Five Steps to Improve Employee Experience
It is well established that employee experience and customer experience are inextricably linked, but all too often executives focus on CX to the detriment of EX. As an employer, it is your responsibility to equip your employees with a rewarding work environment to enable them to do the best job they can and engender positive experiences. Implementing some of the suggestions below can help you to offer your employees a supportive and productive environment and demonstrate that you are committed to their success and wellbeing.
Put your employees at the forefront of change
When making internal decisions about operational changes, consider how they will impact your employees’ jobs. Rather than tell them that a change is happening after a decision has already been made, keep them informed throughout the decision-making process and ask for their thoughts and feedback. Every change doesn’t need to be about making your employee’s lives easier, but consider if it might make their lives (and more importantly their ability to do their jobs effectively) more difficult. Engaged employees are happy employees, so giving them a voice in the change-making process within your company will make them feel like valued team members.
Discuss customer feedback
Many of your employees work each day to deliver great customer experiences and probably get joy out of doing a really good job, but it’s rare that an employee will be able to hear the compliments that customers give them or their team members in CX surveys. It is best to be transparent with customer feedback, the good, bad and the ugly, this doesn’t mean that it is necessary to disclose information on the customer that left feedback on a given experience, but both employees and customers will be better served if relevant feedback is readily available and easily accessible to employees.
Remove bureaucratic obstacles
Oftentimes businesses have overly complicated procedures in place that nobody thinks to change because they’ve always been the same. Bring your operational efficiency forward by streamlining archaic processes to increase productivity and just make your employees’ jobs easier. Cumbersome vacation request processes, expense reporting or overtime applications come to mind as processes that are easy to simplify but often remain a time burden on employees. If to submit a request for time off, an employee has to find a form online, fill it out, print it, track down their manager to sign it, scan it and then email it to HR, that’s a lot of time wasted for a task that should be incredibly easy. Consider what can be changed, as these kinds of organisational obstacles get in the way of your employees being able to focus on the jobs you hired them to do.
Continuously collect employee feedback
Oftentimes, HR departments will send out an annual employee experience survey, draw conclusions from the feedback and then (hopefully) implement plans to make changes accordingly. This process is ineffective and a little lazy. You should collect employee feedback regularly to make sure you’re getting an accurate understanding of employee satisfaction and company culture. If you only ask for feedback once a year, you are missing a lot of opportunities for really useful insights. Any new hires probably won’t have much to say at the time of an annual employee engagement survey and by the time you’re asking for feedback again, they will have forgotten any insights they might be able to contribute on the onboarding process. Employees leaving the company mid-year might also miss the opportunity to contribute feedback that would be valuable to any retention goals you may have. In the same way, you regularly collect customer feedback, asking for employee feedback often will give you greater insight into the employee lifecycle and can lead to better improvements to the general work environment.
Consider work-life balance
Employees can’t do a good job at work if they’re burned out, stressed or lacking motivation. Job satisfaction can most often be derived from a healthy work-life balance, so it is up to employers to make sure that employees are able to thrive inside and outside their work environments. Offering perks such as summer Fridays or the ability to work remotely on occasion can really take the pressure off employees to prioritise their job above their mental health and wellbeing. This can also mean offering fitness, financial, health or family benefits to support employee wellbeing. Ask your employees what kinds of initiatives would they find supportive and try to institute innovative ways to support a balanced life. This can also benefit employee retention and make you a more competitive employer when it comes to attracting top talent.