use that insight to gain a better understanding of how the employee experience contributes to business metrics and outcomes.
- Refresh – The employee experience is a continually shifting landscape. Continually refresh your approach, test new ideas, and implement new initiatives.
When designing the employee experience, it is important to follow a roadmap such as this one.
However, when investing in the employee experience advantage, it pays to do your research.
Here are a few topics to research:
- Employee Experience Management
- User Journey Maps
- Customer Journey Maps
- Change Management Models
- Design Thinking
Employee experience, after all, has much in common with the topics listed here.
A thorough grounding in those areas can get you started on the right path.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.