July 23rd, 2019
How would you define the employee experience? Do you know what elements are important to create a strong and fulfilling employee experience?
It’s something that I’ve thought about throughout my own career and learned how important it was from the countless conversations I have with professionals navigating their careers, trying to identify the ‘one.’ That ONE company that had it all.
More importantly, that made them feel like their experience working for YOU, was by far one of the best they’ve ever had. From the moment they went through your recruiting process to the day they left your organization (hopefully after a couple of years).
The employee experience is critical to the success of an organization. Particularly, one that leads with a people-first culture. Knowing you’re striving for that (or perhaps moving towards that), consider what it looks like for your business.
I remember in my own career, one of the best compliments I received was by a manager at the time was:
“You’re the kind of person I want to work with.”
Not only was it one of the kindest things anyone in the workplace has ever said to me, but it went a long way. Especially since I was in the early stages of my career at the time and still finding my way.
Needless to say, FEELING appreciated, doing meaningful work at the time, working with great colleagues, were a recipe for a promising experience.
However, there was still something missing. I mean, it was good, but it wasn’t GREAT. I wanted GREAT – more consistently. Not just when business was good or when my manager was in a good mood or add on any other excuse that applies.
So, I thought about what employees look for that impact the employee experience and what organizations strive to BE in order to fulfill this and came up with the following:
- Strong leadership – a leadership team that has a strategic direction, leads by example and communicates their vision to the broader organization
- Employee engagement – employees are encouraged, supported and inspired. In turn, they engage and contribute to their organization and alongside their colleagues
- Employee recognition – recognizing employees for the big things AND the little things. A milestone accomplishment is just as important as recognizing someone for being helpful, a strong collaborator, going the extra mile, etc.
- Innovation – an organization that is forward-thinking, thinks outside the box, is open-minded, evolved, etc. is attractive. It helps foster an engaged workforce and has benefits for your customers.
- Open and transparent communication – knowing how to and regularly communicating with your employees.
- Meaningful work – this one is one of the toughest to maintain given the ongoing expectations around professional development. When you have people in the right jobs, doing work they love, it benefits both your business and your employees.
Is there anything else you would add to this?
The employee experience is one that should be ongoing and fluid in nature, meaning, as an organization, you should always be evaluating and taking its pulse. Has it shifted? Are you off track? Where do you need to adjust?
Knowledge is power. Understand where you stand with your workforce, instead of ignoring it and potentially face a problem later. Common challenges that come up could be low employee engagement, a weak culture that needs to be resuscitated and has your people leaving your organization.
How would you define the employee experience for your organization? How do you as an organization want your employees to feel working for your company?
Let me know in the comments below! If you’re struggling with your employee experience or know a company that is, I’d love to hear from you.