Did you know that total rewards entail three key components? Employee benefits and compensation are essential, albeit obvious, offerings, but there’s an additional perk that employers must provide or risk losing top talent — a positive employee experience.
In this article, we explore employee experience, including what it is, ways to enhance it and methods for measuring its effectiveness.
Defining Employee Experience
The employee experience encompasses anything outside of compensation and benefits that could be seen as a reward for working for your organization. This includes quality employee-supervisor relationships, strong peer relationships, opportunities for growth and development, amenities and perks within the physical workplace, and more.
Offering a positive employee experience can foster deeper employee loyalty and increase effort, creativity and innovation. Conversely, a negative or even neutral employee experience in the workplace can lead to decreased engagement, productivity and morale.
Developing Your Employee Experience
To determine whether you’re providing a comprehensive and beneficial employee experience, you must first take inventory of your offerings. However, this can be challenging considering every organization’s approach to the employee experience is different. We’ve compiled the following categories to guide your evaluation and help you determine if you have a solid foundation to build upon.
Growth & Development
Taking a vested interest in your employees’ growth and development is a key aspect of offering a strong employee experience. From mentorships to career pathing to effective feedback policies, there are a variety of ways you can show your workforce that you want them to succeed. Are you fostering growth or encouraging stagnation?
Team Building & Social Opportunities
Do you create opportunities for your team to come together, not just for work-related purposes, but to connect on a deeper level? If not, this may be an area in which your employee experience is underdeveloped. Implementing employee resource groups, philanthropic opportunities, recognition programs and formal team-building events are all ways you can create community and cultivate connections in the workplace.
Your organization’s physical workspace should promote productivity, offer areas for privacy and collaboration, and serve as an overall pleasant environment to be in every day. Ergonomic workstations, gym equipment or fitness classes, health food options, ample room for meetings, and spaces that allow for privacy or individual work are just a few examples of what a top-tier physical workspace may include.
Remote Work Opportunities
The physical workspace is important. However, if you’re operating in a hybrid or completely remote work model, it’s equally important to ensure your remote employee experience is strong. Consider hosting virtual team-building and social events, such as happy hours, regular check-in calls and virtual team lunches. Additionally, offer employer-provided home office workstations and emphasize the importance of work-life balance to help employees establish a healthy, productive approach to remote work.
Flexibility is everything. Employees today want their employer to understand that they have responsibilities outside of work. From parental and bereavement leave to adjustable work arrangements and schedules, exemplifying your ability to accommodate the needs of your workforce will positively impact your employee experience. Do your employees have the flexibility needed to build a strong work-life balance? If not, consider evaluating your policies further.
Measuring Your Results
Some components of the employee experience can be captured in a quantitative analysis, such as PTO, volunteer hours, employee retention and employee referrals. However, other aspects can be difficult to attach numbers to. That’s when qualitative analysis comes into play. Consider distributing employee surveys, conducting focus groups and making use of observational methods to determine employee engagement, satisfaction and opinions regarding the overall employee experience.
As retaining and attracting top talent becomes increasingly challenging, the importance of offering a solid, positive employee experience grows. Developing an employee experience that allows individuals to grow, make connections, be productive and enjoy flexibility will ultimately help you reduce turnover and strengthen long-term loyalty.