Workplaces have changed. There is no doubt about that. Work is not merely about getting paychecks anymore. People look forward to working in places that give them a more holistic personal and professional experience. Which is why, modern organizations are going out of their way to treat their employees well.
Employee Experience has become a vital factor that determines the success of an organization and its longevity. Employee experience is a term that talks about how an employee feels about and perceives the workplace to be. It is a mix of different experiences the employee has during his workplace journey.
The experiences start from sitting for an interview for employment and lasts even after the employee has quit.
When someone talks about a modern workplace, the term employee experience invariably makes its way into the conversation. What is a modern workplace, why is it beneficial, and how does employee experience matter here?
A modern workplace is not a mere workspace but an overall environment. A modern workplace is where people have options to collaborate, focus, communicate, and be deeply productive, without having to burn themselves out. A modern workplace is designed to match the technological and physical needs of employees.
Modern workplaces and employee experiences complement each other. A modern workplace can nurture positive employee experiences while positive experiences help create a high-performing modern workplace.
Harvard Business Review had published an analytical survey on workplace evolution. According to the study, 78% of the senior management understood the importance of a good modern workplace strategy. However, only 31% believe their company is forward enough to adapt to one.
There is so much that employee experience can contribute to a modern workplace. It helps both small and large organizations to shift their focus from utility and forced productivity to self-reliance, efficiency, and high performance.
An organization that focuses on employee experience makes it easy for communication to flow in all directions. It helps processes to become more transparent and agile. In such organizations, all teams work collaboratively and are interconnected. The operational costs start coming down on their own while the pool of skilled talent stays back, contributing every day to the growth and profits of the organization.
All these, in totality, help build a modern workplace.
There are three main elements needed to create a wholesome employee experience.
This is absolutely important. Technology gives your employees the right tools to do their jobs well. The better the technology used, the more productive your employees will be. Technology also brings down monotony, labor time, and paves way for excellence.
Imagine having to work in an office space where you can constantly hear the sounds of other people talking and chattering. How would you feel when you have to work in a cramped cubicle with not enough space to stretch your legs? Would you be able to work in a dark and gloomy space? The way the work environment is created matters a lot in shaping employee experience.
An employee spends an average of 10-14 hours in the workplace. So, it is essential that this space is designed thoughtfully to enhance employee experience.
In the end, everything comes down to work culture. Work culture is a collection of thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that make up an organization. Some of the common types of work cultures could be adhocracy (risk-taking and out-of-box), clan culture (growing as a group), purpose-driven culture, and hierarchy culture.
There are people who quit high-paying jobs just because they can’t handle the work culture. There are people with productivity problems due to a misalignment with the work culture.
Creating the right work culture and choosing people who fit this culture both play a role in improving employee experience.
Gartner recently conducted a survey about employee experience. According to the survey, only 13% of employees felt satisfied with their workplace experience. 46% of them mentioned that they were not satisfied with the experience.
Here are reasons why companies need to invest in better employee experience:
Improved performance – There is no doubt that a satisfied and happy employee works better. Improving employee experience at the workplace is an easy way to improve productivity and performance. A study done by the Social Market Foundation reports happy employees are more productive.
Self-reliance – Employees who have a healthy work environment, the right tools to work with, and a supportive management become self-reliant. This means they need little supervision and are innovative, take up commitments, and get empowered. Improving employee experience will help achieve this.
Lesser employee turnover – According to AIMResearch, the attrition rate in India in 2019 was 30.7%. The attrition rate globally is about 14%. One of the basic things to correct to bring down your attrition rate is to work on employee experience strategies. Your employees will not think of leaving when they are happy working with you.
Improved communication – How often do your employees communicate with the management? How easy it is for people to collaborate and work within the workplace? While HR experts are raving about the importance of continuous feedback, achieving this has always been a struggle. Enhanced employee experience will automatically open up healthy collaborative and communication channels inside the organization.
Improved business performance – At the end of the day, profits and revenues definitely matter. An organization that offers exceptional experiences for employees has better operation margins, enjoys higher individual and team productivities, and can retain highly skilled employees. All these, in totality, help improve revenue and profits.
What is an employee experience strategy?
This is an organization’s overall plan to enhance the experience of employees using technological, environmental, and cultural factors.
Do you need an employee experience strategy?
You definitely do. Having a clear strategy in place will ensure you spend money on things that actually matter to the employees. It also means that the effort you take to enhance their experience reaps benefits.
Start by analyzing the needs of employees. This can be done with the help of surveys, one-on-ones, and finding out what competitors are doing.
Once you get a list of things that need to be changed or added to the workplace experience, put a strategy in place. Prioritize these changes and implement them.
Instead of just revamping the office space, focus on the entire experience. Focus on equipping your employees with the best-in-class tools. Introduce goal setting frameworks that help employees align their goals with that of the organization. Check your current rewards and recognition system. Is it all agile? Does it let people endorse and recognize peers easily? If not, consider changing it.
Check here to know how PossibleWorks was able to bring an inclusive recognition program in Mahindra Comviva and improve engagement levels in a group of 2500 employees.
Taking care of your employees is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. Taking care of your employees keeps them happy and productive and this will reflect positively on your growth chart and in your balance sheet.
All successful organizations have started thinking seriously about employee experience and are working on improving the same. Modern workplaces consider employee experience as important as customer experience and that’s the right way to approach this.
If you want to know more about employee experience, employee engagement, and agile performance management systems, get in touch with us.