At the heart of every growing organization are its employees. The very people who keep businesses functioning and evolving are all too often overlooked to primarily focus on satisfying paying customers. However, it is of critical importance that every employee’s experience with your company be taken seriously.
Maximizing the value your employees derive from their roles within your organization on a daily basis – satisfaction, engagement, accomplishment, community and more – has the potential to build loyalty among your workforce in ways higher wages never could AND benefit your business’s bottom line.
No one wants to tolerate a stressful work environment indefinitely, and there are many ways to boost employee engagement and improve the employee experience to better complement your company’s core values.
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For the best tips on consistently improving the employee experience at your company, read on:
Tips to Improve Employee Experience
1. Simplify onboarding and keep the process light.
“The employee onboarding period can be quite complex and uncertain. Consider the experience from the employee’s perspective, and then make an effort to make it fun, interesting, exciting, painless, and as simple as possible. If you do, you will make your new team member feel valued, wanted, interested and excited. By engendering these positive emotions from the word go, you make the new employee want to do great work and add great value to your organization.” – Brian Platz, Steps for Creating a Positive New Employee Onboarding Experience, The Balance Careers; Twitter: @thebalance
2. Keep performance reviews goal-oriented and collaborative.
“Performance reviews allow employees to track their progress in your organization and work toward improvement. A well-done review should be an actual reflection of employee performance. Conducting regular reviews helps employees understand how their efforts contribute to organizational goals. This guides and motivates employees, improving their experience at your company. When reviewing, it’s important to set achievable goals for your employees. Encourage team managers to provide feedback about employee performance in both a formal and informal setting. Ensure that performance review is a two-way process, where employees are encouraged to provide their feedback, too.” – Tarika.A, 5 Tips to Improve Your Employee Experience, Zoho; Twitter: @zohopeople
3. Keep employee data analysis consistent.
“Traditionally, employee engagement might be examined by HR by way of an annual survey once a year, and this practice still occurs in many organizations. However, this is outdated and ineffective because it has already aged out by the time it is analyzed and taking the temperature once a year is not a realistic representation of the culture.” – Jenny Darmody, How to Improve Employee Experience on a Tight Budget, Silicon Republic; Twitter: @siliconrepublic
4. Highlight health and your commitment to that of your workforce.
“Mental and physical wellness is at the core of every productive workforce and the key to a positive employee experience. If an employee doesn’t feel well, he or she is not going to perform well on the job. That’s why implementing workplace wellness programs is one of the best ways to improve the employee experience. Daily healthy habits, such as eating more nutritious snacks and staying physically fit, are easy to promote through daily changes.” – Dan Marzullo, 3 Tips for Building a Great Employee Experience, Zenefits; Twitter: @zenefits
5. Pay special attention to the reboarding process for returning talent.
“A digital reboarding-module for your returning employee is a great possibility to let her know all about the changes that have happened at the workplace. The module can be a mix of a graphic overview of the new business strategy, video-presentations of new employees, and a brush-up GDPR course. The module should be sent 1-2 weeks before the employee’s return.” – Reboarding: 4 Tips to Get the Best Start For Your Employee, learningbank.io; Facebook: @learningbankapp
6. Develop deeper emotional intelligence in your HR staff.
“Employees don’t just leave their home life at home – no matter how hard they try. Our home lives intersect our work lives and have a direct impact on everything we do, even when we’re making a concerted effort to ensure that’s not the case. That means that problems at home can impact work. This may manifest as tardiness, frequent absences, higher-than-normal stress levels, snapping at others, making simple mistakes, etc. (This list is not comprehensive.) The key is that when employer representatives are trained to recognize the signs, they may be able to better respond to an employee who is struggling rather than inadvertently making it worse.” – Bridget Miller, Tips to Improve Employee Experience, HR Daily Advisor; Twitter: @HRDailyAdvisor
7. Test employee-centric policies before implementation.
“Before even thinking of implementing new ideas – new programs and experiences should always be prototyped and piloted with a small group of test employees. Only by prototyping, workplace professionals can learn and understand what employees like and dislike about the new workplace or service setting.” – Top Tips to Improve Employee Experience in the Workplace in 2017, Service Futures; Twitter: @issworld
8. Consider physical space upgrades.
“Technology is undeniably important to the modern-day workplace. However, investment into IT should not be at the cost of the physical environment, which can often be overlooked – particularly when premises have been in place for a while, at which point many long-term employees simply stop noticing the flaws in the physical space. Employees who have control over where and how they work, and are free to choose a work space to fit their task, are 88% more engaged at work, according to research conducted by Steelcase.” – Becki Hall, Designing a Winning Employee Experience, IntranetExperts; Twitter: @IntranetExperts
9. Keep performance reviews centered on employee development and growth.
“During performance review meetings, it is important to discuss how an employee would like to grow, the avenues and challenges they would like to pursue and tackle next, where do they see themselves in the next 3 years, etc.” – 5 Performance Review Tips That Improve Employee Experience, Engagedly; Twitter: @engagedlyInc
10. Invest in powerful tools and necessary services to streamline workflow.
“You need to make sure that you have the basics covered before you move on to other, more abstract, ideas. Equip your employees with the tools and systems that will make their job easier. This way, you’ll get them to invest their energy into doing great work, instead of wasting precious time.” – Paula Clapon, 25 Employee Engagement Ideas, Hppy; Twitter: @gethppy
