Employee experience

What is Employee Experience & How to Improve it

5 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

If you’ve heard about employee experience before and aren’t quite sure what it means or how it relates to an average day, then we’re here to lend a hand. 

The experience your employee has during their time with you has a huge impact on their wellbeing and your bottom line – in fact, McKinsey research found that employees who had good experiences have a 40 percent higher level of discretionary effort – so it’s well worth diving in and finding out more. 

What actually is employee experience?

Employee experience (often referred to as EX) is a combination of all the things an employee thinks, sees, learns and does during their time with a company.  

All of these factors combine to create one, overarching experience that isn’t about one bad day or one excellent performance review. Instead, it’s an overall perception that’s formed of every little thing that happens during their relationship with your business.

Why is employee experience important?

In many ways, employee experience has never been more important. As Forbes reported, it took centre stage during the pandemic and in 2020, 50% of the businesses it surveyed said employee experience was their top HR initiative for the year. 

An employee’s experience colours every element of their working day, which can have a massive impact on their wellbeing, determination, motivation and engagement. 

Are employee experience and engagement the same thing?

While employee experience and engagement might sound pretty similar, they’re not actually the same thing. Employee engagement is a way of looking at how connected someone is to their place of work and how motivated they are to succeed in their role and tasks. Employee experience has more of a focus on how someone perceives their journey with their employer. 

The two often work hand in hand – an employee who has a good experience is more likely to be engaged, for example – but they aren’t the same thing. 

What makes up the employee experience?

Because an employee’s experience is made up of absolutely everything that happens to or around them during their time with you, it can be tricky to work out what that means in practical terms. There are a few big factors worth considering though, such as:

  • How valued and listened to they feel
  • The kind of social interactions they have at work
  • The way problems and successes are handled

We tend to assume that an employee’s experience improves over time, but it’s been found that enthusiasm of employees diminishes by about 22% after six months on the job. To combat this drop off, you need to think about how to help employees grow throughout their entire time with you.

Does remote working impact employee experience? 

Remote working is here to stay and for many companies – that means reassessing a lot of their processes. The good news is that remote working may change employee experiences, but it certainly doesn’t have to impact them in a negative way! 

In fact, for many workers, the option to dial in remotely will be a massive boon. The important thing is to make sure that your offerings for employees are tailored for both in-office and remote engagement. 

How to improve the employee experience

Not sure if your organisation is giving its employees the kind of experiences they deserve? Here are a few ways you can make some significant improvements. 

Create an excellent onboarding experience 

We all know that first impressions are hard to get rid of, so don’t let your employees’ first experience of working for you be a negative one. Onboarding is a time for helping people settle in and showing them the ropes. This can be very time-intensive for HR departments and when too many things are competing for attention, problems can slip in. 

One way to create a better experience is through decent onboarding software, which can guide new employees through the process without the need for constant HR interaction. 

Give employees as much flexibility as you can

Everybody works differently and while it may not be possible to cater to every preference, there is a lot to be said for offering flexibility where you can. This could mean allowing employees to block off the first hour in their calendar so they can start the day working through emails uninterrupted. Or it could be introducing flexitime that helps to encourage a better life-work balance.

The more you’re able to let employees tailor their working days to suit their styles and personalities, the more likely it is that their experience will be positive. 

Foster clear and honest communication

There is nothing like an atmosphere of clear and open communication for improving the way an employee feels about an organisation. Of course, it’s not appropriate to always share every little thing, but being transparent and authentic with employees allows them to feel trusted and part of the team.

That needs to work both ways too. make sure employees know they can be truthful about how they are feeling and have difficult conversations, and they’ll help you build a better experience for everyone. 

Lead with empathy and understanding 

One of the best ways to improve employee experience is to ensure that you are being an empathetic leader. There is so much more to leadership than pushing people forward or striving for the best – although those are important qualities too. 

For high-performing teams that are happier and healthier all round, there are few things as powerful as a leader who is able to put themselves in the shoes of their employees. 

Show employees just how valued they are

There are few things as gratifying as knowing that your hard work has been recognised. When you introduce processes or employee recognition software to consistently show your employees just how valued they are, it will naturally boost the way they feel about their work and your organisation as a whole.  

Be ready to show your employees just how much you appreciate them at every step of the way and know that you’re creating the right kind of workplace experience. 

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Mo is an employee recognition platform that can help leaders boost remote employee engagement, improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today!

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