Today, employee experience is a defining feature for companies, so much that it is a part of the brand identity. We’ve seen organisations invest millions to improve their customer experience, and now the internal employee experience is also seen equally important. Ensuring higher employee motivation and morale results in effective and sustained implementation of business strategies, and directly affects business outcomes.
Leaders in business and HR are already taking note of this, and in the post-pandemic era, employee experience will be the make-or-break factor for companies when recruiting talent. Strengthening aspects of the employee experience such as offering clear career progression paths, better workplaces, and offering remote work opportunities, will go a long way towards attracting and retaining the best talent. Employee experience also influences the work experience engagement. Higher levels of employee engagement boost corporate culture and productivity, which has a favorable influence on revenue and profits. Employee experience is an exemplification of an organisation’s culture and values, and it should be consistent across the employee life cycle.
In this exclusive interview with People Matters, we hear from May Yang, Global Head of Operations at Synechron, on talent acquisition strategies, positive employee experience, work culture and more. May Yang leads global operations focused on greater collaboration and coordination across all geographies, driving corporate governance and efficiency in the bench, recruitment and talent management, as well as advancing global operational initiatives across Synechron and enhancing global employee experiences and engagements.
Here are the edited excerpts.
What does Employee Value Proposition (EVP) mean for Synechron, and what drives your organisation’s decision to invest in it?
At Synechron, we view EVPs as a way to recognise the role of our employees in the success of the company. We strive to offer all our employees professional fulfillment and a well-defined path to career development that lets them be in control of their future. Thus, our EVP is an employee-centric strategy that elevates the professional experience of every team member at Synechron and offers additional incentives alongside our competitive compensation.
Our employees are valuable assets to our company, thus we choose to invest in building and providing EVPs. We believe that investing in their experience and creating deeper connections is one of the reasons why Synechron has won the Best Places to Work Award for two years in a row. In today's competitive talent market and hybrid working paradigm, it's increasingly more critical for businesses to effectively convey their EVP, which includes both monetary and non-monetary incentives. An effective EVP aids in the development of a strong employer brand with clearly defined culture and values for a firm.
What is your organisation doing to reshape the employee experience (EX)?
Synechron’s strength lies in its diverse workforce, and we aim to build a collaborative day-to-day environment where our employees feel heard. We strive to use different platforms and mediums to ensure uninterrupted communication and coordination among the distributed workforce. When moving to a hybrid working model, the single most significant shift in corporate culture was that leaders and managers held regular two-way conversations with their people in atypical meetings. We have regular skip-level meetings where the employee can directly interact with their manager's boss without the presence of the manager. The advantages of such gatherings are self-evident: unfiltered access to facts about what's truly going on in the company - for the better or for the worse.
Moreover, Synechron's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiative - Same Difference, is dedicated to establishing an inclusive culture that supports equality, embraces diversity, and fosters a respectful atmosphere for all. We have partnered with multiple organisations to build an array of DE&I initiatives that will help our employees to have a sense of belonging and togetherness in our company.
We have also set up an anonymous feedback box which has been highly appreciated by our staff, as it helps them voice their issues without any hesitation.
How do you facilitate recruiting and talent acquisition strategies to improve EVP? Have you seen outcomes in terms of talent retention?
The EVP is an integral part of our company identity, and we take pride in highlighting it as a part of our recruitment process. Our talent acquisition strategies combine competitive compensation with promising career opportunities and a strong EVP offering to create a multi-faceted profile for our candidates. One of our core values is agility and in this competitive talent market which places more power in the hands of candidates, we were able to switch up our recruiting strategies quickly and explore different approaches to attract talent.
An organisation’s response during a time of crisis highlights their values and what they stand for. Our response during COVID, i.e., providing a 24/7 response team for employees across all locations has resulted in talent retention. One of the most important tasks for us was to comprehend the difficulties that our employees confront, both at work and at home. Employee support, leadership development, salary and benefits, and shifts, as well as strategic partnerships across the company, are all complex challenges that need to be dealt with.
Have you noticed outcomes of a positive employee experience in terms of business, employee satisfaction and work culture?
Positive employee experience has a tangible impact on performance. In 2017, a research team at MIT found that improved employee experience directly results in better customer experience, higher internal innovation, and up to 25% higher profits for companies.
Work culture is a top priority for Synechron. We strongly believe that the way to ensure the best results from our team is to provide them with a fulfilling employee experience that enables them to perform to their fullest potential.
A positive employee experience would result in a happy employee, and this will translate into their work and when they are dealing with clients. HR professionals have long been concerned about their employees' physical and mental well-being, but they're now adopting a more proactive approach. Long tenure of our employees is a direct outcome of the positive experience they have had with us.
Do you think employers should fight for employee satisfaction during the ‘Great Resignation’?
Absolutely! The Great Resignation is changing the foundations of existing business structures and is showcasing the dissatisfaction of employees with key problem areas in work culture that have remained unresolved for decades. The professional landscape has changed irreversibly as a result of the pandemic, and so have the demands of talent.
The way ahead will require companies to evolve and improve their practices to offer a more well-rounded employee experience that balances professional fulfillment with a work-life balance and flexible work options. With the priority of financial incentives decreasing, companies that fail to adapt will end up losing talent to competitors who can offer what employees they have been wanting. The company leadership must take point on building a more employee focused culture in this space but also strive to find a balance between the needs of the business and attracting talent.
How do you use technology in creating and sustaining positive employee experiences?
The technology strategy of a company plays an important role in the employee experience. In the era of remote work during the pandemic, Synechron has focused on creating an online ecosystem that facilitates connectivity and streamlines management. We have further worked to adapt our work culture to distance working and facilitate team building and development while working remotely.
We are an organisation that believes in using videos during our Zoom or Teams calls. This aids us in making up for the human connect and intimacy that the virtual meetings lack. Meet-the-CEO sessions are really crucial for employers to get to know their top management better and build a sense of trust and assurance. Employee connect events which involve family members of the employees help to validate staff, encourage creativity, raise workplace morale, and develop a more focused team.
Companies often think the employee experience (EX) strategy is a tech strategy. Yes, technology is important, but culture is important too. What is your take on that?
Culture and technology are not mutually exclusive aspects, but rather complementary aspects of the professional experience. Since the 2010s, we’ve often heard the phrase ‘Every company is a tech company’ used to describe the essential role of technology in all modern business. This has only been amplified in the pandemic, as the entire employee experience of working remotely is driven through technology. It is crucial to consider how employees utilise and expect to be treated by the technology deployed, as a subpar experience will have a negative influence on employee experience. The challenge that companies face today is creating a work culture that is effective in a purely virtual space. Companies thus must prioritise adapting the employee experience to be fulfilling in a remote working environment as well and harness the resources of their technology infrastructure to ensure the same.