11. Build lasting relationships right off the bat with new hires.
“The new hire is busy. Every teammate and leader is busy, too. Take the time early to introduce the new hire to the people they need to know. It can make your organization stand out as a great employer.” – 8 Tips to Maximize the New Employee Experience, Aerotek; Twitter: @aerotek
12. Emphasize the importance of each employee’s contribution.
“It is commonly accepted that people derive meaning from work. However, many workers feel disconnected from meaning in their jobs. This lack of meaning can cause significant issues – including burnout and turnover. One way to add meaning to the workplace is by showing workers how their work helps other people.” – Christopher Smith, How to Improve the Employee Experience, WalkMe; Twitter: @walkmeinc
13. Encourage employee growth within your organization.
“The Future Workplace Forecast reports that employers can improve the employee experience by introducing career mobility platforms for employees to digitally test drive new positions and experience new roles and skills. A Gallup Workplace Panel study found that 51% of employees were looking for a new job. Think about career pathing, and whether or not employees have the tools they need to grow and advance without job-hopping.” – Johnny Duncan, 9 Simple Employee Experience Upgrades You Can Implement Anytime, bonus.ly; Twitter: @bonusly
14. Align perks with employee priorities.
“While some may appreciate yoga breaks during all company meetings, others may want time off to volunteer with family and friends. Get to know your employees and understand what is truly meaningful to them. And always check back – life moves fast and personal priorities shift. Make sure your benefits and perks evolve to keep up with your dynamic population.” – Catalina Andrade, 5 Tips to Improve the Employee Experience from an Employee Happiness Director, SHRM; Twitter: @SHRMnextchat
15. Adopt novel approaches to candidate outreach using modern technology.
“Unfortunately, organizations struggle across the entire employee lifecycle. For instance, fewer than half of companies say their candidate experience is either effective or very effective. Most companies still rely almost solely on traditional candidate outreach methods, even though they recognize the importance of newer technologies such as chatbots and video interviewing.” – David Wentworth, Employee Experience and the Future of Work, Training Magazine; Twitter: @trainingmagus
Employee Experience Optimization Tips & Resources
16. Leverage personality assessments for better team-building.
“Different departments value different employee skill sets, and some intangible elements such as the nature of a person’s character can be difficult to measure. Personality assessments help HR leaders place new hires in positions where they will thrive and be more productive. By using assessments such as The Predictive Index and storing the information in an applicant tracking system, managers can anticipate the best fit for new employees.” – Christian Valiulis, 3 Tips for Personalizing the Employee Experience, Glassdoor; Twitter: @Glassdoor
17. Look to new ways of promoting engagement among employees.
“To shake up the workday, or start Monday off with some inspiration, Cooleaf recommends hiring a motivational speaker to come into the office. Maybe your team would benefit from a creativity workshop or team-building seminar to improve in-office relationships. Employees will be grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn from experts and will come out of these experiences more energized and focused.” – Emil Shour, 59 Awesome Employee Engagement Ideas & Activities for 2020, SnackNation; Twitter: @SnackNation
18. Foster diversity for a more inviting atmosphere.
“If you hire people from different backgrounds and experiences, you are going to have a more well-rounded company. In fact, a recent study showed that employees at a company with more diversity were less likely to leave and were more creative and productive.” – Tips for a Strong Employee Experience, AlphaStaff; Twitter: @AlphaStaff
19. Place the power for meaningful personal growth in your employee’s hands.
“From the beginning of the counseling process, ask your employee to summarize the discussion and recap the action plan to you. This helps you gauge the desire to change and reinforces that the individual has a choice to improve.” – 5 Tips for Successful Performance Counseling, Paycor; Twitter: @PaycorInc
20. Recognize achievements big and small.
“It’s very important to make time to celebrate individual employees and team achievements. Celebrate your employees for who they are and what they accomplish inside and outside of work. Celebrate birthdays, career milestones, anniversaries, promotions, and important life milestones (such as having a baby or purchasing a home).” – Tips to Improve Your Employee Experience, MenaITech; Twitter: @MenaITech
21. Leverage employee exit surveys to identify problems quickly.
“And, if you do happen to lose an employee or two, make sure they fill out an employee exit survey so you can collect invaluable feedback on what may be causing employees to look elsewhere for employment.” – Improve Customer Experience with Employee Engagement, SurveyMonkey; Twitter: @SurveyMonkey
22. Make learning a daily practice among your employees.
“From simple, unplanned conversations to hosting deliberate feedback sessions, effective employee development comes down to one simple thing: surrounding your employees with opportunities for learning.” – How to Develop Your Employees, MRH
23. Use employee experience surveys to learn more about your workforce’s unique needs.
“Developing a deeper understanding of employee needs is the only way to understand and unlock the drivers of human performance in spite of productivity-sapping disruptions. But as I wrote earlier about three reasons many employee experience surveys fail, most employer surveys are too narrow, and so they miss the opportunity to provide meaningful information.” – How to Create an Employee Experience Survey that Works, Bright Horizons; Twitter: @BrightHorizons
24. Keep employees’ personal goals aligned with company goals.
“Plenty of research shows that when people are able to connect the purpose of their organization to their purpose as individuals, they are happier and more engaged at work. Senior leaders are in a unique position to help them do this.” – Ron Carucci, Balancing the Company’s Needs and Employee Satisfaction, Harvard Business Review; Twitter: @HarvardBiz
25. Keep HR staff well-equipped for handling wider aspects of employee well-being.
“Educate other managers on how they can support employee engagement and well-being — even if it’s just posting talking points on your company intranet so they know how to approach well-being topics during one-on-one meetings.” – Will Hayden, 14 Ways Managers Can Improve Employee Engagement During Crisis, limeade; Twitter: @limeade
How has your company improved its employee experience?